Business Outlook Survey—First Quarter of 2023
Firms expect slower sales growth
For the fifth consecutive quarter, businesses expect their sales growth to slow (Chart 4, blue bars). For many firms, this expectation follows a period of significant sales increases over the past year. Expectations of moderating sales growth are broad-based across regions, firm sizes and most sectors. Indicators of future sales (e.g., sales inquiries and order books) have improved only narrowly compared with 12 months ago, pointing to subdued demand growth ahead (Chart 4, red line).
Several businesses, especially those affected by housing market activity, continue to expect increased interest rates to have a direct negative impact on demand. Firms anticipating slower sales growth also refer to:
- recession worries
- the impact of high inflation on consumers’ disposable income
Despite these signs of softening, most businesses—more than in the previous survey—anticipate that their sales will grow. Firms linked their expected sales increases to various factors, including the following:
- Demand for hospitality, tourism and travel services continues to normalize, mainly due to a return of business-related activities (e.g., travelling for work, conferences) and foreign visitors.
- Activity in natural resources industries is increasing due to favourable commodity prices.
- Firms are developing new products, reducing their exposure to markets with weaker demand and making an effort to enter new markets.
In recent quarters, businesses have reported that supply chain issues are resolving and having less of an impact on sales.
Brent may rise toward $100/bbl as Saudi output cut could worsen supply gap – analysts – Yahoo Finance
By Florence Tan
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – A global shortfall in crude oil supply is set to deepen in the third quarter as the world’s top exporter Saudi Arabia pledged extra output cuts from July in a move likely to push Brent towards $100 a barrel by the end of the year, analysts said.
Oil prices jumped more than $1 a barrel on Monday as the Saudi energy ministry said on Sunday its output would drop to 9 million barrels per day (bpd) in July from around 10 million bpd in May, the kingdom’s biggest reduction in years.
The voluntary cut pledged by Saudi is on top of a broader deal by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies including Russia to extend production cuts into 2024 as the group seeks to boost flagging oil prices.
“Saudi Arabia has a track record of delivering on material cuts,” RBC Capital’s Helima Croft said in a note.
“Hence, we would expect the full 1 million bpd unilateral cut to hit the market in July, nearly doubling the true physical reduction we have seen from the producer group since October.”
The move has paved the way to tighter supplies and put a $70 a barrel floor under prices, analysts said, however the Saudi cut is not likely to drive prices sharply higher immediately as it will take time for inventories to be drawn down.
“With Saudi Arabia protecting oil prices from sliding too low by cutting production, we think oil markets are now more prone to a shortfall later this year,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Vivek Dhar said in a note.
“We think Brent futures will rise to $85/bbl by Q4 2023 even with a tepid demand recovery in China factored in.”
Goldman Sachs analysts Daan Struyven and Callum Bruce said the “moderately bullish” OPEC+ meeting partly offsets some bearish risks to the bank’s December 2023 price forecast of $95 a barrel, including stronger-than-expected supply from Russia, Iran, and Venezuela, and weaker-than-expected Chinese demand.
ANZ said the potential for a strong rally in crude prices had risen sharply as supply is expected to tighten significantly in the second half of the year if the U.S. Federal Reserve pauses interest rate hikes and macroeconomic headwinds ease.
“Investors are likely to add bullish bets, comfortable that Saudi Arabia and OPEC will provide a backstop should the market hit any hurdles,” ANZ analysts Daniel Hynes and Soni Kumari said in a note, maintaining their year-end target of $100 a barrel for Brent.
However price gains may be limited in the short term until there are signs of tightening in the physical market, they added.
By contrast, the United Arab Emirates was allowed to raise output targets by around 200,000 bpd to 3.22 million bpd while Russia, African and other smaller producers cut their quotas to bring them into line with their actual production levels.
“ADNOC’s investment in expanding spare capacity and its Murban (price) benchmark has fueled concerns that it might eventually look to exit the producer group and fully monetize these investments,” RBC’s Croft said.
“Affording it the 200,000 bpd quota adjustment for 2024 seems to settle the issue of its OPEC membership for now.”
(Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Sonali Paul)
Analysts Reiterate Calls For $100 Oil As Saudi Arabia Cuts Production – OilPrice.com
Brent prices could hit $100 by the end of this year as the new 1 million bpd production cut Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday would further tighten the oil market, analysts said after the OPEC+ meeting this weekend.
The OPEC+ producers decided to keep the current cuts until the end of 2024, while OPEC’s top producer and the world’s largest crude oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, said it would voluntarily reduce its production by 1 million bpd in July, to around 9 million bpd. The Saudi cut could be extended beyond July, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz said on Sunday, describing the announced reduction as a “Saudi lollipop.”
“With Saudi Arabia protecting oil prices from sliding too low by cutting production, we think oil markets are now more prone to a shortfall later this year,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Vivek Dhar said in a note carried by Reuters.
Even if China’s oil demand is not as strong in the second half of this year as expected, Brent Crude futures are set to rise to $85 per barrel by the fourth quarter of 2023, Dhar added.
Early on Monday in Europe, Brent Crude traded at $77 per barrel, up by 1% on the day.
ANZ analysts Daniel Hynes and Soni Kumari reiterated their $100 per barrel Brent target for the end of the year, saying that “Investors are likely to add bullish bets, comfortable that Saudi Arabia and OPEC will provide a backstop should the market hit any hurdles.”
“The oil market now looks like it will be even tighter in the second half of the year,” ANZ noted.
Goldman Sachs, which sees Brent at $95 per barrel in December, described OPEC+’s meeting as “moderately bullish” to its forecast and offsetting some bearish downside risks such as higher supply from sanctioned Russia, Iran, and Venezuela and weaker-than-thought Chinese demand.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.
U.S. stock melt-up drives S&P 500 to brink of bull run – BNN Bloomberg
The relentless rally in big tech, options positioning and bets on a Federal Reserve pause following a mixed jobs report put stocks on the verge of a bull market.
An advance of roughly 1.5 per cent for the S&P 500 extended the benchmark’s surge from its October low to nearly 20 per cent. A gauge of megacaps like Tesla Inc. and Apple Inc. saw its sixth straight week of gains — the longest winning run in since July 2021. Broadcom Inc. climbed after predicting that sales tied to artificial intelligence will double this year.
As stocks rose, Wall Street’s “fear gauge” plummeted to pre-pandemic levels. The Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, dropped below 15 from an average of 23 in the past year. The risk-taking mode also drove the Russell 2000 index of small caps — the home of several regional banks — up about 3.5 per cent
“The impressive run for equities continues to drive retail investors into the market,” said Mark Hackett, chief of investment research at Nationwide. “Investors have spent much of the past three years obsessed by the Fed, inflation, and payrolls, though volatility around those reports has settled, reflecting a less emotional market. This is bullish, as less reactivity is a sign of a healthy market.”
To Andrew Brenner at NatAlliance Securities, the melt-up in equities has a lot to do with one thing: positioning.
“Options traders were off sides,” Brenner said. “We think they get back onsides next week, and the rally will run out of steam.”
Indeed, the stock advance doesn’t mean the market isn’t facing headwinds, according to Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist at LPL Financial.
Among the risks, she cites the potential ramifications of the deluge of Treasury notes — approximately US$1 trillion — to be auctioned as the US department replenishes its general account following a debt-limit deal. that could ignite a significant sapping of liquidity from financial markets, she noted.
“That the Fed has telegraphed that June 14 is off the table for a rate hike no doubt reflects its concerns regarding the potential for increased market volatility stemming from dissipating liquidity,” Krosby said. “Still, today’s across-the-board rally confirms that the market doesn’t see an impending recession despite the incessant calls for one.”
Signs of labor-market slackening in May despite a pickup in hiring could strengthen the argument from Fed Chair Jerome Powell and other officials that they should take more time to assess incoming data and the evolving outlook before raising rates again.
Wall Street’s reaction to the latest jobs report showed bets that another Fed hike is likely in the bag — but that wouldn’t necessarily happen in June.
Two-year yields, which are more sensitive to imminent central bank moves, jumped 16 basis points to 4.5 per cent.
Some 25 basis points of tightening were fully priced in across the next two meetings for part of the trading session Friday. Around 9 basis points was priced in for June, indicating a less than one-in-two chance of any hike being at this month’s meeting.
“The key question now is: can they wait until July or does this monster payrolls number trigger another burst of urgency?” said Seema Shah, chief global strategist at Principal Asset Management. “Perhaps the report details, with the unemployment rate rising and average hourly earnings growth slowing, tilts the decision to July.”
The Fed should be open to raising interest rates by a half percentage point in July if it opts to hold off from tightening this month, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said.
“We are again in a situation where the risks of overheating the economy are the primary risks that the Fed needs to be mindful of,” the Harvard University professor said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s David Westin on Friday.
Some of the main moves in markets:
- The S&P 500 rose 1.4 per cent as of 4 p.m. New York time
- The Nasdaq 100 rose 0.7 per cent
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.1 per cent
- The MSCI World index rose 1.5 per cent
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2 per cent
- The euro fell 0.5 per cent to US$1.0708
- The British pound fell 0.6 per cent to US$1.2450
- The Japanese yen fell 0.8 per cent to 139.97 per dollar
- Bitcoin rose 1.4 per cent to US$27,251.37
- Ether rose 2.1 per cent to US$1,908.83
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced 10 basis points to 3.69 per cent
- Germany’s 10-year yield advanced six basis points to 2.31 per cent
- Britain’s 10-year yield advanced four basis points to 4.16 per cent
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 2.7 per cent to US$71.98 a barrel
- Gold futures fell 1.5 per cent to US$1,965.20 an ounce
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