Since the beginning of November the prices of both risky security classes such as equities and credit-safe government bonds have been on the rise. The market appears to be increasingly pricing in a so-called “soft” landing for the economy. The probability of this actually increased over the course of the year. However, the economic data published in recent weeks and months does not contradict the “hard” landing scenario.
The financial environment has become slightly more relaxed since the beginning of November. This fact is manifesting itself on the market in the form of falling yields and rising share prices. This week, two indicators relating to the US economy in particular could provide clues as to the sustainability of this trend since the beginning of the month: retail sales and consumer prices.
The robust labor market and many special offers give hope for another record Christmas season in the USA. The latest market research data also shows that, despite inflation and high interest rates, Americans are once again planning to spend more over the holidays this year.
India was recently in the spotlight as the venue for the G20 summit. Shortly thereafter, however, the relationship with the major Western states cooled. How will the West’s relationship with India develop and what role will the country play in the future?
Roughly two weeks after the surprising terrorist attacks by the radical Islamic Hamas ruling the Gaza Strip, on targets in Israel, the military conflict in the country continues unabated. The war in the region also continues to dominate the financial and commodity markets, with global concerns that the conflict could possibly spread to other countries in the Middle East being the main driver of uncertainty.
“Higher for longer” has become the mantra of the powerful central bankers in recent months. Monetary policy is likely to remain restrictive longer than originally expected. Regardless of whether the major central banks will follow up with a final interest rate step in autumn, the interest rate peak has probably been reached and “the worst” is behind us.
In line with the surprisingly strong economic indicators in the US, government bond yields have risen significantly in recent months. This is putting pressure on the prices of many classes of securities and intensifying discussions about how restrictive interest rate policy really is. Could the higher level of yields make the central bank’s job easier in the form of further interest rate hikes?
In the past, sharp hikes in key interest rates often triggered a recession. After the latest economic and labour market data, hopes are growing for a soft landing of the economy.
At the annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, summed up the uncertain environment as “navigating by the stars in a cloudy sky”. This relates, among other things, to the uncertainty about the level of the neutral interest rate, the lagged effect of key-lending rate hikes on economic growth and inflation, and the drivers of inflation.
Currently, the most important indicators point to average global economic growth and falling inflation. The probability of an immediate recession has decreased significantly. But the risks in the medium term remain. Chief economist Gerhard Winzer explains which three scenarios are currently emerging in the blog post.