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BOV Market Watch - Week ending 10th December 2021
10 Dec 2021
Eurozone finance ministers optimistic on growth despite Omicron. The eurozone economy is likely to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year in quarterly terms, though the recovery would be uneven across countries and sectors, eurozone finance ministers said on Monday. The finance ministers, known as the Eurogroup, remained upbeat about economic growth prospects despite the Omicron coronavirus variant, and they agreed to continue the moderately supportive fiscal policy next year. The Omicron variant has increased concern among some economists that more lockdowns are inevitable, which could lower growth after this year's roller-coaster ride. "The euro area economy is recovering from the recession faster than expected," the ministers said in a statement, citing the latest European Commission forecasts for gross domestic product growth of five percent in 2021 and 4.3 percent in 2022.

US jobs report reveals mixed results for November. The closely watched employment report released by the Labour Department last week showed employment in the US increased by much less than anticipated in November. The report showed that non-farm employment rose by 210,000 jobs in November after rising by an upwardly revised 546,000 jobs in October. The November jobs print sorely misses economists’ forecast for employment to soar by 550,000 jobs compared to the rise of 531,000 jobs originally registered in the October. Notwithstanding the much weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate inched down to 4.2 percent in November from 4.6 percent in the previous month. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to edge down to 4.5 percent. With the much bigger than expected decrease, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since hitting 3.5 percent in February of 2020 before the onset of the Covid pandemic.

German industrial output increased in October. German industrial production increased by 2.8 percent month-on-month in October, from a fall of 0.5 percent month-on-month seen in September. It was the third monthly increase seen this year. Economists had forecast production to grow by 0.8 percent. On a year-on-year basis, industrial production was still down by 0.6 percent, from -0.4 percent in September. The increase in industrial production was driven by all sectors. Excluding energy and construction, industrial production was up by 3.2 percent in October. The strong industrial data offers a glimmer of hope, but supply chain shortcomings have not been resolved, implying that the October industrial data may rather be a short-lived rebound than a sustainable turning point.

UK house prices rose at faster pace in 15 years. House prices in Britain grew at the fastest pace in 15 years over the past three months, mortgage lender Halifax has. House prices rose by 3.4 percent in the three months to the end of November, the sharpest increase since late 2006, and are 8.2 percent higher than a year earlier. The average UK property price hit a fresh record high of 272,992 British pounds in November, Halfax said. However, it said the pace of growth was unlikely to continue next year as household finances come under pressure. "The performance of the market continues to be underpinned by a shortage of available properties, a strong labour market and keen competition amongst mortgage providers keeping rates close to historic lows," Halifax Managing Director Russell Galley said.

China consumer prices rise 2.3 percent on year in November. Consumer prices in China were up by 2.3 percent year-on-year in November, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. That was just shy of expectations for a gain of 2.5 percent and up from 1.5 percent in October. From a month-on-month perspective, the consumer price index, or CPI, rose by 0.4 percent in November, 0.3 percentage point lower than last month, due to the combined effects of seasonal factors, rising costs and the spreading the Covid pandemic. The bureau also said that producer prices jumped by 12.9 percent year-on-year, topping forecasts for 12.4 percent and down from 13.5 percent a month earlier.
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Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is a public limited company regulated by the MFSA and is licensed to carry out the business of banking and investment services in terms of the Banking Act (Cap. 371 of the Laws of Malta) and the Investment Services Act (Cap.370. of the Laws of Malta).