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BOV Market Watch - Week ending 15th October 2021
15 Oct 2021

IMF warns of growing threats to global economic recovery. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday said the global economic recovery is continuing, but the momentum has weakened due to the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic triggered by the Delta variant. In its latest World Economic Outlook report, the fund revised its headline forecast for global growth this year down slightly by 0.1 of a percentage point to 5.9 percent while leaving its projections for 2022 unchanged at 4.9 percent. The IMF cited supply disruptions as the principal reason for the downward revision of developed economies and the worsening pandemic dynamics in low-income developing economies. “This modest headline revision, however, masks large downgrades for some countries,” said the IMF, noting that “the outlook for the low-income developing country group has darkened considerably due to worsening pandemic dynamics.”

US September annual inflation rate at highest since 2008. US consumer prices increased solidly in September as Americans paid more for food, rent and a range of other goods. The consumer price index rose by 0.4 percent in September after increasing by 0.3 percent the month before, the US Labour Department said on Wednesday. During the past 12 months, the prices consumers paid for goods and services in the world’s largest economy increased by 5.4 percent in September. That rate matched June and July and brings the annualised rate of inflation back to its highest level since 2008. Excluding food and energy prices, the so-called core consumer prices edged up by 0.2 percent in September after inching up by 0.1 percent in August. The uptick in core prices matched economist estimates.

German economic institutes cut Germany’s growth forecast as supply woes bite. Germany's top economic institutes upgraded the country’s economic growth projection for 2022 but lowered their projection for the current year, citing supply bottlenecks in the manufacturing sector. The five institutes – the RWI in Essen, the DIW in Berlin, the Ifo in Munich, the IfW in Kiel and Halle’s IWH – cut their growth projections for this year to 2.4 percent from the 3.7 percent they had forecast earlier this year. They said, however, that during the course of 2022 the economy should return to normal capacity utilization as the adverse effects of the pandemic and supply bottlenecks are gradually overcome. They raised the 2022 growth forecast to 4.8 percent from their previous forecast of 3.9 percent.

China factory gate inflation highest on record. China's factory gate prices – a gauge of what manufacturers charge wholesalers for products - grew at the fastest pace on record last month. Producer price inflation rose more-than-expected to 10.7 percent in September from 9.5 percent in August, the National Bureau of Statistics reported. The rate was forecast to rise to 10.5 percent. The soaring costs of goods comes as Chinese companies face power cuts and surging commodity prices. China is the world's biggest exporter and so price rises could affect other countries.  Major power shortages in China - caused by a jump in demand from industry, high energy prices and the country's shift to cleaner energy sources - have halted production at factories including suppliers of global brands like Apple.

Australia unemployment rate climbs in September. Australia’s unemployment rate has worsened for the first time in almost a year, with experts warning the jobless queue will not fully recover for months as pandemic lockdowns slowly ease and businesses re-open. Almost 140,000 fewer people were employed in September than the month before, the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows, pushing the jobless rate to 4.6 percent amid lockdowns across the country. This was a 0.1 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate and the first rise since October 2020. The participation rate tumbled to 64.5 percent, missing forecasts for 64.7 percent and down sharply from 65.2 percent in the previous month. 

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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).