The nominal bond yields for advanced economies rose sharply during the first quarter of the year. This note analyzes the drivers of this increase across the jurisdictions and tenors of the yield curve. A key investor focus, in particular, has been the rise in the nominal bond yields in the United States, which has had notable global financial stability spillovers. The analysis indicates that the rise in inflation expectations is the primary driver of the rise in US nominal bond yields over the near term, whereas, the rise in real yields has been the major contributor to the rise in longer-term yields. The change in term premiums has also played a key role in driving both the longer-term inflation breakeven and real yields. Considering other major advanced economies, while inflation expectations have risen across the board in the near term, change in real yields appear more pertinent a driver for shifts in longer-term yields.
This paper assesses whether corporate liquidity needs in the G7 economies were met during the containment phase of the COVID-19 pandemic (February-June 2020) using various approaches to identify credit supply shocks. The pandemic crisis adversely affected nonfinancial corporate sector cash flows, generating liquidity and solvency pressures. However, corporate borrowing surged in March and into the second quarter, thanks to credit line drawdowns and unprecedented policy support. In the United States, the bond market was buoyant from the end of March onward, but credit supply conditions for bank loans and the syndicated loan market tightened. In other G7 economies, credit supply conditions generally eased somewhat across markets during the second quarter. Among listed firms, entities with weaker liquidity or solvency positions before the onset of COVID-19, as well as smaller firms, suffered relatively more financial stress in some economies in the early stages of the crisis. Residual signs of strain remained as of the end of June. Policy interventions, especially those directly targeting the corporate sector, had a beneficial effect on credit supply overall.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Near-term global financial stability risks have been contained as an unprecedented policy response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has helped avert a financial meltdown and maintain the flow of credit to the economy. For the first time, many emerging market central banks have launched asset purchase programs to support the smooth functioning of financial markets and the overall economy. But the outlook remains highly uncertain, and vulnerabilities are rising, representing potential headwinds to recovery. The report presents an assessment of the real-financial disconnect, as well as forward-looking analysis of nonfinancial firms, banks, and emerging market capital flows. After the outbreak, firms’ cash flows were adversely affected as economic activity declined sharply. More vulnerable firms—those with weaker solvency and liquidity positions and smaller size—experienced greater financial stress than their peers in the early stages of the crisis. As the crisis unfolds, corporate liquidity pressures may morph into insolvencies, especially if the recovery is delayed. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are more vulnerable than large firms with access to capital markets. Although the global banking system is well capitalized, some banking systems may experience capital shortfalls in an adverse scenario, even with the currently deployed policy measures. The report also assesses the pandemic’s impact on firms’ environmental performance to gauge the extent to which the crisis may result in a reversal of the gains posted in recent years.