Macro Snapshot — Ukraine war slows eurozone growth; inflation rises around the globe

The European Commission cut its growth forecast for the 19 countries sharing the euro to 2.7 percent this year from 4 percent predicted only in February, shortly before the war in Ukraine started.
The European Commission cut its growth forecast for the 19 countries sharing the euro to 2.7 percent this year from 4 percent predicted only in February, shortly before the war in Ukraine started.
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Updated 16 May 2022

Macro Snapshot — Ukraine war slows eurozone growth; inflation rises around the globe

Macro Snapshot — Ukraine war slows eurozone growth; inflation rises around the globe

RIYADH:  The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting surge in energy and commodity prices will slash euro zone economic growth this year and next, while boosting inflation to record levels, the European Commission forecast on Monday.

The commission cut its growth forecast for the 19 countries sharing the euro to 2.7 percent this year from 4 percent predicted only in February, shortly before the war in Ukraine started. Growth will then slow to 2.3 percent next year, also below the 2.7 percent seen before.

The forecast is the first comprehensive estimate of the economic cost of the conflict in its neighbor for the euro zone and the wider 27-nation EU.

“The outlook for the EU economy before the outbreak of the war was for a prolonged and robust expansion. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has posed new challenges, just as the Union had recovered from the economic impacts of the pandemic,” the commission said in a statement.

“By exerting further upward pressures on commodity prices, causing renewed supply disruptions and increasing uncertainty, the war is exacerbating pre-existing headwinds to growth, which were previously expected to subside.”

Inflation, which the European Central Bank wants to keep at 2 percent will be 6.1 percent this year, the Commission forecast, falling to 2.7 percent — still well above the ECB’s target — next year. Before the war, the Commission expected prices to grow 3.5 percent in 2022 and 1.7 percent in 2023.

The scenario of an abrupt cut-off by Russia of gas supplies would boost inflation by an additional 3 percentage points in 2022 and an extra 1 percentage point in 2023, the Commission said.

Polish net inflation

Poland’s net Consumer Price Index excluding food and energy saw a rise by 0.8 percent in April reaching 7.7 percent year-on-year, showed a table published by the central bank on Monday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected April net inflation — excluding food and energy prices — year-on-year of 7.5 percent.

German manufacturing backlog 

German manufacturers’ order backlog is at a record high, according to a survey released on Monday, as companies struggle against supply bottlenecks in meeting high demand.

Even without a single new order, production could continue for 4.5 months, the Munich-based ifo institute said in a statement, citing the results of a survey in which around 2,000 companies took part between April 7 and 22.

In the previous survey, in January, the figure had been 4.4 months, while the long-term average for an order backlog was 2.9 months, the institute said. The data is seasonally adjusted.

“This recent increase in backlog is only slight, which indicates that the intake of new orders is gradually decreasing,” Timo Wollmershauser, head of forecasts at ifo, said, adding that German manufacturing would “really take off” if the supply-chain issues were to ease in coming months.

China's April property sales 

China’s property sales in April fell at their fastest pace in around 16 years as COVID-19 lockdowns further cooled demand despite more policy easing steps aimed at reviving a key pillar of the world’s second-largest economy.

Property sales by value in April slumped 46.6 percent from a year earlier, the biggest drop since August 2006, and sharply widening from the 26.17 percent fall in March, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics released on Monday.

Property sales in January-April by value fell 29.5 percent year-on-year, compared with a 22.7 percent decline in the first three months.

A further cut in mortgage loan interest rates for some home buyers announced by Chinese authorities on Sunday did little to convince investors and analysts that it could revive sluggish property demand. 

Japan wholesale prices

Japan’s wholesale prices in April jumped 10 percent from the same month a year earlier, data showed on Monday, rising at a record rate as the Ukraine crisis and a weak yen pushed up the cost of energy and raw materials.

The surge in the corporate goods price index, which measures the price companies charge each other for their goods and services, marked the fastest year-on-year rise in a single month since comparable data became available in 1981.

The gain followed a revised 9.7 percent increase in March, and was higher than a median market forecast for a 9.4 percent increase.

Unlike other central banks worried about surging inflation, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has kept its ultra-easy monetary policy in place on the view that the cost-push rise in inflation is not bringing long-term price expectations to its 2 percent target.

“Companies have been trying to absorb the rising costs by corporate efforts, but from last year onwards that has become harder for them to endure,” said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute.

“They will be left no choice but to pass on those extra cost.”

Japanese firms have been slow in passing on rising cost to households as soft wage growth does little to help consumer sentiment and makes them cautious about scaring off consumers with price hikes.

The yen-based import price index jumped 44.6 percent in April from a year earlier, Monday’s data showed, a sign the yen’s recent declines are inflating the cost of imports for Japanese firms.

The BoJ last month projected core consumer inflation to hit 1.9 percent in the current fiscal year that started last month before moderating to 1.1 percent in fiscal 2023 and 2024 — a sign it sees current cost-push price rises as transitory. 

But analysts expect consumer inflation to hover around 2 percent in the coming months as the high raw material costs force more firms to hike prices, posing a risk to Japan’s fragile economic recovery.

“Everything ultimately depends on whether consumers accept price hikes,” said Minami. “While they’re likely to be okay with it to some extent, they won’t fully accept it, leading to a spending decline.”

Data on Friday is expected to show Japan’s core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes volatile fresh food costs but includes energy costs, rose 2.1 percent in April from a year earlier, slightly exceeding the BoJ’s target, a Reuters poll showed last week.

 

 


Saudi miner Ma’aden’s half-year profit more than triples to $1.7bn

Saudi miner Ma’aden’s half-year profit more than triples to $1.7bn
Updated 13 sec ago

Saudi miner Ma’aden’s half-year profit more than triples to $1.7bn

Saudi miner Ma’aden’s half-year profit more than triples to $1.7bn

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Mining Co., better known as Ma’aden, saw its profit soar 232 percent to SR6.2 billion ($1.7 billion) during the first half of 2022, according to a bourse filing.


Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Thursday 

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Thursday 
Updated 10 min 37 sec ago

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Thursday 

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Thursday 

RIYADH: Saudi stocks ended higher for a third straight day on Wednesday, thanks to strong earnings results from most listed companies.

TASI, the main index, gained 0.8 percent to close at 12,431 and the parallel Nomu market edged 0.13 percent higher to 22,227.

Most Gulf peers advanced in line with Saudi Arabia, led by a 0.8 percent gain for Abu Dhabi’s bourse.

Dubai, Oman, and Qatar added 0.3, 0.1, and 0.4 percent, respectively, while Bahrain and Kuwait were down 1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Egypt’s EGX30 exited the session almost flat.

In energy trading, Brent crude was priced at $97.31 a barrel by 9:16 a.m. Saudi time on Thursday, while US West Texas Intermediate traded at $91.79 a barrel.

Stock news

ACWA Power Co. said that operations at Umm Al Quwain IWP were launched, with a production capacity of 682,000 cubic meters per day of desalinated potable water

ACWA Power recorded a 21 percent jump in profits to SR542 million ($144 million) for the first half of 2022

Savola Group entered an SR459 million agreement to sell its shares in Knowledge Economic City Co. and Knowledge Economic City Developers Co. Limited to Taiba Investment Co.

Astra Industrial Group reported a 202 percent profit surge to SR318 million for the first half of 2022

Saudi Co. for Hardware turned into losses of SR19 million during the first half of 2022. The company also appointed Sameer Alhamidi as vice chairman of the board effective Aug. 11

Saudi Vitrified Clay Pipes Co.'s net losses widened by 661 percent to SR9 million during the first half of 2022

Eastern Province Cement Co. posted a 41 percent profit drop to SR72 million

Walaa Cooperative Insurance Co. got the Capital Market Authority’s approval to increase its capital to SR850 million for the merger with SABB Takaful

Saudi Arabian Mining Co. announced that Mansourah & Massarah gold mine plant is near completion, adding that pre-commissioning activities started

Saudi Industrial Services Co.’s profit dropped 93 percent during the first half of 2022 to SR3.9 million

Calendar

August 14, 2022

Saudi Aramco will announce its financial results for the second quarter of 2022

Close of Naba Alsaha Medical Services Co.’s IPO subscription

August 15, 2022

Naqi Water Co. will start trading its shares on the Saudi Exchange’s main market

 


PIF-owned ACWA Power’s H1 profit jumps 21% to $144m

PIF-owned ACWA Power’s H1 profit jumps 21% to $144m
Updated 5 min 39 sec ago

PIF-owned ACWA Power’s H1 profit jumps 21% to $144m

PIF-owned ACWA Power’s H1 profit jumps 21% to $144m

RIYADH: ACWA Power Co., which is part-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has posted a 21 percent jump in profits to SR542 million ($144 million) for the first half of 2022, a bourse filing revealed.

Profits of the energy giant grew mainly in response to new projects beginning operations, which boosted income from equity-accounted investors, it said.

Most recently, ACWA Power announced the start of operations at a $797 million desalination plant in the UAE, namely Umm Al Quwain IWP.

With an SR251-billion portfolio, ACWA Power was the second largest utility company on the Saudi bourse after Saudi Electricity Co.


Naqi Water to debut on TASI market early next week following strong IPO

Naqi Water to debut on TASI market early next week following strong IPO
Updated 40 min 46 sec ago

Naqi Water to debut on TASI market early next week following strong IPO

Naqi Water to debut on TASI market early next week following strong IPO

RIYADH: Naqi Water Co. will start trading its shares on Saudi Arabia’s stock market on Aug. 15, after attracting huge demand during the initial public offering, according to a bourse filing.

The Saudi-based water producer generated SR560 million ($150 million) worth of subscriptions as it offered 600,000 shares to retail subscribers.

Prior to that, the final offer price was set at the top end of an indicated range of SR69, following a strong bidding period.

Naqi Water will float a 30 percent stake, representing six million shares, on the Kingdom’s main stock index TASI.


Savola Group to sell all shares in Knowledge Economic City for $122m

Savola Group to sell all shares in Knowledge Economic City for $122m
Updated 55 min 30 sec ago

Savola Group to sell all shares in Knowledge Economic City for $122m

Savola Group to sell all shares in Knowledge Economic City for $122m

RIYADH: Savola Group has entered into an SR459-million ($122 million) agreement to sell its stake in Knowledge Economic City Co. and Knowledge Economic City Developers Co. Limited.

This move came in light of Salove’s strategy of focusing on investing in its main operations in the food and retail sectors, while ending investments in non-core businesses, the group said in a bourse filing.

Knowledge Economic City is owned by Savola Group directly and indirectly at an approximate share of 11.47 percent.

Knowledge Economic City’s shares ended Wednesday’s trading session 6.12 percent higher at SR14.56.