Themes

Each year Moody's Investors Service identifies the key global themes that will drive credit for the year ahead

Outlooks Connections Podcast Episode 1

Uneven recovery, rising debt and digital transformation will shape credit in 2021

Anne Van Praagh and Michael Taylor of the Credit Strategy & Research team discuss six key trends that will affect the credit landscape as the world deals with the coronavirus crisis. These include an uneven economic recovery, higher corporate and sovereign debt loads, and the accelerated digital transformation of major business sectors.

Uneven recovery

Recovery from the unprecedented economic shock of the coronavirus will be tenuous and inconsistent across countries, regions and sectors.

Related Outlooks

Negative

Asset Management – Global

2021 outlook negative as coronavirus crisis intensifies long-term headwinds
Find Out More
Stable

Automotive manufacturers and parts suppliers – Global

2021 outlook stable on expectations of car sales recovery
Find Out More
Negative

Banks – Global 2021 Outlook

The outlook for banks is negative as global recovery remains patchy and fraught with considerable risk.
Find Out More
 

CMBS and CRE CLOs – US

2021 Outlook — Starkly bifurcated recovery ahead for commercial real estate
Find Out More
 

Credit Conditions – Global

2021 Outlook – Slow economic recovery and uneven pandemic effects will shape credit environment
Find out more
 

Emerging Markets – Global

2021 Outlook – Pandemic will leave lasting scars on credit quality despite tentative recovery
Find out more
 

ESG Global

2021 outlook – Stimulus, transparency and policy alignment to amplify ESG trends
Find Out More
Negative

Finance Companies – Global

2021 outlook is negative
Find Out More
Negative

Financial Institutions - China

2021 outlook negative
View on Moody's.com
 

Gaming, Lodging, Cruise and Restaurants - US

2021 Outlook is mixed as consumers return to casinos and restaurants but cruise prospects remain negative
Find Out More
 

Global Macro Outlook 2021-22

Nascent economic rebound takes hold globally but recovery will remain fragile
Find out more
Negative

Global Sovereign Outlook

Negative 2021 outlook as pandemic fallout weighs on economic activity, government finances, complicates policy choices
Find out more
 

Healthcare – Global

2021 outlook mostly positive as strong demand offsets lingering pressures from the pandemic
Find Out More
Negative

Higher Education - US

2021 outlook negative as pandemic weakens key revenue streams
Find Out More
Negative

Mass Transit - US

2021 outlook negative as coronavirus reduces ridership and squeezes tax revenue
Find Out More
Stable

Nonbank financial institutions - APAC

We maintain a negative outlook for APAC finance companies in 2021 while changing the outlook for APAC securities companies to stable from negative
View on Moody's.com
Stable

Nonfinancial Companies – EMEA

2021 outlook stable on improved prospects for earnings
Find Out More
Stable

Nonfinancial Companies – Latin America

2021 outlook mixed as sectors adjust to pandemic
Find Out More
Stable

Nonfinancial Companies – North America

2021 outlook stable as earnings rebound from steep declines Financial Institutions
Find Out More
Stable

Oil and Gas - Global

2021 outlook stable with modest gain for prices but still-limited capital investment
Find Out More
Negative

Passenger Airlines - Global

2021 outlook negative as operating losses continue into 2022
Find out more
Negative

Regional & Local Governments – China

2021 outlook negative on uneven economic recovery, weak revenue growth and rising leverage
Find Out More
Negative

REITs and REOCs – US

2021 Outlook negative with retail, lodging weakness
Find Out More
Stable

Retail – Europe

2021 outlook stable as demand recovery offset by online surge
View on Moody's.com
Stable

Retail & Apparel - US

2021 Outlook changed to stable in the fourth-quarter 2020 as the worst of the initial pandemic fallout started to ease
Find Out More
Stable

Securities Firms & Market Infrastructure Providers – US

Our 2021 outlook is stable for exchanges and other trading and clearing venue operators; stable for retail brokers, and positive for market makers
Find Out More
 

Structured Finance - China

2021 Outlook - Economic recovery will support asset quality and performance
Find Out More
 

Structured finance – Global

Speed and extent of recovery will vary by asset class and region, with pandemic weighing on performance
Find Out More
Stable

Transportation infrastructure and project finance - Global

2021 Outlooks largely stable as demand recovery takes hold
Find Out More
Stable

Utilities and Power - Global

2021 outlooks mostly stable on supportive regulation and recovery in electricity demand
View on Moody's.com

Related Articles


Discover more on Moodys.com

Policy challenges

Prospects of an unwinding of extraordinary fiscal support measures will create credit risks; geopolitical and trade tensions, especially between the US and China, will be a top policy focus.

Related Outlooks

Stable

Automotive manufacturers and parts suppliers – Global

2021 outlook stable on expectations of car sales recovery
Find Out More
Negative

Banks – Global 2021 Outlook

The outlook for banks is negative as global recovery remains patchy and fraught with considerable risk.
Find Out More
 

Credit Conditions – Global

2021 Outlook – Slow economic recovery and uneven pandemic effects will shape credit environment
Find out more
 

ESG Global

2021 outlook – Stimulus, transparency and policy alignment to amplify ESG trends
Find Out More
Negative

Finance Companies – Global

2021 outlook is negative
Find Out More
Negative

Financial Institutions - China

2021 outlook negative
View on Moody's.com
 

Global Macro Outlook 2021-22

Nascent economic rebound takes hold globally but recovery will remain fragile
Find out more
Negative

Global Sovereign Outlook

Negative 2021 outlook as pandemic fallout weighs on economic activity, government finances, complicates policy choices
Find out more
Stable

Health Insurance – US

2021 outlook stable amid pandemic, technology and policy cross-currents
Find Out More
 

Healthcare – Global

2021 outlook mostly positive as strong demand offsets lingering pressures from the pandemic
Find Out More
Negative

Higher Education - US

2021 outlook negative as pandemic weakens key revenue streams
Find Out More
Negative

Mass Transit - US

2021 outlook negative as coronavirus reduces ridership and squeezes tax revenue
Find Out More
Stable

Nonbank financial institutions - APAC

We maintain a negative outlook for APAC finance companies in 2021 while changing the outlook for APAC securities companies to stable from negative
View on Moody's.com
Stable

Nonfinancial Companies – EMEA

2021 outlook stable on improved prospects for earnings
Find Out More
Stable

Nonfinancial Companies – Latin America

2021 outlook mixed as sectors adjust to pandemic
Find Out More
Stable

Nonfinancial Companies – North America

2021 outlook stable as earnings rebound from steep declines Financial Institutions
Find Out More
Stable

Oil and Gas - Global

2021 outlook stable with modest gain for prices but still-limited capital investment
Find Out More
 

Structured Finance - China

2021 Outlook - Economic recovery will support asset quality and performance
Find Out More
 

Structured finance – Global

Speed and extent of recovery will vary by asset class and region, with pandemic weighing on performance
Find Out More

Related Articles


Discover more on Moodys.com

Rising debt burdens

Weak earnings and more solvency concerns will weigh on hard-hit companies and governments; higher debt levels and more relaxed underwriting will erode the positive effects of low interest rates on debt servicing capacity.

Related Outlooks

Stable

Automotive manufacturers and parts suppliers – Global

2021 outlook stable on expectations of car sales recovery
Find Out More
Negative

Banks – Global 2021 Outlook

The outlook for banks is negative as global recovery remains patchy and fraught with considerable risk.
Find Out More
 

CLOs – Europe

2021 Outlook – Collateral quality will continue to decline while structures adapt to downturn
Find Out More
 

CLOs – US

2021 Outlook – With collateral still weakened, CLOs will incorporate flexibility for managing assets under stress
Find Out More
 

CMBS and CRE CLOs – US

2021 Outlook — Starkly bifurcated recovery ahead for commercial real estate
Find Out More
 

Credit Conditions – Global

2021 Outlook – Slow economic recovery and uneven pandemic effects will shape credit environment
Find out more
 

Emerging Markets – Global

2021 Outlook – Pandemic will leave lasting scars on credit quality despite tentative recovery
Find out more
 

ESG Global

2021 outlook – Stimulus, transparency and policy alignment to amplify ESG trends
Find Out More
Negative

Finance Companies – Global

2021 outlook is negative
Find Out More
 

Gaming, Lodging, Cruise and Restaurants - US

2021 Outlook is mixed as consumers return to casinos and restaurants but cruise prospects remain negative
Find Out More
Negative

Global Sovereign Outlook

Negative 2021 outlook as pandemic fallout weighs on economic activity, government finances, complicates policy choices
Find out more
Negative

Higher Education - US

2021 outlook negative as pandemic weakens key revenue streams
Find Out More
Negative

Mass Transit - US

2021 outlook negative as coronavirus reduces ridership and squeezes tax revenue
Find Out More
Stable

Nonbank financial institutions - APAC

We maintain a negative outlook for APAC finance companies in 2021 while changing the outlook for APAC securities companies to stable from negative
View on Moody's.com
Stable

Nonfinancial companies - China

2021 outlook stable as domestic economy recovers from pandemic
View on Moodys.com
Stable

Nonfinancial Companies – EMEA

2021 outlook stable on improved prospects for earnings
Find Out More
Stable

Nonfinancial Companies – Latin America

2021 outlook mixed as sectors adjust to pandemic
Find Out More
Stable

Nonfinancial Companies – North America

2021 outlook stable as earnings rebound from steep declines Financial Institutions
Find Out More
Stable

Oil and Gas - Global

2021 outlook stable with modest gain for prices but still-limited capital investment
Find Out More
Negative

Passenger Airlines - Global

2021 outlook negative as operating losses continue into 2022
Find out more
Negative

Regional & Local Governments – China

2021 outlook negative on uneven economic recovery, weak revenue growth and rising leverage
Find Out More
Negative

REITs and REOCs – US

2021 Outlook negative with retail, lodging weakness
Find Out More
Stable

Retail & Apparel - US

2021 Outlook changed to stable in the fourth-quarter 2020 as the worst of the initial pandemic fallout started to ease
Find Out More
 

Structured Finance - China

2021 Outlook - Economic recovery will support asset quality and performance
Find Out More
 

Structured finance – Global

Speed and extent of recovery will vary by asset class and region, with pandemic weighing on performance
Find Out More
Stable

Transportation infrastructure and project finance - Global

2021 Outlooks largely stable as demand recovery takes hold
Find Out More

Related Articles


Discover more on Moodys.com

Digital transformation

Growth of digital service delivery, e-commerce and remote work will accelerate changes in sectors such as retail, healthcare, education, banking and commercial real estate.

Related Outlooks

Negative

Asset Management – Global

2021 outlook negative as coronavirus crisis intensifies long-term headwinds
Find Out More
Negative

Banks – Global 2021 Outlook

The outlook for banks is negative as global recovery remains patchy and fraught with considerable risk.
Find Out More
 

Credit Conditions – Global

2021 Outlook – Slow economic recovery and uneven pandemic effects will shape credit environment
Find out more
 

ESG Global

2021 outlook – Stimulus, transparency and policy alignment to amplify ESG trends
Find Out More
Negative

Finance Companies – Global

2021 outlook is negative
Find Out More
 

Gaming, Lodging, Cruise and Restaurants - US

2021 Outlook is mixed as consumers return to casinos and restaurants but cruise prospects remain negative
Find Out More
Stable

Global Investment Banks

2021 outlook stable as diverse businesses, strong capital, liquidity and funding ease pandemic-related asset quality pressure
Find Out More
Stable

Health Insurance – US

2021 outlook stable amid pandemic, technology and policy cross-currents
Find Out More
 

Healthcare – Global

2021 outlook mostly positive as strong demand offsets lingering pressures from the pandemic
Find Out More
Negative

Higher Education - US

2021 outlook negative as pandemic weakens key revenue streams
Find Out More
Negative

Mass Transit - US

2021 outlook negative as coronavirus reduces ridership and squeezes tax revenue
Find Out More
Stable

Nonbank financial institutions - APAC

We maintain a negative outlook for APAC finance companies in 2021 while changing the outlook for APAC securities companies to stable from negative
View on Moody's.com
Stable

Nonfinancial Companies – EMEA

2021 outlook stable on improved prospects for earnings
Find Out More
Stable

Nonfinancial Companies – North America

2021 outlook stable as earnings rebound from steep declines Financial Institutions
Find Out More
Stable

P&C Insurance – Global

2021 Outlook stable on strong capital, commercial prices
Find Out More
Negative

REITs and REOCs – US

2021 Outlook negative with retail, lodging weakness
Find Out More
Stable

Retail – Europe

2021 outlook stable as demand recovery offset by online surge
View on Moody's.com
Stable

Retail & Apparel - US

2021 Outlook changed to stable in the fourth-quarter 2020 as the worst of the initial pandemic fallout started to ease
Find Out More
 

Structured finance – Global

Speed and extent of recovery will vary by asset class and region, with pandemic weighing on performance
Find Out More

Related Articles


Discover more on Moodys.com

Environmental impact

The consequences of climate change will require increased adaptation and mitigation efforts, with wide-ranging effects on governments and companies.

Stable

Automotive manufacturers and parts suppliers – Global

2021 outlook stable on expectations of car sales recovery
Find Out More
Negative

Banks – Global 2021 Outlook

The outlook for banks is negative as global recovery remains patchy and fraught with considerable risk.
Find Out More
 

CLOs – Europe

2021 Outlook – Collateral quality will continue to decline while structures adapt to downturn
Find Out More
 

CLOs – US

2021 Outlook – With collateral still weakened, CLOs will incorporate flexibility for managing assets under stress
Find Out More
 

CMBS and CRE CLOs – US

2021 Outlook — Starkly bifurcated recovery ahead for commercial real estate
Find Out More
 

Credit Conditions – Global

2021 Outlook – Slow economic recovery and uneven pandemic effects will shape credit environment
Find out more
 

Emerging Markets – Global

2021 Outlook – Pandemic will leave lasting scars on credit quality despite tentative recovery
Find out more
 

ESG Global

2021 outlook – Stimulus, transparency and policy alignment to amplify ESG trends
Find Out More
Stable

Nonfinancial Companies – EMEA

2021 outlook stable on improved prospects for earnings
Find Out More
Stable

Oil and Gas - Global

2021 outlook stable with modest gain for prices but still-limited capital investment
Find Out More
Stable

P&C Insurance – Global

2021 Outlook stable on strong capital, commercial prices
Find Out More
Negative

Passenger Airlines - Global

2021 outlook negative as operating losses continue into 2022
Find out more
Negative

REITs and REOCs – US

2021 Outlook negative with retail, lodging weakness
Find Out More
 

Structured finance – Global

Speed and extent of recovery will vary by asset class and region, with pandemic weighing on performance
Find Out More
Stable

Utilities and Power - Global

2021 outlooks mostly stable on supportive regulation and recovery in electricity demand
View on Moody's.com

Related Articles


Discover more on Moodys.com

Public health and safety issues stemming from the coronavirus, growing inequality, demographic trends and other social challenges will have substantial credit implications.

Related Articles


Discover more on Moodys.com