A nerve-wracking first half of 2022 has come to an end. It was marked by the war in Ukraine, which was accompanied by concerns about the security situation in Europe, the guarantee of energy supplies, and a further surge in inflation - to which central banks want to react to or have already reacted with significant interest rate hikes and other measures.
According to expectations on the capital markets, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) will raise interest rates to 3.5% by the end of the year. After more than a decade of loose monetary policy, the European Central Bank (ECB) has now also initiated the announced entry into monetary policy normalisation via a first 50 bp rate hike and the introduction of the so-called Transmission Protection Instrument (TPI), which is intended to ensure that the debt spread levels of the individual euro countries do not move too far apart.
If the recession risks in Europe and the US do not materialise (which is still our base case), and both the gas crisis and the central banks' fight against inflation do not show any signs of excessively slowing down the economy, risky investments such as equities could once again come into investors' focus. In particular, equities look cheap in a historical context due to the price reductions of the past few months, coupled with further increases in profit expectations.
In this edition of the Monthly Outlook, UniCredit's Group Investment Strategy specialists investigate on how central banks' monetary policies could influence the probability that the intended soft landing turns into a bumpy, or even hard, landing.