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Apakah Eropa Akan Terperangkap dalam Deflasi?

Make no mistake about it: Though it may not seem that Europe is the problem, I can assure you it is. Europe is sinking deeper and deeper into a depression. Unemployment continues to rise, banks in Europe are getting weaker and weaker, and the strength in the euro is not a sign of health. Rather, it’s a sign of severe deflation taking root in Europe, a force that will eventually cause Europe to meltdown. I urge all investors to stay out of European equity and bond markets. That’s where the real crisis is.”

– Larry Edelson

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“A new risk to activity stems from very low inflation in advanced economies, especially the euro area, which, if below target for an extended period, could de-anchor longer-term inflation expectations. Low inflation raises the likelihood of a deflation in case of a serious adverse shock to activity. In the euro area, low inflation also complicates the task in the periphery where the real burden of both public and private debt would rise as real interest rates increased.”

– International Monetary Fund

 

Kekhawatiran zona euro mudah terbakar, yang setiap menitnya dapat beresiko pada kehancuran finansial, seolah sudah hilang.

Namun kini seperti bom waktu yang siap meledak, dapat menyebabkan pasar global seperti krisis Rusia 1998 ataupun krisis AS 2007/08 (pailitnya Lehman Brothers). Apakah ini mampu diatasi?

Menurut saya tidak.

Belakangan ini, Zona Eropa mengalami tingkat inflasi yang sangat rendah, sebagai salah satu akibat karena memiliki hutang besar.

Ketika hutang mencapai level tertentu yang membebani ekonomi, maka akan menekan potensi pertumbuhannya.

Sumber daya yang seharusnya lebih baik dimanfaatkan di suatu hal, kini terpaksa digunakan untuk kepentingan hutang tersebut. Dengan kata lain yang lebih sederhana, segala energi (kekuatan) tertuju hanya untuk menopang hutang dan masalah-masalah yang muncul karenanya.

Bagi debitur, inflasi akan menjadi pengikis beban hutang.

Namun ketika deflasi menyerang, nilai ‘real’ dari hutang akan meningkat sehingga beban akan semakin berat. Dengan kondisi sedemikian, maka energi lebih besar dibutuhkan dan ini akan membuat debitur semakin terpuruk.

Ini bukanlah situasi yang kondusif bagi pemulihan yang nampaknya mulai terjadi di Yunani, Italia, Irlandia, Portugal ataupun Spanyol.

Dan semakin banyak investor yang khawatir terhadapnya, semakin mereka menyadari bahwa kondisi Eropa yang sebelumnya banyak dikatakan pulih bukanlah sebuah akhir dari krisis.

Mike Amey dari perusahaan bond fund, Pimco, mengatakan bahwa Zona Eropa sedang “sleepwalking into a decades-long deflation trap” seperti Jepang tahun 1990an yang salah langkah menurunkan suku bunga mendekati 0%.

Sementara, sekalipun deflasi stabil diinginkan oleh negara yang hutangnya rendah, tetap saja akan menjadi malapetaka karena dinamisme hutang terhadap leveraged economy, inilah yang dijelaskan oleh ekonomi AS Irving Fisher dalam tulisannya yang terkenal di tahun 1933 berjudul “Debt-deflation Theory of Great Depressions”.

Sebuah lembaga riset Belgia, Bruegel, misalnya mengatakan resiko deflasi membuat Italia dan Spanyol masuk dalam “runaway debt trajectory” karena debt stock naik terhadap  akibat turun/statisnya nominal base.

Setiap poin persentase penurunan inflasi membuat Italia harus menaikkan primary budget surplus-nya sebesar 1,3% dari GDP untuk menstabilkan hutang stabilize debt – sebuah hal yang sulit.

Untuk melihat bagaimana tekanan inflasi atau ancaman deflasi Eropa berikut laporan Tyler Durden dari www.zerohedge.com:

 

European Inflation Has Biggest Monthly Drop On Record

February 24, 2014

For those who have been following the abysmal loan creation in Europe, which recently dropped to an all time low…

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… today’s inflation, or rather make that deflation; data out of Europe should not come as much of a surprise. Then again, with January inflation posting the biggest drop in history, when it tumbled by a record 1.1% from December levels, even the skeptics may be stunned by how rapidly deflation is gripping the continent.

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On an annual basis, Euro area inflation rose by 0.8% for the second month in a row and the 4th month of sub 1% annual inflation in a row. At this rate, Europe will enter outright deflation in a few short months.

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Broken down by country:

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Reuters explains:

         Euro zone consumer prices fell in January at their fastest ever pace on a monthly basis, dragged down by a slump in the cost of non-energy industrial goods, keeping annual inflation   well below the European Central Bank’s target.

         Inflation rate in the 18 countries sharing the euro dropped by 1.1 percent in January when compared with December, keeping the annual inflation rate at 0.8 percent for a second month in   a row, the EU’s statistics office Eurostat said.

         The annual inflation rate was revised from 0.7 percent, which Eurostat released in a flash estimate on January 31.

         Economists polled by Reuters expected consumer price inflation to accelerate slightly to 0.9 percent in January, a level that is still well below the ECB’s target of close to but below 2 percent.

         The annual rate was influenced by a 1.2 percent decline in the highly volatile prices of energy, while the monthly decline was hit by a 3.9 percent fall in prices of non-energy industrial goods and a 0.4 percent drop in the price of services.

         The ECB, which cut its key interest rate to a record low of 0.25 percent in November, is expected to stay put until mid-2015 unless money market rates rise and the euro strengthens.

         …

         Italy, the euro zone’s third largest economy, showed a 2.1 percent month-on-month decline, the biggest drop from among all euro zone members.

         In Germany, Europe’s largest economy, consumer prices fell by 0.7 percent on the month, keeping the annual inflation rate steady at 1.2 percent, with both figures coming below expectations.

And now back to Mario Draghi who which struggles to find new and improved ways of making sure European purchasing power continues to decline in light with the canons of Keynesian fundamentalism.

Source: Eurostat

 

Laporan Global Market Perspective dari Elliott Wave International’s juga meyakini bahwa Eropa dibayangi deflasi.

Berikut laporan singkat namun luar biasa mengenai EUROPEAN ECONOMY & DEFLATION:

 

“Even as authorities loosen regulations for over-extended banks, the deflationary forces that will ultimately destroy them are growing stronger.

This chart of Swiss, EU and British consumer prices shows that disinflation (declining rates of inflation) has persisted for decades, with the downtrend recently gaining momentum in Britain and the EU 27.

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In fact, for the first time since 2009, the Bank of England actually met its 2% inflation target last month.

The UK has therefore joined Europe, Japan and the United States, with all four countries showing official inflation rates that are at or below 2%.

Switzerland actually shows the weakest price appreciation on the chart, as year-over-year CPI rose at just one-tenth of 1% in January.

Disinflation will finally surrender to deflation when these charts cross the zero line and stay there. Yet, despite the trends, disbelief about Europe’s deflationary future prevails.

A January Bloomberg poll, for instance, finds record improvements in economic optimism. At 49%, the percentage of Bloomberg subscribers who say the euro zone economy is improving tripled its reading from one year ago.

The percentage also reached its highest level since Bloomberg first asked the question in September 2011.

Likewise, 72% of respondents said the U.S. economy is improving, which is up from 53% a year ago. And 59% say the overall economic outlook is getting better – also up from last year.

In contrast, just 14% said that stocks were in a bubble, which was down from 20% last November.

Financial experts also see blue skies ahead. “The lower inflation is part of the economic recovery and the restructuring and it’s inevitable,” argues Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem. He adds that he’s not particularly worried that inflation will fall further.

It’s exactly this kind of widespread nonchalance, however, that more or less guarantees Europe’s deflationary future.

In October 2013, when a Marketwatch columnist called deflation in Britain “about as likely as sunbathing in October,” we countered that economic trends tend to reverse much like stocks trends do: when people least expect them.

To illustrate the point, we depicted the tight correlation between commodity prices and public attitudes about future inflation, showing that the previous two big spikes in UK inflation expectations – 4.4% in August 2008 and 4.2% in August 2011 – foreshadowed major peaks in the Thomson/Reuters Jefferies CRB Commodity Index.

Our accompanying discussion concluded:

         Just as widespread bullishness contrarily signals and impending peak in stocks, elevated public    perceptions about inflation tend to coincide with peaks in the price of raw materials. As stocks fall and social mood waxes negative, the reality of deflation should send both of these indexes well below their 2009 lows.

         –European Financial Forecast,

         November 2013

The CRB index remains locked in a relentless downtrend, yet with inflation expectations still stuck at 3.6% (way too high in our opinion), commodity prices and inflation rates are destined for much lower levels.

As with stocks, the crowd will catch on only after it’s too late to take action.”

 

What Do the Charts Say?

Jadi apa artinya bagi langkah ECB mendatang?

The Wall Street Journal, mengutip chief economist di IHS Global Insight London yang mengatakan “he expects the ECB to take more action early in 2014, “most likely” as another longer-term loan. It is “highly possible” that a future loan would be “tailored specifically toward bank lending.”

Atau, jika melihat penurunan EUR Kamis kemarin, ECB bisa mengejutkan lagi dengan melakukan langkah lebih besar dari sebelumnya, yang secara konvensional sudah diterima, dan tidak hanya berupa penurunan suku bunga namun berpotensi menambah QE.

Bahkan, setelah sejumlah kegagalan sterilisasi SMP, ternyata ECB tidak sungguh melakukan sterilisasi pada episode QE-nya sebelumnya.

Terkait dengan ini, saya punya 2 laporan bagus dilengkapi dengan grafik-grafik menarik. Yang pertama dari Tyler Durden di www.zerohedge.com, yang memperkirakan Draghi sudah siap untuk mebali menembakkan ‘bazooka’-nya:

“It would appear that 1.39 EURUSD is the line in the sand for Mario Draghi. As pressures build on European competitiveness, Draghi appears to have finally got sick of China buying EURs to diversify its FX reserves away from USDs. This time “whatever it takes” is to drag the EUR lower – on the back of suggestions that OMT 2.0 (new measures – double the effectiveness and just as non-existent) and guarding against deflation (not worried about inflation). The jawbone is working for now as EUR breaks down through 1.39.

China has been diversifying aggressively away from the US Dollar:

Via Bloomberg

Add China pushing the yuan lower and diversifying reserves away from dollar assets to the drivers behind the euro defying forecasts and rallying to a two-year high versus the U.S. currency, according to BNP Paribas SA.

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The upper panel shows the 18-nation euro reaching the strongest level since October 2011 and the six-month average of changes in China’s foreign reserves touching the highest since June 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The lower panel shows the yuan, after strengthening the past four years to an all-time high, slumped by the most on record last month amid speculation the People’s Bank of China will allow greater volatility.

China’s central bank is widely believed to have intervened heavily in February and this means markets will anticipate a period of the dollar selling versus the euro and other reserve currencies as these reserves are diversified,”

And so Draghi finally reached “Whatever it takes 2.0″…

  • *DRAGHI: EURO GAINS ‘INCREASINGLY RELEVANT’ TO PRICE STABILITY
  • ECB’S DRAGHI SAYS REAL INTEREST RATE SPREAD BETWEEN EURO ZONE AND REST OF WORLD WILL PROBABLY FALL, PUTTING DOWNWARD PRESSURE ON EXCHANGE RATE
  • DRAGHI – ECB HAS BEEN PREPARING ADDITIONAL NON-STANDARD MEASURES TO GUARD AGAINST DEFLATION, STANDS READY TO TAKE FURTHER DECISIVE ACTION IF NEEDED

*DRAGHI: TOO-LOW INFLATION NOW ‘MORE RELEVANT’ THAN TOO-HIGH

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It would seem, given previous levels and actions, that Draghi has given the market a bogey of around 1.45 for the next round of QE

This comes as the “Deflation Club” in Europe doubles to 4 members:

Signs of deflation strengthened on the Euro zone periphery Wednesday, with four countries now registering annual declines in consumer prices.

Data around the edges of the single currency area showed that consumer prices fell by 0.1% in February in both Portugal and Slovakia compared with a year ago. The two countries join Greece and Cyprus, where price declines are already running at an annual pace of more than 1.0%.”

Charts: Bloomberg

Mr. Gordon Long, mantan senior group executive di IBM & Motorola, pendiri dana modal ventura swasta, memiliki pandangan menarik dan potensi langkah kebijakan ECB ke depan.

Berikut sejumlah kutipan laporannya yang menjelaskan mengapa ECB melakukan QE:

“In the short term there is only one easy way out and politicians always take the easiest most expedient way.

The answer is for the EU through the ECB to ‘stand to the plate’ and take their turn at central bank money pumping. They have been the positive recipients over the last few years and now it is their turn.

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The just concluded G-20 Summit Conference in Sydney, Australia produced a document saying that another $2 Trillion needed to be added to the Global Economy, but blatantly avoided saying how this would happen.

Mario Draghi however was front and center in a staged press conference saying that the March 7th ECB meeting was pivotal on what the ECB’s plans would be going forward. Based on the German Bundesbank recently capitulating on the requirement for the ECB to “sterilize” monetary operations, it appears Draghi with the G-20 breathing down his neck has a green light to step up to the plate.

None of this should be a surprise. It is all playing out in a fully choreographed almost preordained play.”

Agar tetap ceria, berikut saya ketengahkan lelucon dan kartun jenaka untuk Anda yang berjudul The New Normal:

Four Worms in Church

A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon. Four worms were placed into four separate jars. The first worm was put into a container of alcohol. The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke. The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup. The fourth worm was put into a container of good, clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the minister reported the following results: The first worm in alcohol: dead. The second worm in cigarette smoke: dead. Third worm in chocolate syrup: dead. The fourth worm in good, clean soil: alive.

So the minister asked the congregation, “What did you learn from this demonstration?”

Maxine was sitting in the back and quickly raised her hand. “If you drink, smoke, and eat chocolate, you won’t have worms!”

That pretty much ended the service.

Nico-186Terima kasih sudah membaca dan semoga beruntung!

Dibuat Tanggal 14 Maret 2014

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