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BOV Market Watch - Week ending 3rd December 2021
03 Dec 2021
Eurozone inflation rises to record high. Inflation in the eurozone accelerated to the highest level on record in November, preliminary data by Eurostat showed on Tuesday, prompting further questions about what the European Central Bank’s next move will be with respect to its monetary policy. Annual inflation advanced to 4.9 percent in November from 4.1 percent in October. The rate was above economists’ forecast of 4.5 percent. Likewise, core inflation, that excludes volatile items like energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, increased to a record 2.6 percent from two percent in October. Core inflation was forecast to advance to 2.3 percent. High gas prices and the cost of imported goods were blamed for the spike in inflation. Energy prices, including oil and gas, jumped by 27 percent from November 2020, Eurostat said.

Fed's Beige Book highlights risks of supply chain disruptions, labour shortages. The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book reported that economic activity grew at a modest to moderate pace in most Federal Reserve districts during October and early November. “Prices rose at a moderate to robust pace, with price hikes widespread across sectors of the economy,” the survey found. Input costs increases were “wide-ranging” due to strong demand for raw materials, logistical challenges and labour market tightness, the report said. Tight labour markets meant wages were also rising at a “robust” pace across most of the Fed’s 12 districts, according to the report. One silver lining was that some inputs were becoming more widely available, easing some of the pressure on prices.

UK house prices return to double-digit growth. House prices in the UK continued their upwards climb in November, reaching double-digit growth again as demand remained strong after the end of the stamp duty holiday and the furlough job support scheme. The average price of UK houses rose by 0.9 percent in November, according to Nationwide, a building society. This comes on the heels of an increase of 0.7 percent in October, taking the average UK property value to £252,687. Average house prices in November were ten percent higher than a year earlier. House prices have risen to almost 15 percent above levels seen in March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK, Nationwide said. The continuing rising prices appear to be in part due to a reduction in the supply of houses available to buyers. 

German unemployment declines more than expected. German unemployment declined more than expected in November, data published by the Federal Labour Agency showed on Tuesday. The number of people out of work decreased by 34,000 from October, when unemployment was down by 40,000. Economists had forecast a monthly fall of 25,000. As a result, the unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in November from 5.4 percent in October. The rate came in line with economists' average forecasts. "The recovery of the last few months has continued on the labour market," Federal Employment Agency CEO Detlef Scheele, said. Consequences of the current, worrying coronavirus situation in Germany have hardly shown up so far.

China Services PMI falls to 52.1 In November. The services sector in China continued to expand in November, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from Caixin showed on Friday with a Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) score of 52.1. That is down from 53.8 in October, although it remains above the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction. Total new business rose at the slowest rate for three months in November and only marginally overall. Firms indicated that measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus had dampened new order inflows. Foreign demand also rose only slightly, with the pandemic also cited as a key reason for relatively muted growth. Despite the disruption to business activity, firms remained strongly confident that output will increase over the next year.
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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).