Euro-zone

Germany

Energy, semi-conductors and Italy’s Green Pass

The continued high level of energy prices strengthens our view that euro-zone inflation will keep rising in the coming months. But by lowering consumers’ purchasing power, it could actually reduce inflationary pressure in the medium term. Meanwhile, data released this week added to the evidence that supply problems are weighing on German car manufacturers, and things are unlikely to get better any time soon. Finally, Italy’s new Green Pass requirement for workers came into force today, sparking protests at a number of ports. But so far the disruption seems to have been limited.

15 October 2021

Wider market confirms recovery in prime data

The latest MSCI data show that the wider market has moved roughly in line with our prime data since the onset of the pandemic and provide support to our outlook for property values.

14 October 2021

We think the sell-off in DM bonds will resume

While the yields of long-dated government bonds in the euro-zone, UK and US have dropped back a bit in recent days, we think they will rise between now and the end of 2023. We expect increases in yields to be particularly large in the US given our view that high inflation there will prove persistent.

14 October 2021
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Assessing the outlook for US equity valuations

We forecast that the valuation of the US stock market will deflate a bit further over the next couple of years, though we are not expecting a sharp decline.

Headwinds strengthening

Supply shortages and rising energy prices are becoming stronger headwinds to the euro-zone recovery. The latest data from Germany showed sharp falls in industrial orders and production, with manufacturers citing supply bottlenecks as a constraint on output. These problems have hit the vehicle sector particularly hard, and in the September German Ifo survey more car producers expected conditions to deteriorate in the next six months than improve. Firms in the construction sector also seem to be struggling to source materials. Meanwhile, the recent huge increases in energy prices are adding to producers’ costs and at the same time pushing up consumer price inflation. While the timeliest business surveys remain consistent with the economy as a whole growing, and we think that supply problems will ease and energy prices fall next year, the risk of stagnation in the final months of this year is rising.

German Industrial Production (August)

The whopping 4.7% m/m fall in German manufacturing production in August left industrial output 9.0% below its February 2020 level. With conditions having worsened since then, Germany’s manufacturing problems threaten to keep overall economic activity well below its pre-pandemic level until next year.

No major policy shift likely following German election

With the CDU/CSU and SDP having won very similar shares of the vote, the composition of Germany’s next government still hangs in the balance. An SDP-led coalition would probably pursue a slightly less restrictive fiscal policy, but any change of direction would be small.

ECB rate hikes a distant prospect, Merkel era at an end

Even as other central banks hinted this week at a shift towards tighter monetary policy, we doubt that the ECB will follow suit. Meanwhile, the business surveys suggested that while supply-chain disruptions and rising input prices took the shine off the region’s recovery in September, GDP probably still grew very strongly in Q3. Next week brings the results of Germany’s federal election on Sunday and the start of probably lengthy coalition negotiations and the usual month-end raft of data.

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