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    Macroeconomic and insurance research

    This page hosts contributions from the Generali Group’s specialized research and analysis centres: Generali Investments' Group Macroeconomic and Financial Research and Generali's Group Insurance Research.

    Generali Investments video interviews

    The video series Generali Investments in Action provides regular interviews with Generali Investments’ research senior specialists and their views on the financial markets.

    GI video interviews

    GI video interviews

    Market Perspectives

    Generali Investments' Market Perspectives publication delivers monthly information about the international financial markets. It deals with up-to-date economic data as well as current trends at capital markets. This publication is available only in English.

    Market Perspectives

    • 31 Jul 2017

      August 2017

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    • 31 May 2017

      June 2017

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    • 28 Apr 2017

      May 2017

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    Focal point

    The Generali Investments' Focal Point publication is designed to address on an ad hoc basis varying topics of high relevance for financial markets. Its focus is medium-term in order to support the Tactical Asset Allocation process with relevant  investment ideas.

    FOCAL POINT

    • 11 Aug 2017

      Mounting risks to EUR High Yield bonanza

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    • 19 Jul 2017

      Correction in Bund yields does not herald sell-off

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    • 09 Jun 2017

      Fed policy tightening still underpriced by markets

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    Focal Point

    • 11 Aug 2017

      Mounting risks to EUR High Yield bonanza

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    • 19 Jul 2017

      Correction in Bund yields does not herald sell-off

      419 kb

       
    • 09 Jun 2017

      Fed policy tightening still underpriced by markets

      260 kb

       
    • 06 Jun 2017

      UK snap elections may fail to ease Brexit negotiations

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    • 30 May 2017

      Brazil: A bumpy road ahead but reform push is not dead

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    • 26 May 2017

      US trade policy: More barking than biting

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    • 23 May 2017

      US: Steady growth, but hopes of fiscal boost cool

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    • 12 May 2017

      Italy: Political risks unlikely to abate anytime soon

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    • 05 May 2017

      Macron’s election would lower political risk premium

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    • 04 Apr 2017

      French elections: What is at stake?

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    • 31 Mar 2017

      Brexit negotiations to start tough

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    • 24 Mar 2017

      Greece: No deal yet, but 2015-style crisis unlikely

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    • 10 Mar 2017

      Limited risks from Dutch election outcome

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    • 08 Mar 2017

      Accelerated US rate hikes ahead

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    • 21 Dec 2016

      Trumponomics and the case for higher US rates 21 December, 2016

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    • 15 Dec 2016

      BoJ to show commitment to its interest targets 15 December, 2016

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    • 18 Nov 2016

      Italian referendum: Future governability at stake 18 November, 2016

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    • 09 Nov 2016

      What is at stake with Trump as new US President? 9 November, 2016

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    • 04 Nov 2016

      US election: equity martet implications 4 November, 2016

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    • 24 Oct 2016

      Earnings growth to turn back into positive territory 24 October, 2016

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    • 18 Oct 2016

      China’s structural debt problem is still aggravating 18 October, 2016

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    • 13 Oct 2016

      Debt issuance cannot keep up with ECB purchases 13 October, 2016

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    • 06 Oct 2016

      Impacts of a European Financial Transaction Tax 6 October, 2016

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    • 30 Sep 2016

      Oil prices: A mild rebound is in the cards 30 September, 2016

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    • 16 Sep 2016

      ECB: Action postponed towards year-end 16 September, 2016

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    • 06 Sep 2016

      US presidential elections: What is at stake? 6 September, 2016

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    • 19 Jul 2016

      Helicopter money: A viable policy tool? 19 July, 2016

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    • 07 Jul 2016

      US: The labor market continues to support growth 7 July, 2016

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    • 22 Jun 2016

      Spanish elections: Still long negotiations to follow 22 June, 2016

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    • 10 Jun 2016

      Brexit: The fallout on Europe 10 June, 2016

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    • 30 May 2016

      ECB to give new momentum to euro area credits 30 May, 2016

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    • 17 May 2016

      Greece: A pragmatic deal but only for the short term 17 May, 2016

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    • 22 Apr 2016

      Italy: Escape velocity not achieved yet 22 April, 2016

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    • 18 Apr 2016

      Japan's monetary policy: Next Bazooka imminent? 18 April, 2016

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    • 30 Mar 2016

      What's next for US inflation? 30 March, 2016

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    • 17 Mar 2016

      New ECB measures: A mixed bag for banks 17 March, 2016

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    • 08 Mar 2016

      ECB: Further easing steps ahead 8 March, 2016

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    • 07 Mar 2016

      Brexit: What is at stake? 7 March, 2016

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    • 22 Feb 2016

      Credit: Searching for value after recent market woes 22 February, 2016

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    • 20 Jan 2016

      Earnings outlook to favor EA equities

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    • 05 Jan 2016

      German growth to stay solid 5 January, 2016

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    INVESTMENT VIEW

    The investment View offers the “House View” of Generali Investments on the global economy and financial markets. It is based on the consolidated views coming out of the quarterly investment meetings. Starting with a global view, the publication includes a macro-economic analysis of the most important areas (USA, Euro-area, Japan and Great Britain). In the second part, the asset classes bonds, equities and currencies are analyzsed and forecasted. The Investment View closes with an overview on the forecasts and the resulting model portfolios.

    INVESTMENT VIEW

    • 29 Mar 2017

      Economic spring time countering political risks - Q2 2017

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    • 30 Sep 2016

      Coping with political uncertainties and divergent monetary policies - Q4 2016

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    • 04 Jul 2016

      Brexit: A risky divorce Q3 2016

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    Investment view

    • 29 Mar 2017

      Economic spring time countering political risks - Q2 2017

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    • 30 Sep 2016

      Coping with political uncertainties and divergent monetary policies - Q4 2016

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    • 04 Jul 2016

      Brexit: A risky divorce Q3 2016

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    • 21 Mar 2016

      Investing amid lingering global growth worries Q2 2016

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    Outlook

    Each year Generali Investments' research team assembles the macroeconomic global outlook and the key financial trends for the coming twelve months.

    OUTLOOK

    • 19 Dec 2016

      2017

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    • 01 Dec 2015

      2016

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    WORKING PAPERS

    The Generali's Working Papers Series hosts the preliminary results of research projects, published to stimulate discussion and elicit comments. The views expressed in the papers are those of the authors and do not involve the responsibility of the Generali Group. Any errors or omissions are responsibility of the authors.

    WORKING PAPERS

    • 28 Sep 2016

      We challenge the common wisdom that the income elasticity of insurance be higher, ceteris paribus, in developing countries (the so-called S-curve hypothesis). Focusing on non-life insurance, we show that the available evidence is contradictory and heavily dependent on methodology. Based on a recent approach to consistent inference on the income elasticity of insurance, we show counterexamples to the theory. Although not supporting it in general, we argue that it could still be relevant for explaining the behaviour of particular lines of business.

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    • 22 Dec 2015

      This paper seeks to explain the large difference in the incidence of motor insurance fraud between Italian provinces. The econometric analysis highlights the role of the dierence in per capita income and strength of social norms common to other types of crimes. Moreover the differences in the average cost of purchasing this mandatory cover are shown to affect the propensity to defraud. Finally, cyclical fluctuations in the labor mar- ket have an effect, both directly and by weakening the deterrent power of social norms.

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    Working papers

    • 28 Sep 2016

      We challenge the common wisdom that the income elasticity of insurance be higher, ceteris paribus, in developing countries (the so-called S-curve hypothesis). Focusing on non-life insurance, we show that the available evidence is contradictory and heavily dependent on methodology. Based on a recent approach to consistent inference on the income elasticity of insurance, we show counterexamples to the theory. Although not supporting it in general, we argue that it could still be relevant for explaining the behaviour of particular lines of business.

      373 kb

    • 22 Dec 2015

      This paper seeks to explain the large difference in the incidence of motor insurance fraud between Italian provinces. The econometric analysis highlights the role of the dierence in per capita income and strength of social norms common to other types of crimes. Moreover the differences in the average cost of purchasing this mandatory cover are shown to affect the propensity to defraud. Finally, cyclical fluctuations in the labor mar- ket have an effect, both directly and by weakening the deterrent power of social norms.

      334 kb

    • The development of Italian private pension plans shows little progress, in spite of generous fiscal incentives. We show that few subjects contribute and even fewer fully exploit the fiscal advantage. Our analysis underlines that in evaluating fiscal incentives Italian savers are influenced by a wide range of heuristics. So there is room for skillful public and private decision makers to reach the goal of increasing the private pension pillar taking advantage of the way people really take their decisions.

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    • This paper analyses the impact of the evolution of the regulation dealing with systemically important insurance groups, using an event study methodology. The results show that investors were able to detect which companies were to be designated well ahead of the publication of the list. Most important, after an initial positive reaction, consistent with the expectation of a “Too-big-to-fail” implicit subsidy, the disclosure on how the capital charges for systemic insurers will be calculated led to sizeable negative abnormal returns for the entities concerned.

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    Insurance dossier: Italian market trends

    Generali's annual publication "Insurance Dossier" explains key statistical information on the Italian insurance market.

    Insurance dossier

    • 16 Jun 2017

      In most of the core European markets the trend of the life insurance was mainly negative in 2016, with the only notable exception of Spain and Hungary, given that the macroeconomic scenario continued to be characterized by very low bond yields. The shift towards Unit linked products was not able to recover the falling down of traditional products and now insurers are mainly pushing for hybrid products. Non-life insurance premium collection posted a far better result than the life one, in line with the previous year, thanks in particularly to the good performance of the motor insurance where we are seeing a recovery after years of low profitability.

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    • 17 Jun 2016

      Economic growth in Euro area continued but remained frail sustained by the recovery of the internal demand with positive impact on insurance sector in almost all European Countries. The macroeconomic scenario characterized by very low bond yields, especially in the core European markets, was still a burden for the life insurance; the only notable exception was Spain where gross written premiums, after years of a negative trend, increased versus the previous year thanks to the performance of the risk business (+7.6%) driven by the recovery of the housing market. The new wave of uncertainty that affected financial markets at the end of the year re-oriented life insurance demand, previously focused on unit linked products, towards traditional product with guarantees.

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    • 30 Jun 2015

      During 2014 the improvement in financial conditions created opportunities for the insurance business in most of the European markets, where premium income and profitability were broadly on the rise. In the Euro area, life insurance premiums experienced substantial growth in several markets, maintaining and even overtaking the good performance of 2013. However, there are two exceptions to this trend: Germany, where growth slowed down and where the persistence of a low interest rate environment negatively affected the appeal of guaranteed and may represent a threat to companies financial stability, and Spain, where there was only a moderate level of growth in the life premiums in contrast to substantial contraction in past year. Low investment return combined with Solvency II Requirements have rapidly shifted the product mix in favor of Unit Linked policies.

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    Insurance Dossier

    • 16 Jun 2017

      In most of the core European markets the trend of the life insurance was mainly negative in 2016, with the only notable exception of Spain and Hungary, given that the macroeconomic scenario continued to be characterized by very low bond yields. The shift towards Unit linked products was not able to recover the falling down of traditional products and now insurers are mainly pushing for hybrid products. Non-life insurance premium collection posted a far better result than the life one, in line with the previous year, thanks in particularly to the good performance of the motor insurance where we are seeing a recovery after years of low profitability.

      758 kb

    • 17 Jun 2016

      Economic growth in Euro area continued but remained frail sustained by the recovery of the internal demand with positive impact on insurance sector in almost all European Countries. The macroeconomic scenario characterized by very low bond yields, especially in the core European markets, was still a burden for the life insurance; the only notable exception was Spain where gross written premiums, after years of a negative trend, increased versus the previous year thanks to the performance of the risk business (+7.6%) driven by the recovery of the housing market. The new wave of uncertainty that affected financial markets at the end of the year re-oriented life insurance demand, previously focused on unit linked products, towards traditional product with guarantees.

      763 kb

    • 30 Jun 2015

      During 2014 the improvement in financial conditions created opportunities for the insurance business in most of the European markets, where premium income and profitability were broadly on the rise. In the Euro area, life insurance premiums experienced substantial growth in several markets, maintaining and even overtaking the good performance of 2013. However, there are two exceptions to this trend: Germany, where growth slowed down and where the persistence of a low interest rate environment negatively affected the appeal of guaranteed and may represent a threat to companies financial stability, and Spain, where there was only a moderate level of growth in the life premiums in contrast to substantial contraction in past year. Low investment return combined with Solvency II Requirements have rapidly shifted the product mix in favor of Unit Linked policies.

      6 mb

    • 30 Jun 2014

      In 2013, the European insurance industry posted overall positive results. Life insurance premiums increased while the performance of non-life insurance was on average in line with that of 2012. In Italy, in 2013, total turnover was up 13.3%. In particular, life premiums (direct Italian business) grew by 22.5%; new business was up 31.3%.

      5 mb

    • 28 Jun 2013

      Market uncertainty and volatility heavily affected the performance of insurance industry in 2012. Life insurance turnover continued to contract in many of the main European markets due to the same factor which depressed premium growth in 2011, namely low household savings ratio and the unappealing level of guaranteed yields, especially in comparison with those of bank products, which were also supported by aggressive marketing strategies. These factors are clearly at play in the Italian market, where premiums were down 3.8%. Much of the fall was recorded in the first part of the year: the rebound in confidence following ECB action in September boosted collection in the final quarter of the year.

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    • 29 Jun 2012

      In 2011 the performance of the Italian insurance industry was heavily affected by the difficult financial and economic situation in Europe. Premium income in the life sectors dropped all over Europe compared with the previous year, as the difficult economic conditions facing families seriously hindered their propensity to save. On top of that, the decline in guaranteed returns due to pre-crisis low interest rate environment, combined with the effect of strong competition from other savings products, especially those distributed by banks, contributed to further wors-en the life insurance performance. This trend was apparent on the Italian market, where life premium income fell by 12.3% (reaching 18.3% if we take into account direct Italian premium income) and where bancassurance channel recorded an over 25% decline in premiums .

      937 kb

    • 29 Jul 2011

      The stabilisation of the financial markets during 2009 promoted the growth The strong recovery of premium income recorded in the life sector in 2009 continued on all the main markets in 2010. Growth was again driven by low risk products which offer a minimum guaranteed return; demand for these products benefited from a rather steep yield curve and the volatility of the stock markets, which in many countries penalised the growth of linked products. The Italian market was once again the most dynamic, with 9.2% growth.

      451 kb