Monitoring economic and financial developments in more than 40 countries helps us to develop rich narratives around the outlook for global and regional activity, employment and inflation. We release our research publications when we have something to say, not because it is the third Friday of the month. We aim to be provocative and insightful in our research, unafraid to challenge the mainstream view where we think it is lacking.
Our most recent publications are summarised below. To access our full publications or to browse through our publication catalogue, please contact us by firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Credit Perspective
What if we have to pay it back? (December 2019)
A surge in US corporate indebtedness since 2013 imperils global economic progress. The enthusiastic take up of the credit offer has not been matched by corporate earnings growth, creating multiple contexts of vulnerability. Consumer staples and discretionary, healthcare, IT and utilities deserve special mention. Small is dangerous.Free Trial
Global Inflation Perspective
US consumption is about to fold (March 2020)
Growing uncertainty around Covid-19 has triggered panic buying of government and toilet paper alike. Consumer confidence surveys will soon reflect significant and lasting disruption to household incomes and tighter credit conditions, breaking the sequence of consumption growth and ushering in much lower nominal GDP growth.Free Trial
May 2020 - Beware the bear steepener
Yield curve control in the JGB market is one thing; yield curve control in the US Treasury market is quite another. Non-residents own 13 per cent of the JGB market but 35 per cent of US Treasuries, and they sold a net US$300bn in March. The gigantic expenditures of the Federal government and the stupendous liquidity injections by the Federal Reserve have amplified inflation uncertainty and validated fears of a protracted slump in activity. Both factors are associated with a rise in the term premium. We expect the Treasury yield curve to steepen in the 2- to 10-year segment against the wishes of the authorities and the expectations of institutional investors. This could be a painful reunion with reality.
In the mid-1970s, mass unemployment coincided with a painful spike in inflation, particularly in the UK following a disastrous relaxation of credit conditions. A plunge in output and employment is neither necessary nor sufficient to deliver a weak pricing environment. Western governments have offered income guarantees with one hand but mandated a massive cut in productivity with the other. The inflation profile for the coming months is highly uncertain
Growth was already weakening
Nominal GDP growth fell for the sixth consecutive quarter, shrugging off the year-long pivot to central bank easing. Coronavirus struck the global economy in its hour of weakness, sending activity and pricing tumbling towards the abyss. Despite policy interventions of epic proportions, the foundations for a rapid recovery are lacking.
Global Inflation Heat Maps
The lockdown looms large
The effects of the coronavirus shutdowns are material in the March data. The hit to consumer spending, with the exception of food and drink, is visible across the board. The collapse in the oil price and generalised absence of demand will continue to weigh on inflationary measures. However, beware the policy-induced inflationary backlash!
Macro Update April 2020
Smiling from ear to ear
The downfall of the US Dollar will be great when it arrives, but rumours of its demise have been exaggerated. The role of the Dollar as pre-eminent collateral has been reasserted by the global pandemic and reinforced by US selectivity in the approval of FX swap lines. A surging TED spread, signifying banking stress, is Dollar-positive.Free Trial