Investment Institute
Weekly Market Update

Take Two: Eurozone returns to growth; US credit rating downgraded

  • 07 August 2023 (3 min read)

What do you need to know?

The Eurozone economy returned to growth in the second quarter (Q2), up a larger-than-expected 0.3% from Q1 as inflation pressures eased. It was also confirmed the bloc had narrowly avoided recession in the first three months of 2023, when GDP was flat. Interest rates in the region have hit a 23-year high, likely acting to soften growth, as the European Central Bank (ECB) seeks to relieve inflationary pressures. During July, Eurozone annual inflation fell to 5.3% from 5.5% in June, though still well above the ECB’s 2% target. Core inflation, which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, remained at 5.5%.

Around the world

International credit rating agency Fitch downgraded the US government’s long-term credit rating from AAA to AA+ amid what it called the country’s “steady deterioration” in governance over the past two decades. It said the downgrade reflected the “expected fiscal deterioration over the next three years” as well as a growing government debt burden. Political stand-offs around the debt ceiling “have eroded confidence in fiscal management”, Fitch added. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called the decision “arbitrary” and based on “outdated” data. US bond yields rose after markets digested the news and the Treasury said it would increase issuance. Stocks were also down over the week1

Figure in Focus: 14

The Bank of England (BoE) raised its benchmark interest rate for the 14th time in a row, to 5.25% from 5.0%, as it seeks to dampen rising prices. Two of the nine-member rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee had argued for a 50-basis-point increase while another favoured a hold. BoE Governor Andrew Bailey warned inflation was hitting the least well-off the hardest, adding: “We need to make absolutely sure that it falls all the way back to the 2% target.” The bank nudged lower its forecast for end-2023 inflation to 4.9% but pushed out its prediction for a return to target, now seen by Q2 2025 rather than end-2024.

Words of wisdom

Germanium and gallium: Two key raw materials in the manufacturing of semiconductors. China, the world’s largest producer of gallium and germanium, has placed new restrictions on their exports which came into effect last week. It cited national security concerns as the metals may have military uses, as well as other commercial applications such as solar panels. However, the move was seen as a likely retaliation against recent curbs on tech exports to China by the US, Japan and the Netherlands.

What's coming up

China publishes import and export figures on Tuesday and follows up with its latest inflation numbers on Wednesday. On Thursday, India’s central bank announces its latest interest rate decision and the US updates markets with July’s inflation data - prices rose 3% in June, the smallest increase since March 2021. A flash estimate for UK second quarter (Q2) GDP growth is expected on Friday – the consensus forecast is for 0.1% growth, following 0.1% quarter-on-quarter expansion in Q1.

  • TVNDSSBXb3JsZCBOUiBJbmRleCwgd2VlayB0byBUaHVyc2RheeKAmXMgY2xvc2UsIGluIFVTIGRvbGxhciB0ZXJtcy4gU291cmNlOiBGYWN0U2V0LCAzIEF1Z3VzdCAyMDIz

Related Articles

Weekly Market Update

Take Two: US inflation eases; France to begin new parliamentary session

  • by AXA Investment Managers
  • 12 July 2024 (3 min read)
Weekly Market Update

Take Two: US GDP revised up; Canada inflation unexpectedly rises

  • by AXA Investment Managers
  • 01 July 2024 (3 min read)
Weekly Market Update

Take Two: BoE holds interest rates as inflation falls to target; Japan exports rise

  • by AXA Investment Managers
  • 24 June 2024 (3 min read)


    This website is published by AXA Investment Managers Australia Ltd (ABN 47 107 346 841 AFSL 273320) (“AXA IM Australia”) and is intended only for professional investors, sophisticated investors and wholesale clients as defined in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

    This publication is for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment research or financial analysis relating to transactions in financial instruments, nor does it constitute on the part of AXA Investment Managers or its affiliated companies an offer to buy or sell any investments, products or services, and should not be considered as solicitation or investment, legal or tax advice, a recommendation for an investment strategy or a personalized recommendation to buy or sell securities.

    Market commentary on the website has been prepared for general informational purposes by the authors, who are part of AXA Investment Managers. This market commentary reflects the views of the authors, and statements in it may differ from the views of others in AXA Investment Managers.

    Due to its simplification, this publication is partial and opinions, estimates and forecasts herein are subjective and subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee forecasts made will come to pass. Data, figures, declarations, analysis, predictions and other information in this publication is provided based on our state of knowledge at the time of creation of this publication. Whilst every care is taken, no representation or warranty (including liability towards third parties), express or implied, is made as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information contained herein. Reliance upon information in this material is at the sole discretion of the recipient. This material does not contain sufficient information to support an investment decision.

    All investment involves risk , including the loss of capital. The value of investments and the income from them can fluctuate and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.