The Big Picture

Key themes shaping global credit markets in 2019


Economic growth, a core underpinning of credit conditions and quality, continues to be a key focus area for 2019.

We expect a gradual slowdown in 2019 across advanced and emerging market economies. Three drivers will dominate the weaker growth outlook: tightening monetary policy, worsening economic disputes and higher oil prices. 

Read the latest on how US auto tariffs would pose risks to global growth
Read our 2019-20 Global Macro Outlook
See more about Growth »
Financial Stability

Financial stability, a fundamental building block for the global economy and markets, remains a prominent theme for 2019.

Tightening of global financial conditions will weigh on funding costs and liquidity. Meanwhile, growth of corporate debt signals future credit stress and increases late-cycle risks.

Read the latest on the impact of China’s fiscal easing and tax cut effectiveness
Read our latest commentary on debt levels in Europe
See more about Financial Stability »
Trade Tensions

Trade tensions are top of mind for investors. US trade policy is the most potent, far-reaching source of global risk with significant sector and regional impacts that could derail the global economy.

Escalating trade disputes will create uncertainty around company investment decisions, moderation of global trade flows and likely shifts in supply chains.

Read the latest on the progress of US-China trade negotiations
Read our Global
Trade Monitor
See more about Trade Tensions »
Political Risks

Rising political and geopolitical risks take center stage in 2019. Heightened political risks will pose the greatest source of uncertainty to credit conditions and quality.

Rising US-China tensions will extend far beyond trade disputes, while the potential for a “no-deal” Brexit has risen, and populism will increasingly influence political debates and policymaking.

Brexit extension is credit positive, but no-deal risk remains. Read the latest commentary
Watch our global credit conditions video
See more about Political Risks »
ESG Risks

Environmental, social and governance risks will become more prominent in 2019. The transition to a low-carbon economy and social and demographic change have the potential to fundamentally alter credit profiles.

The ESG issue that is the most likely to materially influence credit in 2019 is carbon transition risk. The credit spotlight will widen on social considerations, such as immigration, labor, income, aging and pensions.

Visit our ESG hub
Read the latest on the credit impact of Cape Town’s new water strategy
See more about ESG »
Technology & Innovation

Technology and innovation have the potential to reshape the credit landscape for countries, banks and companies. They remain a key secular theme for 2019.

Advances in digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain, are likely to lead to productivity improvements and business disruptions. Cyber risks and data privacy will add to operational and reputational risks for governments and industries.

Listen to how technology can change underwriting on our latest podcast
Listen to our podcast on the credit implications of cyber risk
See more about Technology & Innovation »

Emerging Markets Focus

Explore the global, regional and national credit risk dynamics across developing economies
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