Crise de la dette en zone euro: pas vraiment oubliée

Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Les craintes de récession en zone euro ont diminué, mais n’ont pas disparu totalement des sujets les plus préoccupants pour les investisseurs. La preuve avec cet indicateur produit par les économistes de Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Et la semaine, marquée par l’indécision suite aux élections italiennes, ou les propos « rassurants » de Bernanke, qui continue à faire tourner la planche à billets, ont recréé de la volatilité dans le marché.

[cleeng_content id= »787792457″ description= »Plus d\’analyses à suivre » price= »0.19″ t= »article » referral= »0.05″]Sur le front purement macro, BofAML propose une synthèse intéressantes des événements de la semaine.

« Euro area crisis: forgotten, but not gone
This week showcased key themes of our 2013 outlook in action. The inconclusive Italian elections (epitomizing the risk of policy paralysis in Europe), the onset of fiscal sequestration in the US (tight US fiscal policy) and Fed Chairman Bernanke’s testimony (aggressive monetary policy easing) weighed on investor  sentiment. Markets wobbled in the aftermath of the Italian polls, but the Fed’s forbearance and solid US data eased tensions.
Elections in Italy ushered in a period of political uncertainty. While we expect ongoing coalition-building negotiations to succeed, the likely fragility of the new government  underscores our European team’s view that this year’s political calendar limits progress on the reform front. The euro area appears stuck in crisis-management mode, struggling to move on to crisis resolution.
Heightened political risks may deepen concerns about euro area activity. The latest preliminary PMI readings disappointed markets, and this week’s monetary statistics revealed that credit to the non-financial private sector continues to contract. That said, there are signs that the recession is loosening its grip.
The German IFO has been on the mend since 4Q, and has come in surprisingly strong in February. Moreover, a recession-probability model reading from (1) the yield curve, (2) euro area new car registrations, and (3) the euro area PMI new orders/inventory ratio points to easing recession  risks (Chart 2). An update of the ECB’s Area-wide Leading Indicator (ALI) also confirms the signal we picked up back in October: the recession is likely to run its course during 1Q (Chart 3).
The ECB seems to agree. As Executive Board Member Peter Praet noted this week, “signs of stabilization are becoming more and more frequent.” Our euro area team expects a 0.2% qoq (sa) GDP drop this quarter, to be followed by a very slow grind higher.
Keep pouring into the global punchbowl
With Europe slowly emerging from recession and the US facing stepped-up spending cuts, central banks should stay on the loose-for-longer policy path. In the US, Fed Chairman Bernanke played down counterarguments to QE. First, pockets of robust activity such as housing and autos reflect policy support rather than a self-sustaining recovery. Second, financial stability risks do not seem significant. Finally, unemployment remains elevated and inflation risks are low. In our view, the Fed will continue buying US$85bn/month of assets well into 2014.
Meanwhile in Europe, ECB President Mario Draghi reinforced that tightening policy is not on the horizon. The predominant tone of Bank of England MPC members this week was likewise dovish. Last but not least, the nomination of ADB head Haruhiko Kuroda to lead the Bank of Japan supports our view that the central bank will step on the gas. All in all, global liquidity should remain a tailwind to risk assets.
Who will pay the ransom?
So US fiscal sequestration is here. A flurry of negative headlines is likely to follow in the next few days, while markets monitor the chances of a watering-down agreement ahead of the expiration of the budget continuing resolution on March 27. We nevertheless expect most of the  sequester to bite, with US$50bn of spending cuts to take place in seven months.
Whereas this is more of a slope than a cliff, the economic impact is meaningful. As our US team has been stressing, the sequester will likely shave 0.5pp off 2013 GDP growth. The latest Survey of Professional Forecasters shows that, while the consensus sees increased downside risks, the  mode expectation is still the same as seen in 2Q last year (Chart 4). We remain skeptical US growth can hold up above 2% this year, and look for US and global growth to slow down in 2Q. »[/cleeng_content]

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