Cheføkonomen i den italienske storbank UniCredit, danskeren Erik Nielsen, har i sin søndagsanalyse efter sommerferien – og efter en tur til Danmark, Berlin og London – filosoferet over Europa, som efter hans mening er langt mere stabil, end de fleste vil erkende, og det gælder politisk og økonomisk. Europa har klaret coronakrisen bedre end de fleste regioner i verden, og den tyske valgkamp er civiliseret i forhold til valgkampe mange andre steder – ikke mindst i sammenligning med USA. Han har to analyser over økonomien, der kan udvikle sig dårligere end forventet, og over den europæiske pengepolitik, der måske ikke neddrosler sine opkøb så hurtigt som mange venter.
Et stabil Europa med en civiliseret tysk valgkamp
In comparison to the rest of the world, Europe looks increasingly like a bastion of stability, competent governance and good old-fashioned common sense. Even including the laggards in Central Europe, EU citizens have now been vaccinated to a greater extent than anyone else in the world, while Europe continues to be the world’s biggest exporter of vaccines. And – finally – the EU has decided to stand up for our most fundamental values and put the financial screws on Poland and Hungary to reverse their drift into illiberalism.
Meanwhile, Germany is conducting a rather civilized campaign to select a new Bundestag and hence Angela Merkel’s successor – it’s certainly a civilized process compared with last year’s election campaign in the US, the infringements in voting rights in several US states now being rolled out, and the complete lack of democratic leadership selection in, e.g., China and Russia.
This past week I returned to London to find supermarket shelves half empty with the choice of food items reduced to barely more than what we had in rural Denmark 20-30 years ago, curtesy of Brexit and the pandemic. And on Wednesday, we learned that, no, Britain cannot have its cake and eat it too – or, no, you cannot have both European level public services and a low tax regime: The government broke its election pledge and raised taxes measurably to rescue the UK’s wonderful, but vastly overstretched, health system, the NHS, leaving little doubt that more tax hikes will be coming. Not surprisingly, a majority of Brits now think Brexit was a bad idea (according to opinion polls by Statista).
In this first post-summer note, I’ll discuss two of the issues which I’m pretty sure will become increasingly important topics in the months ahead, namely: ■ The risk that growth is levelling off well before we reach post-pandemic cruising speed, and … ■ what it’ll mean for monetary policies. I suspect the peace at the ECB may be coming to an end.
Uddrag fra Unicredit: