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Euro-zone Consumer Confidence (May)

The small increase in euro-zone consumer confidence in May left it only slightly higher than its low point at the start of the pandemic. With confidence extremely low and real incomes squeezed by high inflation, we expect a drop in household spending to cause the euro-zone economy to contract in Q2.

20 May 2022

High inflation, record trade deficit

Data released over the past week revealed that the euro-zone recorded its first monthly current account deficit since 2012 and provided further evidence that underlying price pressures are building. We expect the latter to prompt the ECB to raise rates by 25bp, if not 50bp, in July. Next week, the PMIs and Ifo for May will provide more evidence that the euro-zone and German economies are at risk of recession. ECB Drop-In (24th May 10:00 ET/15:00 BST): Could the ECB deliver a hawkish surprise? Join economists from our Europe and Markets teams for a discussion about what to expect from the Bank’s tightening cycle, including the chances for a bumper hike in July or even an early move at next month’s meeting. Register now.  

20 May 2022

Historical experience highlights recession risks

History suggests that the surge in energy prices over the past year means there is a good chance that the euro-zone will suffer a recession in 2022. It also suggests that it will be tricky for the ECB to tighten monetary policy without causing a recession further ahead.

20 May 2022
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End of negative rates is nigh!

The account of the ECB’s April meeting shows that a lot of policymakers thought the criteria for rate hikes had already been met. Since then, the case for rate hikes has only strengthened. While not our central forecast, a 50bp hike in July is increasingly likely, and even a June hike is not out of the question.

Euro-zone Final HICP (Apr.)

April’s inflation data will confirm to policymakers – if any further evidence was needed – that they want to start raising interest rates very soon. A hike in July looks a near certainty and the probabilities are shifting towards an increase of more than 25bp.

18 May 2022

Slower yield compression weighs on capital growth

Euro-zone commercial property values made further gains in Q1. Quarterly rental growth was strongest for industrial, though office and retail rents also rose. However, the pace of yield compression reduced, limiting capital value growth. And we expect this slowdown to continue, given the weaker economic outlook and expected rises in interest rates and bond yields, which mean property yields are likely to reach their trough this year. Property Drop-In (19th May): What will rising interest rates mean for commercial property returns in the US, UK and Europe? Join our 20-minute briefing on the outlook for returns on Thursday. Register now.

Euro-zone GDP & Employment (Q1)

The euro-zone economy grew slightly faster in Q1 than previously estimated and there was a solid increase in employment at the start of the year too. While we expect the labour market to remain a relative bright spot, the slowdown in activity that we expect this year will act as a headwind.

Case for rate hikes much stronger than in 2011

The ECB’s rate hikes in 2011 were a mistake, not just because they exacerbated the widening in peripheral bond spreads. Underlying inflation was subdued and policymakers were too concerned with acting pre-emptively to contain inflation expectations. They could hardly be accused of that this time! Based on the outlook for inflation, the case for normalising monetary policy is now much stronger.

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