Recession Inflation expectations Energy prices Monetary tightening Covid Real estate

Persistently high inflation and aggressive monetary policy tightening seem set to cause a global recession. Central banks around the world have been raising interest rates this year with a degree of synchronicity not seen over the past five decades. Meanwhile, confidence among firms and households has fallen to depressed levels. The pace of monetary tightening will likely slow in the coming months. However, more forceful action might be required to dampen demand and drive inflation out of the economic system. Another risk is that higher interest rates cause problems in the financial system which then seep into the real economy.

The eurozone is suffering from the surge in energy prices, rising interest rates and weaker external demand. The question is not whether the region faces a recession, but rather how deep and how long it will last. And with inflation to stay uncomfortably high, the ECB will press on with tightening policy. The US economy will likely experience a milder recession in 2023, as rate hikes weigh on consumption and investment (particularly residential). Inflation may well fall back more rapidly than widely expected, opening the door for rate cuts again from late 2023 onwards. In China, despite greater policy stimulus, growth will remain depressed next year as the zero-COVID approach continues to weigh on activity, exports fall, and property construction fails to recover materially.



Hans Bevers

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