Q1 2022 Quarterly Review: COVID Recovery, Inflation and Ukraine Invasion

The latest whitepaper from Credit Benchmark illustrates the global credit trends in the first quarter of 2022.

Global growth rebounded strongly at the start of 2022 as COVID-hit economies began to reopen, and consensus credit trends mirror this recovery across a broad range of sectors.  But post-pandemic supply challenges and the Ukraine invasion impact mean that robust demand is driving inflation higher. 

Central Banks are increasingly hawkish after years of low interest rates, so heavily indebted companies and consumers are facing a squeeze which could drive credit defaults higher.

Some of the key points from the whitepaper include:

  • Broad-based credit recovery from the pandemic is continuing but slowing.  Industries and sectors that were hardest hit by COVID in 2020 staged the most dramatic recoveries in 2021; some of them are plateauing or even turning down.
  • Global Corporates have recovered faster than Global Financials, after deteriorating further at the start of the pandemic.
  • War in Ukraine has hit European Sovereign credit risk – especially in Eastern Europe – as well as some EU industries such as Technology, Autos and Industrials.
  • Sensitivity analysis shows that Fed rate hikes are likely to have a significant credit impact on US Industrials, Aerospace and Health Sectors.
  • Heavily indebted US firms are unusual, showing limited post-COVID recovery; aggressive rate hikes could mean renewed deterioration.
  • The zero-COVID policy in China may be starting to hit Financials
Credit Trend: Global Corporates, Financials and Sovereigns

Lists of companies affected by the war in Ukraine are available as stored portfolios with automatic upgrade/downgrade alerts in the Credit Benchmark Web App. Contact Credit Benchmark to start a trial or to request a coverage check.

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    Credit Benchmark brings together internal credit risk views from over 40 leading global financial institutions. The contributions are anonymized, aggregated, and published in the form of consensus ratings and aggregate analytics to provide an independent, real-world perspective of credit risk. Risk and investment professionals at banks, insurance companies, asset managers and other financial firms use the data for insights into the unrated, monitoring and alerting within their portfolios, benchmarking, assessing and analyzing trends, and fulfilling regulatory requirements and capital.