Euro-zone

Greece

Sector fortunes to shift

While the Delta variant has slowed economic activity in other parts of the world, this has not yet been the case in the euro-zone, and we are cautiously optimistic that the bloc will continue to grow. This will support the property market upturn, albeit offices and retail face structural challenges that will limit the rental recovery. Stronger rental prospects for industrial mean we think that the sector has the most scope for yield compression in the near term, though strong demand for prime assets should allow office yields to edge a bit lower too. However, further increases in yields will make some retail assets look increasingly attractive by year-end, prompting small yield falls in the next few years. The upshot is that industrial is expected to outperform over the next couple of years, but stronger capital value growth beyond 2022 will result in retail returns emerging as the strongest.

16 September 2021

Strong rebound and temporary rise in inflation

The euro-zone is on the way to an almost full recovery. We expect Germany to regain its pre-pandemic level of activity later this year and the tourist-dependent southern countries to do so next year. The Delta variant may lead to some voluntary social distancing or self-isolating and perhaps limited restrictions over the winter, but we doubt that it will derail the recovery. Inflation will rise further than most expect in the coming months due to rising input costs and supply bottlenecks. But with wage agreements and inflation expectations remaining low, it will drop back and stay lower than most expect over the medium term. The ECB is likely to step up its standard Asset Purchase Programme substantially when its emergency purchases end next March and leave its deposit rate at -0.5% until beyond 2025, which is much later than investors expect.

16 July 2021

Has Athens been pushed off track by COVID-19?

After gaining ground since 2018, the recovery in Athens’ prime property values has stalled. However, we think that the catch up with the euro-zone will continue, albeit at a slower pace than in recent years.

6 July 2021
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Drop back in bond yields takes pressure off ECB

The fall in sovereign bond yields over the past week may make things a little easier for the ECB Governing Council when it meets on 10th June. We think it is likely to replace its commitment to make “significantly” higher bond purchases than in Q1 with a less specific commitment to keep financing conditions favourable. Next week we expect to learn that inflation got very close to 2% in May (data on Tuesday) while the final PMIs for May will show a big improvement in Spain and Italy (Thursday). Retail sales data for April (Friday) will probably fall in m/m terms as a lot of shops were closed in France. Finally, note that the Capital Economics London “office” will be closed on Monday.

How the vaccine will affect Greece’s economy

The recent tightening in coronavirus restrictions means that Greece’s recovery will shift into reverse in Q4 and the start of 2021 is also likely to be weak. However, the rollout of a vaccine by mid-year should pave the way for a strong rebound in tourism. We have therefore raised our 2021 GDP forecast.

Athens retail: best of a bad bunch

While the quicker than anticipated pick-up in high frequency data has meant that the fall in Greek economic activity is likely smaller than initially feared, retail rents are still set to drop sharply this year. The following recovery in Greek rents will be gradual, albeit, better than in its regional peers.

3 July 2020

Greece faring better than we had feared

While the Greek economy is set to slump this year, it is becoming increasingly clear that the drop in activity will be much less severe than we previously anticipated. We now think that the Greek economy will shrink by “only” 8% or so this year.

25 June 2020

Covid-19 pulls rug from under Greek recovery

Just as the Greek economy was getting back on its feet the coronavirus pulled the rug from under it. And while the government’s generous fiscal support will cushion the blow, it also raises questions over debt sustainability once this is all over.

5 May 2020
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