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China ENG Macro Focus ENG

China: Key takeaways from the Government Work Report for 2021 (政府工作报告)

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Economy ENG Eurozone Macro Focus ENG

Macro Focus: Economic impact of Lockdowns 2.0

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ENG Macro Focus ENG United States

Macro Focus: US Federal Debt and Deficits to 2050

The Congressional Budget Office published this week its annual Long-Term Budget Outlook presenting its projections of what federal deficits, debt, spending, and revenues would be for the next 30 years if current laws governing taxes and spending generally did not change. Federal deficits are projected to increase from 5% of gross GDP in 2030 to 13% by 2050. The projected budget deficits would boost federal debt to 104% of GDP in 2021, to 107% of GDP – the highest in US history – in 2023, and to a whopping 195% of GDP by 2050.

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ENG Macro Focus ENG

Macro Focus: Impact of COVID-19 on E-Commerce sales

The Census Bureau of the US Department of Commerce announced on August 18 that U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the second quarter of 2020, adjusted for seasonal variation, was $211.5 billion, an increase of 31.8 percent from the first quarter of 2020.

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Central Bank Watch ENG Macro Focus ENG

Macro Focus: What if the FED decided to go NIRP?

The Federal Reserve has so far resisted the general compulsion to implement negative interest rates among the world’s major advanced central banks. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has repeatedly insisted that the Fed is not considering a negative interest rates policy (NIRP). But what if there is a sudden policy turnaround? Beyond what it has already done, the Fed has quite a limited number of policy options it might consider to prop up the US economy and foster its recovery from the Great Virus Crisis. As prominent economists like Kenneth Rogoff convincingly argue, NIRP might be the most efficient option at the Fed’s disposal. A turnaround on this issue is far from granted, but were it to happen it would usher a new era with tremendous economic, financial and geopolitical consequences for the world.

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Economy ENG Macro Focus ENG

Coronavirus: an update with facts, figures and a few questions

The new coronavirus – COVID-19 or MERS-COV 2 – crossed the 10 million mark of reported cases and inflicted half a million deaths. Although many countries have managed to contain the spread of the pandemic, the number of reported cases and deaths continues to increase. the worst is yet to come, according to remarks made on June 29 by the WHO Director-General. How have different countries across the world dealt with the pandemic so far ? What is the effect of lockdowns on deaths from the COVID-19? Is there a risk of a second wave of the pandemic after the end of the lockdowns and the easing of social distancing measures?

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Economy ENG GCC Macro Focus ENG MENA ENG

Macro focus: How resilient are the GCC economies to the coronavirus recession?

The GCC countries have been hit hard by the most severe macroeconomic shock in their history as independent nations. The collapse of oil prices earlier this year dealt a heavy blow to oil exporters all around the world. While some of the GCC countries are among the most wealthy nations on earth, the oil crisis caused their fiscal balances and their current accounts to deteriorate sharply in the face of the twin oil shock and demand crisis provoked by the coronavirus. Beyond some common features, there are disparities in terms of resilience to the crisis and capacity to deal with its consequences. Leaving appart the special case of Dubai and to some extent Bahrain, the GCC governments must accelerate their efforts to transform their economies.

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Central Bank Watch Economy ENG Macro Focus ENG United States

Macro Focus: Discretion over rules. The Federal Reserve’s “puzzle and conquer” strategy

From its latest moves, it appears that the Federal Reserve has two important messages for the markets and for everyone else. 1. Don’t fight the Fed. 2. Don’t expect any guidance from the Fed.
These two messages are two facets of the same “puzzle and conquer” strategy that seeks to provide support to the economy and to the markets while preventing the spread moral hazard and the build-up of self-fulfilling market bubbles. This strategy is risky as it may err on either side by untertaining a haze of uncertainty over its course of actions. However, it is probably the best strategy as long as the macro outlook and the fiscal side of the policy mix equation remain difficult to project.

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Bonds Economy ENG European Union Eurozone Macro Focus ENG Sovereign Bonds

Macro Focus: ECB macro projections and the PEPP extension: shooting in the dark

Following the meeting of its Governing Council on June 4, the ECB announced an extension of its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) with an additional enveloppe of €600 billion. The total asset purchases made by the Eurosystem (ECB+ National Central Banks) to counter the coronavirus crisis including PEPP and additional APP purchases is now expected to reach almost €1.5 trillion. The bleak outlook for inflation shows the profound deflationary forces at work in the Euro area. Judging from the experience of the last few years, we believe the ECB’s assessment of an uptick in core inflation by 2022 to be too optimistic.

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Bonds Economy ENG European Union Eurozone Macro Focus ENG Sovereign Bonds

Macro Focus: An analysis of the European Commission’s Next Generation €750 billion recovery plan

the European Commission unveiled a €750 billion “Next Generation” recovery programme (€440 billion grants, €60 billion guarantees and €250 billion loans) over the 2021-2024 period. The Next Generation programme would preallocate funds to the Member States prioritising the green and digital transitions mainly through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (€560 billion). It includes additional cohesion funding for €45 billion. As we show in our analysis, Italy, Spain, Poland, Greece, Romania and Portugal would be the main beneficiaries of this proposal which is likely to meet resistance from the “Frugal four” (Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Denmark).
For the first time in EU history, fiscal expenditure would be financed through debt issued by the European Commission and backed by all the Member states, along the line of a French-German proposal. However, while this proposal is a welcome step toward fiscal integration, it is still short of a Hamiltonian moment for Europe”. The countercyclical policies needed to close the output gap left by the coronavirus crisis will still have to be conducted at the Member State level.