European Credit Risk Managers Project 2012 Economic Recession, According to FICO-Efma Survey

Almost eight out of 10 (79%) credit risk management professionals forecast a new European recession for 2012, according to a survey conducted by FICO, a provider of analytics and decision management technology, and Efma.

Opinions on the likelihood of a new European recession varied depending on the market. For example, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (the DACH region), just 45% of respondents forecast recession, and in the UK and Ireland, the count went down to 40%. However, 76% of respondents in central and eastern Europe said a new European recession is likely this year.

When asked if they believed their own country would enter a new recession in 2012, 100% of Spanish and Portuguese respondents said yes, and 44% said they strongly agreed with this statement. More than half (53%) of respondents from the UK and Ireland forecast a local recession, compared with just 25% from the DACH region.

Risk managers also see a tough year ahead for the housing market. Asked if it would end the year stronger than it is now, just 2% said yes, and 60% said no. The DACH region had the most positive outlook, with 56% of respondents saying the housing market would get stronger in 2012. By contrast, just 18% of respondents from the UK and Ireland agreed, and no one in Spain and Portugal forecast an improvement.

“We don’t see housing markets improving until job markets improve, and right now the forecast looks rocky at best,” said Mike Gordon, FICO vice president and managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “These forecasts echo those in our recent survey of US credit risk professionals, who said housing prices would not return to pre-recession levels until at least 2020. In countries like the US and the UK, the housing market also won’t rebound until the backlog of distressed properties is cleared out.”


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