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2021/07/06 / Erste Group Research

Global Strategy 3Q 2021


Central banks and economic stimulus programs are supporting the economic recovery, with the expansion exhibiting much stronger momentum in the US than in the euro zone. Higher inflation rates are considered to be transitory and the monetary policies of the ECB and the Fed remain expansionary. Investment classes with higher risk appear attractive in this environment. We continue to favor investments in equities and corporate bonds from the BB-rated segment as well as BB-rated hybrid bonds issued by IG-rated corporations.

Economic Outlook: Sustained steps toward opening up the economy support the expansion in the services sector and thus the dynamic economic recovery. In the 2nd half of the year the euro zone economy should benefit from the first injection of funds from the EU recovery plan. Despite expected growth rates of 4.4% for 2021 and 4.1% for 2022, we estimate that the euro zone economy will not approach its potential before the end of 2022 at the earliest. This means that price pressures will remain low over the medium term, even though inflation will rise significantly this year due to base effects and special factors. In the US stimulus packages are heating up the economy and effects from the restart of the economy are pushing inflation rates up. However, the rise in inflation rates over the course of this year should be transitory. The reason is that after initial teething problems, the supply side should realign itself with demand again.

Bonds: The ECB is not yet satisfied with the expected pace of inflation rates in the medium term and maintains its expansionary monetary policy. In the autumn its new monetary policy strategy will be published and we expect indications regarding the continuation of the PEPP program after March 2022. Due to a muted inflation outlook coupled with securities purchases, we expect yields on 10-year German Bunds to increase only moderately. The Fed classifies currently elevated inflation data as transitory, but acknowledges progress in the labor market. Interest rate expectations have shifted slightly forward. As the US economy is already operating close to is potential, inflation risks are higher than in the euro zone as well. We expect tapering of securities purchases in the US from January 2022 onward. Given the data and risks, we therefore regard yields on US treasuries with medium and long term maturities as too low and expect a significant increase in coming months.

Currencies: Economic optimism combined with expansionary central bank policy is leading to a sideways move in the gold price, particularly as stock market investments appear much more attractive. The economic recovery and purchasing power parities suggest that the Swiss franc will weaken against the euro. Interest rate differentials justify a EURUSD exchange rate of 1.2 in coming months.

Stocks: The uptrend in the global stock market index is likely to continue due to expectations for strong revenue and earnings growth and we anticipate developed markets to outperform emerging markets in 3Q. We continue to view potential setbacks in the benchmark indexes as buying opportunities. The global stock market index should achieve a gain in a range of 0% to +5% in 3Q.

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General information

AuthorErste Group Research
Date2021/07/06
Languageen
Product nameGlobal Strategy
Topic in focusCredits/ Corporate bonds, FX, Macro/ Fixed income
Economy in focusAustria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Eurozone, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, United States
Currency in focusCroatian Kuna, Czech Koruna, Euro, Hungarian Forint, Polish Zloty, Romanian Leu, Serbian dinar, Swiss Franc, Turkish Lira, US Dollar
Sector in focus-
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