The general thinking now is that the present crisis is a one in a hundred years kind of event (what if it isn’t) and that future generations will be able to claw back the debt levels over time. However, a publication from the Lancet in the UK suggests that there is a falling population that could fall by 9% at the end of the century. So, this means that there will be a large decline in numbers of working age adults. There are some countries which are projected to be particularly badly hit. Japan, Spain, Portugal, and Thailand are expected to see their populations halve by the end of the century. The countries which are projected to see 25% population declines are also projected to see a higher ration of older to younger people. So, more of this debt is going to be shouldered by fewer as an ageing population raises further spending considerations.
What will happen next?
There will be moves by governments to start to cap this debt problem. It will not be allowed to continue unless we get into worst disasters than we presently are in. The main concern is that of default. As long as willingness to repay remains, then the debt pile can be reduced. The main risk is if the debt becomes too great and the easiest solution is to just walk away…
The full statement by the BOE on its August policy decision
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) sets monetary policy to meet the 2% inflation target, and in a way that helps to sustain growth and employment. In that context, its challenge at present is to respond to the economic and financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. At its meeting ending on 4 August 2020, the MPC voted unanimously to maintain Bank Rate at 0.1%. The Committee voted unanimously for the Bank of England to continue with its existing programmes of UK government bond and sterling non-financial investment-grade corporate bond purchases, financed by the issuance of central bank reserves, maintaining the target for the total stock of these purchases at £745 billion.
The Committee’s projections for activity and inflation are set out in the accompanying August Monetary Policy Report. Although recent developments suggest a less weak starting point for the Committee’s latest projections, it is unclear how informative they are about how the economy will perform further out. The outlook for the UK and global economies remains unusually uncertain. It will depend critically on the evolution of the pandemic, measures taken to protect public health, and how governments, households and businesses respond to these factors. The MPC’s projections assume that the direct impact of Covid-19 on the economy dissipates gradually over the forecast period. Given the inherent uncertainties regarding the evolution of the pandemic, the MPC’s medium-term projections are a less informative guide than usual.
Global activity has strengthened over recent months, although it generally remains below its level in 2019 Q4. Covid-19 has continued to spread rapidly within a number of emerging market economies, however, and there has been a renewed rise in cases in many advanced economies.Continue reading »
Coronavirus cases are rising, government is watching closely
It is clear that the virus situation across the country is not getting any better as the curve is steepening as the days go by. Japan reported a single day record of 980 new virus cases yesterday, with infections also picking up outside of Tokyo.
Osaka is reported to find 149 new cases today and that would be the daily record for the prefecture, with Tokyo having found another 260 new cases as reported earlier.
As much as the government insists that things are “under control”, you have to wonder where will they draw the line and say that they have made a mess of the situation.
Eventually, the fear of the virus spread in itself will take a toll on the economy – as much as the government wants to keep business activity running for as long as they can afford to. Unfortunately, that comes at the costs of people’s health and well being, and at worst lives.
“…extreme brevity of the financial memory. In consequence, financial disaster is quickly forgotten. In further consequence, when the same or closely similar circumstances occur again, SOMETIMES IN A FEW YEARS, they are hailed by a new, often youthful, and always extremely self-confident generation as a brilliantly innovative discovery in the financial and larger economic world. There can be few fields of human endeavor in which history counts for so little as in the world of finance.” [emphasis mine].
Bloomberg report on Japanese investors, facing ongoing negative rates domestically, are buying dollars and risk assets
“The presence of the Japanese as the main carry trade driver seems to be growing as they must turn to overseas investments”
Demand for higher-yielding American assets growing
In April, Japan’s money managers bought the most U.S. corporate debt in eight years and the second-highest amount of equities in five years
“Japanese investors use yen to fund purchases of Treasuries or U.S. corporate bonds, for instance, to seek credit spreads and these flows are continuing,” said Koichi Sugisaki, a strategist at Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities Co. in Tokyo.
Fitch Ratings has revised the Outlook on India’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to Negative from Stable and affirmed the rating at ‘BBB-‘.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
The revision of the Outlook to Negative on India’s Long-Term IDRs reflects the following key rating drivers:
The coronavirus pandemic has significantly weakened India’s growth outlook for this year and exposed the challenges associated with a high public-debt burden. Fitch expects economic activity to contract by 5% in the fiscal year ending March 2021 (FY21) from the strict lockdown measures imposed since 25 March 2020, before rebounding by 9.5% in FY22. The rebound will mainly be driven by a low-base effect. Our forecasts are subject to considerable risks due to the continued acceleration in the number of new COVID-19 cases as the lockdown is eased gradually. It remains to be seen whether India can return to sustained growth rates of 6% to 7% as we previously estimated, depending on the lasting impact of the pandemic, particularly in the financial sector.
The humanitarian and health needs have been pressing, but the government has shown expenditure restraint so far, due to the already high public-debt burden going into the crisis, with additional relief spending representing only about 1% of GDP by our estimates. Most elements of an announced package totalling 10% of GDP are non-fiscal in nature. Some further fiscal spending of up to 1 percentage point of GDP may still be announced in the next few months, which was indicated by a recent announcement of additional borrowing for FY21 of 2% of GDP, although we do not expect a steep rise in spending. Continue reading »
The last time the central tendencies and dot plot was released was way back in December 2019. At that time, the world was different place.
At the time in December, the Central tendencies saw 2020 numbers at:
unemployment rate 3.5%
PCE inflation 1.9%
The 2021 projections saw:
PCE inflation 2.0%
The projection for the Fed funds rateat the end of 2020 was 1.6%. For 2021 the rate rose to at 1.9% with the 2022 rate at 2.1%.
The current median estimate for central tendencies shows 2020 numbers at:
PCE inflation 0.8%
The projections for the Fed funds rate at the end of 2020 comes in at 0.1%. For 2021 the rate targets 0.1% with the 2022 rate targeted also at 0.1%.
Below is the chart of central tendencies from the Federal Reserve
Below is the dot plot with all participants keeping the rate at 0.1%. In 2022, there are two voting members to forecast day higher rate. The market was looking for the Fed to keep rates low through 2022