Intellectual Thoughts by Sanjay Panda !!!!!: U.S. Housing Slump End `Not Visible,' Credit to Worsen - IMF


Monday, July 28, 2008

U.S. Housing Slump End `Not Visible,' Credit to Worsen - IMF

The International Monetary Fund said there's no end in sight to the U.S. housing recession and warned that deteriorating credit conditions for consumers and banks may prolong a period of slow economic growth.

At the moment, a bottom for the housing market is not visible, the IMF said in its Global Financial Stability Report. Stemming the decline in the U.S. housing market is necessary for market stabilization as this would help both households and financial institutions to recover.

The IMF, which a year ago failed to foresee the depth of the subprime mortgage collapse, stood by its April forecast for about $1 trillion in losses stemming from the U.S. mortgage crisis. Worldwide asset writedowns and losses have totaled $469 billion in the past year and $345 billion has been raised.

The Washington-based lender in the report said the Federal Reserve's decisions to expand lending to Wall Street firms have succeeded in containing systemic risks.'' Still, weakness in housing threatens to extend the slump.The growing concern is that, with delinquencies and foreclosures in the U.S. housing market rising sharply, and house prices continuing to fall, loan deterioration is becoming more widespread,'' the IMF said.

As economic growth slows, banks will face continued headwinds in maintaining earnings due to falling credit quality, declining fee income, high funding costs, and exposures to monoline and mortgage insurers.

On July 17 the IMF said inflation in developing and emerging countries would average 9.1 percent in 2008, up from a forecast of 7.4 percent in April. Their prediction for inflation in advanced economies for this year was raised to 3.4 percent, compared with a forecast of 2.6 percent in April.

Bloomberg


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