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After an era of remarkably favorable financing conditions, rapidly changing circumstances are redefining the global economy and challenging credit markets. The second half of 2022 will likely be characterized by limited access to and a higher cost of credit.
Six short months ago the macro landscape was markedly different from today. The U.S. and eurozone economies were expected to grow at around twice their potential rates in 2022; emerging markets were closing the gaps. Inflation was elevated, but seen as largely transitory. Economies were beginning to heal from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the narrative was around what type of "V" the recovery would resemble and what the new steady state would look like.
With inflation pervading and consumer confidence wavering, the markets’ focus should turn increasingly to sector trends. Upgrades may have exceeded downgrades last week, but consumer product tied media and entertainment issuers with the highest number of weakest links. The two sectors, both highly correlated with consumer behavior, combined account for over 40% of weakest links globally.
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