Scarring: Mapping the damage of the lockdowns

Governments are looking at the longer-term impact of lockdowns on their economies. Expect to hear more around the world about ‘scarring’ over the next few weeks. Chastened governments are examining the damage that lockdowns have brought. They are cautious about the speed at which they can relax to get more people back to work. They … Continue reading “Scarring: Mapping the damage of the lockdowns”

Looking back at the markets through April

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review Painful consequences Following March’s collapse in share prices, global stock markets made a partial recovery in April, although most major indices still sustained double-digit losses compared with the start of the year. As the coronavirus pandemic continued to cut a swathe … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through April”

How long a shutdown can governments afford?

If a return to work is organised after the three-month stage, there will be some rebound, but economies will not spring back into full output immediately. The Central Banks have responded quickly and with great force to the crisis. Led by the Fed they have produced huge amounts of cash to keep markets afloat, rescuing … Continue reading “How long a shutdown can governments afford?”

Coronavirus to spark “severe” global recession

The coronavirus is having a severe effect on global economic activity and amidst considerable uncertainty we have attempted to gauge the impact and updated our forecasts. We now expect to see the world economy contract this year by 3.1%, before rebounding by 7.2% in 2021. The forecast incorporates a severe recession in the first half … Continue reading “Coronavirus to spark “severe” global recession”

The US-EU economic battle

Donald Trump spoke out at Davos, condemning the people he called the “perennial prophets of doom” for forecasting climate and other disasters. He said they “are the heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers. They want us to do badly”. He did not name the EU or individual European countries, but the implication was clear. His … Continue reading “The US-EU economic battle”

Could the coronavirus derail the global recovery?

China is acting fast to contain the spread of coronavirus but the risk of economic disruption is high.  Concerns over the spread of the coronavirus are escalating as the death toll has jumped to 81 with 2,744 confirmed cases worldwide (as at 11:00 GMT, 27 January). Travel restrictions on about 40 million people around Wuhan, … Continue reading “Could the coronavirus derail the global recovery?”

Bank of England takes dovish turn, but for how long?

The Bank of England (BoE) left interest rates at 0.75% as expected. However, there was a surprise as two members of the monetary policy committee voted to cut rates. The more dovish1 vote (7-2 rather than the widely expected 9-0) came alongside a downgrade to the bank’s global growth assumptions. Weaker UK growth is also … Continue reading “Bank of England takes dovish turn, but for how long?”

A look at equity markets in Japan and China

On a day when Wall Street has reached new all-time highs, there has been some favourable effects on equity markets around the world. The bulls are buying, hoping that there will be some modest trade deal soon between the US and China. Meanwhile, all can enjoy the benefits of low-interest rates and more money available … Continue reading “A look at equity markets in Japan and China”

Unwise to chase the rally in European equities

Although the eurozone economy is struggling, European assets have performed strongly in recent weeks as policymakers at the European Central Bank (ECB) have made it clear that they are ready to implement another round of monetary stimulus. Nevertheless, we remain pessimistic about the eurozone economy’s prospects and sceptical of the ECB’s ability to stimulate growth. … Continue reading “Unwise to chase the rally in European equities”

Tough times for the UK may force rate cut

The UK economy is struggling to stay above water. Brexit uncertainty has hit confidence, causing many companies to postpone or cancel investment projects. Even households are now cutting back. According to the latest survey from the British Retail Consortium, average sales growth weakened to just 0.6% in the 12 months to June, which is the … Continue reading “Tough times for the UK may force rate cut”

Looking back at the markets through April

Brextension Having delayed Brexit from 29 March to 12 April, Prime Minister Theresa May agreed a new Brexit deadline of 31 October with EU leaders. As well as drawing out the uncertainty that has intensified over the last few months, this decision also means that the UK will have to take part in European Parliamentary … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through April”

Why a pick-up in UK growth may prove deceptive

Recent economic data from the UK has improved but signs are that this is due to stockpiling ahead of worries over potential Brexit disruption. Brexit continues to dominate news and politics in the UK. Even lowly economists pray for a break from the mundane gridlock and circular arguments. Now that the Brexit deadline has been … Continue reading “Why a pick-up in UK growth may prove deceptive”

Why policy reform is the key to China’s demographic challenge

It is well known that China faces an ageing problem. The popular narrative has it that China surged up the growth league tables on the back of its giant population, reaping years of demographic dividends to become the world’s second largest economy. In this narrative, China’s population is now ageing and so the growth story … Continue reading “Why policy reform is the key to China’s demographic challenge”

Fed turns more dovish and signals an end to rate hikes

The Federal Reserve (Fed) has lowered its projections for US growth and inflation and reduced its expectations for interest rates. The “dot plot” published after last night’s meeting shows no rate hikes this year and only one in 2020.  Tighter financial conditions At his press conference, Fed chair Jerome Powell said growth was slowing by … Continue reading “Fed turns more dovish and signals an end to rate hikes”

The Brexit deadline looms

The UK ended February with the question of Brexit still unanswered.  The month was dominated by political newsflow as concerns over Brexit were compounded by the resignation of eleven MPs who left the Conservative or Labour parties to form ‘The Independent Group’.  A second ‘meaningful vote’ on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal will take … Continue reading “The Brexit deadline looms”