Germany Issues Bills With Negative Yields As Economists Agree Country Is In Recession

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Continuing the schizoid overnight theme, we look at Germany which just sold €3.9 billion in 6 month zero-coupon Bubills at a record low yield of -0.0122% (negative) compared to 0.001% previously. The bid to cover was 1.8 compared to 3.8 before. As per the FT: "German short-term debt has traded at negative yields in the secondary market for some weeks with three-month, six-month and one-year debt all below zero. Bills for six-month debt hit a low of minus 0.3 per cent shortly after Christmas...The German auction marks the start of another busy week of debt sales across Europe. France and Slovakia are also selling bills on Monday, with Austria and the Netherlands selling bonds on Tuesday. Germany will auction five-year bonds on Wednesday, while Thursday sees sales of Spanish bonds and Italian bills. Italy finishes the week with a sale of bonds on Friday." Still the fact that the ECB deposit facility, already at a new record as pointed out previously, is not enough for banks to parks cash is grounds for alarm bells going off: the solvency crisis in Europe is not getting any easier, confirmed by the implosion of UniCredit which is down now another 11% this morning and down nearly 50% since the atrocious rights offering announced last week. On this background Germany continues to be a beacon of stability, yet even here the consensus is that recession has arrived. As Bild writes, according to a bank economist survey, Germany's economy is expected to shrink in Q1, with wage increases remaining below 3%. And as deflation grips the nation, potentially unleashing the possibility for direct ECB monetization, look for core yields to continue sliding lower, at least on the LTRO-covered short end.

From Bild:

The German economy is in for a weak start in the new year. This is the result of a survey of "World Online" under 14 bank economists. The majority of experts expected that the gross domestic product (GDP) over the past three months has shrunk.

 

In the first quarter of 2012, this decline is likely to intensify further. Technically, Germany is thus already in the midst of a recession. An economy is by definition in decline when economic output is two consecutive quarters.

 

However, economists expect that the decline in economic performance fail only mild and win the business over the course something to ride. More than 0.5 percent GDP growth in the average of the forecasts for Germany, but this year not in it - a significant drop compared to last year.

 

The year 2011 was € despite crisis all about economic growth. Almost all experts expect for 2011, with GDP growth of three percent. It would be the second consecutive year with a three before the comma. Exact figures will be presented by the Federal Statistical Office on Wednesday.

 

The progress of the euro crisis is for the economists in this year is the biggest risk factor for the German economy. "It has fueled uncertainty among businesses, and this uncertainty lies down now like mildew on the economy. This can not escape the well-established German economy, "said Joerg Kraemer, chief economist at Commerzbank.