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BOV Market Watch - Week ending 24th June 2022
24 Jun 2022
Eurozone consumer confidence fall to post-pandemic low in June. Consumer morale in the eurozone plummeted in June, suggesting soaring inflation across the currency bloc is affecting households’ sentiment and willingness to spend. The European Commission said on Wednesday that its gauge of consumer confidence in the countries that share the euro currency fell to minus 23.6 in June from a revised figure of minus 21.2 in May. Economists had predicted the measure to fall to minus 20.5. The reading was the lowest since April 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, when eurozone consumer sentiment had slumped to 24.4. Across the entire 27-country European Union, the consumer confidence had fell to -24. Wednesday's numbers come after eurozone inflation spiked to a record high of 8.1 percent in May, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine helped push energy and food prices higher.

German producer prices rise at record speed in May. Producer prices in Germany rose at a record pace in May, the fastest increase since the data series began in 1949, the country's statistics office reported on Monday. According to Destatis, producer prices in Europe’s largest economy surged by 33.6 percent in May year-on-year or by 1.6 percent during the previous month. Destatis said that increased energy prices were "mainly responsible" for the jump. "So far, companies have probably only partially passed on the massive increase in producer prices to end consumers," Commerzbank economist Ralph Solveen said. He further commented that the underlying momentum for consumer prices is also likely to remain at least very high, and possibly even increase somewhat.

UK inflation strongest since 1982. Soaring food prices pushed British consumer price inflation to the highest rate out of the Group of Seven countries, underlining the severity of the cost-of-living crunch. UK inflation, the rate at which prices rise, spiked to 9.1 percent in the 12 months to May, from nine percent in April, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Fuel and energy prices are the biggest drivers of inflation, but the ONS said food costs had pushed it up even further. The increase was in line with economists’ expectations and signals no quick end to the cost-of-living squeeze facing millions in Britain. The Bank of England says inflation could hit 11 percent in October when a cap on domestic energy bills is lifted.

US existing home sales show another steep drop in May.  According to a report published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales in the US showed another steep drop during May. Sales dropped by 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.41 million units, according to the NAR. April’s sales were revised slightly lower as well.  This is the weakest reading since June 2020, which was during the early months of the Covid pandemic. Despite the fourth straight monthly drop in sales and declining affordability, the housing market remains fairly hot, with properties typically staying on the market for a record low 16 days according to the NAR.

Australia manufacturing index inches higher. The manufacturing sector in Australia continued to grow in June, and at a slightly faster rate, the latest survey revealed on Thursday with a manufacturing PMI coming in at 55.8. That is up from 55.7 in May, and it moves further above the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction. Manufacturers also reported increasing their purchasing activity to cope with higher demand levels. The 12-month outlook across the Australian manufacturing sector remained positive in June. That said, the degree of confidence slipped to a 26-month low.
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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).