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BOV Market Watch - Week ending 10th June 2022
10 Jun 2022
World Bank downgrades global growth outlook. The global economy may be headed for years of weak growth and rising prices, a toxic combination that will test the stability of dozens of countries still struggling to rebound from the pandemic, the World Bank warned on Tuesday. The 189-country anti-poverty agency predicted that the world economy will expand by 2.9 percent this year. This would be markedly lower from the 5.7 percent global growth in 2021 and the 4.1 percent it had forecast for 2022 in its January outlook. Advanced and a good number of developing economies had their forecasts also lowered due to the high inflation caused by the supply-chain disruption and higher commodity prices after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Eurozone GDP growth speeds up in Q1 on higher inventories. The eurozone economy grew much faster in the first quarter of the year than in the previous three months despite the impact of the war in Ukraine, the European Union statistics office said on Wednesday, revising its earlier estimates sharply higher. GDP in the currency bloc expanded by 0.6 percent from the fourth quarter, when the economy had advanced by 0.2 percent.  Economic growth improved to 5.4 percent from 4.7 percent on an annual basis with the latest estimate being bigger than the initial estimate of 5.1 percent. However, Kevin Swift, Senior Economist for Global Chemicals at ICIS, said that the largest positive contribution to the growth figures in the first quarter came from inventories, which can “change quickly should inventory-to-sales ratios downstream” reach elevated levels.

UK annual house price growth slow for 3rd month in a row – Halifax. The average UK house price hit a fresh high in May, rising for the 11th consecutive month, according to Halifax data, whilst the annual growth rate slowed, signalling that the cost-of-living crisis is cooling the market. House prices climbed by one percent month-on-month in May, slower than the 1.2 percent rise in April. On an annual basis, house price growth slowed slightly to 10.5 percent in May from 10.8 percent in April, being the slowest rate of growth since the start of 2022. “Despite the very real cost of living pressures some people are experiencing, the imbalance between supply and demand for properties remains the primary reason driving the continued climb in house prices,” Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said in a report.

China inflation climbs 2.1 percent On Year in May. China’s inflation moderated in May as global commodity prices cooled and consumer demand was weaker, allowing space for the country’s central bank to ease monetary policy and for the government to add stimulus to boost up the economy. Consumer prices in the world’s second largest economy increased by 2.1 percent on year in May, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Friday. That slightly missed expectations for 2.2 percent and was at the same level of the April reading.  On a monthly basis, inflation decreased by 0.2 percent compared with expectations for a fall of 0.3 percent following the 0.4 percent increase registered in April. “In May, the pandemic control continued to improve, with overall sufficient supplies in the consumer market, CPI has decreased compared to last month, and the year-on-year increase remained stable,” said senior NBS statistician Dong Lijuan.

RBI hikes repo rate by 50 bps as inflationary pressures intensify. The Reserve Bank of India raised its key interest rate by 50 basis points on Wednesday, as widely expected. That was the second hike in as many months, in an effort to cool persistently elevated inflation in Asia's third-largest economy. The policy repo rate now stands at 4.90 percent, still below its pre-pandemic level. In a conference after the meeting, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikantha Das said the bank will continue to be decisive and proactive and remains focused on bringing down inflation to target.
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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).