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  • China – Beyond the financial risk

    Edition 6 December 2018

    Chinese debt has been a major topic over the past few years. And not without reason, as it entails a risk of financial instability that is real, despite the existence of buffers. But possibly overly much so, to the point of overshadowing the rest. However, beyond the financial risk, there are also other risks, questions and uncertainties, linked to the recent political and institutional developments, as well as the deterioration of relations with the United States.

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  • France – Pensions: The state of play and future reform issues

    Edition December 3, 2018

    The reforms in the 2000s warded off the risk of a severe deterioration in the pension systems deficit. The financial balance, which is currently close to equilibrium, is likely to remain so in the short term. It is felt to be positive in favourable scenarios, but would again go into deficit, by 1-1.5% of GDP a year from 2030 in the more cautious scenarios. A new pensions reform has been announced whose prime objective is to roll out a universal regime that would be clearer and fairer. It would still be a pay-as-you-go system but would shift completely to a points-based regime.

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  • France – Housing Market: Recent developments and outlook for 2018-2019

    Edition October 31, 2018

    After an exceptional year in 2017, the housing market has again been sustained in 2018, but is not showing any signs of a bubble or overheating. On the contrary, signs of cooling have been growing, with a slight dip in sales of pre-owned homes, a more marked drop in sales of new-build homes, and a slowdown in prices and mortgage lending. In 2019, the market will continue to slow very gently, with a slight fall-off in transactions and a slowdown of housing prices.

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  • Italy – Economic environment : Under pressure

    Edition 26 October 2018

    The government's single-minded focus on growth as a way of ensuring the sustainability of public accounts is a risky wager. The deficit will rise to 2.4% in 2019 but then fall to 2.1% in 2020 and 1.8% in 2021. Budgetary expansion will occur next year but will be followed by a neutral budgetary stance. Growth projections are brisk, at 1.5% in 2019 (after 1.2% in 2018), 1.6% in 2020 and 1.4% in 2021. The European Commission has detected and noted a serious breach of the budgetary policy requirements set out in the Stability and Growth Pact. The Commission is now threatening to initiate procedures against Italy for its excessive deficit.

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  • Italy – Public Finance : 2019 budget, a European challenge

    Edition 24 October 2018

    All eyes are glued to the 2019 draft budget. The power struggle between the Economy Ministry and the leaders of the two governing parties was won by the latter. Finally, the deficit will definitely rise to 2.4% in 2019, but will fall to 2.1% in 2020 and 1.8% in 2021. We will, therefore see a fiscal expansion next year, but the fiscal stance will subsequently become neutral once more. The long march towards a cancellation of the structural deficit will then resume from 2022.

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  • World – Macroeconomic Scenario for 2018-2019: "And yet it moves"

    Edition October 4, 2018

    Risk-aversion translates into periods of severe turbulence and increased volatility. It justifies the fact that core long-term rates are not picking up significantly, despite upbeat growth in the US, satisfactory nominal growth in Germany and a strong USD. Risk can also, obviously, lead to a downward revision to growth forecasts and negatively affect investment behaviour.

    Thus, things could prove delicate in 2020, with a widespread downswing in growth. In the US, when the fiscal stimulus has largely run its course and the fed funds rate is in restrictive territory, growth will inevitably slow sharply. The Eurozone, for its part, will need to cope with significantly more difficult times without having built up the kind of room-for-manoeuvre needed to boost dangerously flagging growth.

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  • United Kingdom – Brexit enters a critical phase

    Edition August 17, 2018

    In the autumn, the UK and the EU have to reach an agreement on the terms of the UK's departure from the EU and a ‘framework for a future relationship'. Our central scenario remains that a last-minute deal will eventually be reached (most likely at the European Council meeting on 13 December) and that a ‘cliff-edge' scenario will be avoided. Arguably, the political risks surrounding our scenario are varied and extreme, and can shift the Brexit process in one direction or another.

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  • World – Macroeconomic Scenario for 2018-2019: The end is not yet nigh

    Edition July 10, 2018

    In the Eurozone, the economic slowdown in Q118 has raised a number of questions, often met by overly pessimistic, even alarmist, responses. However, the shock, which can be put down to relatively sluggish exports, does not signal an early end to the growth cycle. There are no crippling constraints on supply, particularly when it comes to the workforce: labour tensions will not derail growth. Growth is subsiding and is coming under threat from external factors, with the tightening of US monetary policy less worrying than the risk of a trade war escalation. In light of the likely retaliation by the US's trading partners (though they would have to be moderate, given the losses such retaliation would entail for the countries concerned), it would be overambitious to put a figure on the potential cost of a war that has yet to take shape fully. A trade war would obviously hamper growth. However, even now, before any escalation has occurred, the potential damage to confidence and the ensuing adverse effect on investment decisions is a real cause for concern, in our view.

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  • Emerging Countries – Monthly News Digest

    Edition May 29, 2018

    Highlights: What is to be done with the Balkans, Europe's enfants terribles? Is there a risk of a hard landing in Turkey? Saudi Arabia's authorities are concerned by the sharp rise in unemployment. Moody's has downgraded Angola's sovereign debt rating by a notch. In India, victory leaves a bitter taste. Argentina is playing an old, hopeless and costly game.

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  • Europe – Foreign trade – Trade war: the price to be paid

    Edition May 2018

    The announcements concerning the Trump administration's trade policy present a serious challenge for the European Union. If it fails to bring the US back to the WTO's negotiating table, the European Union could either enter into bilateral negotiations, or lodge a complaint with the WTO in order to obtain compensation. Both options carry a cost, be it having to renounce multilateralism, or face an escalation of the trade conflict with the US.

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