Insolvencies, NPLs and DEBT RESTRUCTURING
trends in the GLOBAL scenario
Debt Business Magazine' | April 2022
Many countries are beginning to consider managing COVID-19 as an endemic disease, similar to the flu, given also that – in spite of record levels of infection – the hospitalization and fatality rates are lower thanks to the progress of the vaccination campaigns.
Alas, after the pandemic, the contingent emergency is due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Global GDP growth is expected to continue at a sustained pace in 2022 (initially estimated at +4.2% according to Oxford Economics, almost in line with the IMF forecasts), albeit more moderate than the rate recorded last year due to the fading of the rebound effect. However, the international macroeconomic scenario changed swiftly following the escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine in February, which resulted in a conflict whose outcomes are – to date – still uncertain. Although these two countries have a relatively modest weight on the world economy, at the same time they exert an important influence as global suppliers of some energy raw materials (natural gas and oil), agricultural (cereals and fertilizers), industrial (metals such as palladium and nickel) and inert gas (for example the neon used in the production of lasers in turn used for the manufacture of microprocessors).
The first effects are already visible on the prices of commodities in the financial markets, which are entering a bullish phase already underway since the second half of 2021, with strong price hikes that further fuel global inflationary pressures (over 7% estimated this year). The increase in production costs, together with the reduced availability of some production inputs (as in the case of cereals and metals), the deterioration of the climate of confidence and the increase in uncertainty inevitably affect the growth prospects of world GDP, revised downward from the consensus, while remaining in positive territory, landing between + 2.8% and + 3.4% depending on the duration of the conflict (source: Oxford Economics).
Furthermore, the sanctions imposed by the Western bloc (primarily the United States and the European Union) are already generating global effects through financial channels: the increased risk aversion of investors is reflected in a tightening of financing conditions, in the context of normalization of monetary policies initiated inter alia by the US Federal Reserve (which has already implemented a first increase - of a long-expected series - of the reference interest rate) and - albeit more gradually - by the European Central Bank.
At a geographical level, the downward revision compared to the growth forecasts at the beginning of the year concerns both advanced economies (+ 3.1%) and emerging economies (+ 3.7%). In particular, the Eurozone is the one most exposed to the conflict, especially through the energy and commercial channel (the huge sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Commission - together with other nations such as the United States - will have a negative impact on the Eurozone economy) and GDP growth was limited to 2.8% (in line with the estimate for Italy); also, for the U.S.A. growth was revised downward to 3.1%.
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