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BOV Market Watch - Week ending 24th July 2020
24 Jul 2020

EU leaders reach €1.8 trillion deal on recovery plan. EU leaders agreed early on Tuesday to an unprecedented €1.8 trillion aid and budget deal aimed at helping hard-hit members of the bloc to recover from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The package includes a €750 billion fund to be sent as loans and grants, as well as a seven-year €1 trillion EU budget. The historic deal is viewed by many economists as good news for the European economy. The package marks a precedent for common debt borrowing at the EU level, something that many countries, including Germany, opposed for a long time. But this resistance had softened in the wake of the covid-19 crisis.

German consumer confidence strengthens as shoppers head into August. German shoppers are digging deeper into their pockets as they head into August, a closely-watch survey said on Thursday, crediting the government’s coronavirus stimulus efforts with lifting spirits. The GfK institute’s forward-looking measure climbed to -0.3 points, the third monthly increase in a row and a large jump on July’s figure of -9.4. The expected reading was -5.0. Consumer confidence has been rising steadily since Europe’s largest economy emerged from lockdown in May and is fast catching up with pre-pandemic levels. “German consumers are leaving the corona shock from the spring of this year more and more behind,” GfK said in a statement. The government’s July to December reduction in value added tax as well as the prospect of a €300-euro bonus per child later this year have encouraged Germans to open their wallets, they said.

Rightmove reports post lockdown surge in UK house prices. UK house prices rose in July suggesting that the market is gathering momentum, property website Rightmove said on Monday. The average asking price of homes rose by 2.4 percent in July from the March pre-lockdown period, to stand at £312,625. On an annual basis, asking prices increased by 3.7 percent. This was the highest increase since December 2016. "These figures are the earliest indicator of house price trends," Rightmove Director Miles Shipside said. They show on average prices gently rising not falling, and this will be reflected in the coming months in other house price reports.

US existing home sales rebounded at record pace in June. After reporting three consecutive months of decline, the US housing market is staging a recovery amid the pandemic, shrugging off high unemployment and a rising number of infections as buyers with pent-up demand seize on record-low mortgage rates. The National Association of Realtors reported on Wednesday that sales of existing homes spiked by 20.7 percent to an annual rate of 4.72 million in June after plunging by 9.7 percent to a rate of 3.91 million in May. Economists had expected sales to skyrocket by about 24.5 percent. But despite the substantial monthly rebound, NAR noted that existing home sales in June were 11.3 percent below their level the same month a year ago.

Malta inflation rose in June. Inflation in Malta rose in June after easing in the previous month, official data from the National Statistics Office showed on Friday. The EU measure of harmonized index of consumer prices, or HICP, rose by one percent in June, after a 0.9 percent increase in May. In April, the index had increased by 1.1 percent. Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages surged by 3.3 percent yearly in June. Prices for health gained 2.2 percent and those of transport rose 2.0 percent. On a monthly basis, the HICP rose 1.4 percent in June.
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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).