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The House View : Don’t dismiss inflation

April 25, 2017
Analyst:
Politics remain a key focus for markets, but the latest developments in Europe are positive. In France, the first round of the presidential election ruled out the least market-friendly ‎outcome, and although eurosceptic Marine Le Pen is in the run-off as expected, polls suggest reformist Macron should win. The snap election called in Britain for June is a material positive game-changer for Brexit negotiations. Beyond politics, focus has been on fading conviction in so-called Trump trades – higher inflation expectations and interest rates and buoyant risk assets – following speed bumps on the US domestic agenda and increased geopolitical tension. But with global macro momentum solid – though off recent highs – and global growth expected to pick-up next year and approach 4% in 2018, do not dismiss inflation risks, especially in the US. Indeed the macro backdrop comforts the view that we are past peak central bank easing. The Fed will likely raise rates twice more this year and announce the start of the unwind of its balance sheet. The ECB is on track to announce a taper of its quantitative easing programme later this year, but the tone at the April meeting should still be quite cautious. We have revisited our currency views. The snap UK election caused us to increase our sterling forecast but did not alter our medium-term bearish stance. We still expect the euro to break parity but the sequencing of the ECB's tightening policies is key: a shift toward rate rises rather than a withdrawal of quantitative easing would be bullish for the euro. In rates, we expect bond yields to climb beyond near-term election risk. In credit we expect the low default environment to persist. We see valid counters to the consensus view that European equities should outperform US equities. David Folkerts-Landau, Group Chief Economist Key pages this month: P6 French election updateP7 UK snap electionP10 Fading Trump tradesP11 Don’t dismiss inflationP19 Updated views on sterling and euro [more]

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169
Final direct cost of the crisis for taxpayers may remain below 1% of GDP in most developed countries. This is only a small fraction of original commitments and also much lower than initial gross expenditures. Direct fiscal costs are in the end unlikely to exceed 2% in the US and 1% in Germany, while banking-sector rescue programmes in France and the UK might possibly even return a net gain. [more]
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171
Well aware that small farmers are key to world food security, agribusiness players are increasingly partnering with them. They are taking practical steps to secure farmers’ financial success in a sustainable way and integrate them into the global food supply chains... [more]
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172
Production, distribution and access to food are being redefined by new and ongoing forces. Increased scarcity of natural resources, growing demand for food, changing nature of consumption and climate change are posing serious challenges to ensuring food security for the next decades. Still, we believe that the 9 billion of us in 2050 can be fed provided that we make the right decisions. Cross-sectoral innovation is essential, as well as changes to the current systems for producing, distributing and consuming food. Reforms are also crucial in the areas of agricultural support, food aid, trade liberalisation, support regimes for biofuels and intellectual property rights. [more]
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173
Some years prior to the crisis, abundant global liquidity and investors’ strong risk appetite boosted asset prices to very high levels. The state of the global economy and financial markets deteriorated dramatically when the subprime crisis turned into a full-blown global banking and economic crisis. Central banks around the world were forced to inject extra liquidity to support the banking sector, the credit channel and the overall economy. Despite the presence of global excess liquidity short and medium-term risks to CPI inflation appear to be limited because of low capacity utilisation and rising unemployment. However, excess liquidity could still potentially stoke new asset price bubbles. Central banks are aware of this risk and are at the moment preparing post-crisis exit strategies from their current accommodative monetary policy stance. [more]
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175
The ongoing global financial crisis, with its historic dimensions, will have a lasting impact on the banking sector. It will become a less "fashionable" and even more heavily regulated industry with greater state involvement, increased investor scrutiny and substantially higher capital levels. This will lead to lower growth, lower profits and lower volatility for banks than during the past few decades – a trend that is exacerbated by the expected lack of major growth drivers, at least for some time. [more]
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176
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178
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Analyst:
180
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