Stressed but not distressed

- "Eurozone GDP likely rose strongly in 2Q, by at least 0.6% qoq. The rebound mostly reflects an export-driven surge in IP, while construction activity bounced back after the cold winter. Private consumption remains the weak spot. GDP growth should slow substantially in 2H, probably to 1% annualized, but the risk of a double-dip recession is low."
- "While we await results of the stress test to be published on 23 July, we elaborate on recent dynamics of aggregated balance sheets of the eurozone banking system, highlighting some of the differences across national banking sectors. We show that the recent banking crisis has provided incentives to significantly improve the quality of banks’ balance sheets. However, the difficult heritage of the crisis in terms of credit losses and weak economic prospects will keep weighing on banks’ profitability in the coming two years. In this context, remnants of fears regarding the potential impact of the sovereign debt crisis could persist."
- "Since the beginning of the year, Greece has significantly squeezed primary and capital expenditure, exceeding the target for the general government deficit agreed with the EU/IMF. Against these resolute fiscal consolidation steps and persistent financial woes, it is not surprising that the domestic economy has been hit severely. Growth indicators suggest that the recession is indeed deepening, but the GDP contraction should not be more severe than projected by the IMF."
- "The June inflation slowdown should be short lived, and consumer prices will probably accelerate again in July. Energy remains the main source of volatility. Food prices, despite being up only 0.2% yoy, have entered a moderate upward trajectory that seems increasingly well established."
- "The recent upward trend in short-term rates doesn’t worry the ECB, given that the move is fully driven by a drop in excess liquidity as banks are bidding less funds than the ones expiring. We analyze two possible scenarios for interbank rates and the ECB strategy after the publication of the stress test results."
- "Growth momentum in the UK probably accelerated in 2Q, but this is likely to be a cyclical peak, as growth should decelerate in the second half of the year. The fiscal tightening will negatively affect GDP over the next few years, although it won’t derail the recovery. Against this backdrop, it is unlikely that the BoE will hike rates before the end of the year and we are postponing the start of the tightening cycle to 1Q 2011."
- FI: "The summer months are usually characterized by reduced activity and low traded volumes. Seasonality suggests that this is a good time to invest in FI but, with yields very low, statistical evidence should be taken with a pinch of salt. Also, stress test results will be a key driver affecting FI returns in the near term."
- FX: "Fears that the US recovery may prove more sluggish than expected offered the EUR-USD temporary relief, but the global risk picture remains cloudy and EMU woes have not disappeared. Hence, while EUR-USD may still hold the line during the rest of the summer, its medium-term prospects are still skewed to the downside, although room for a large drop has declined significantly."
Unicredit Euro Compass July2010

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