Treasuring trade

Global trade is good for everyone but it’s taken a back seat in the past year. Can we look forward to its renaissance in 2021 and beyond? One of the few topics on which economists agree is the benefits of global trade. Among the first lessons taught to economics students is the Ricardian theory of … Continue reading “Treasuring trade”

Post-Brexit trade deal: three key takeaways

As 2020 drew to a close, it marked not only an end to a dismal year beset by Covid-19, but also to the UK’s transition period as it ended its membership of the European Union. There was relief over the festive period among investors that a trade deal had been finalised, helping to boost sterling. … Continue reading “Post-Brexit trade deal: three key takeaways”

Patience required on the path to recovery

The growing confidence that 2021 will be much better than the year we have just endured is probably correct. That these positive emotions are stirred over Christmas and new year is right and proper – as feelings of optimism and renewal are central themes in our winter celebrations. There is also real evidence to support … Continue reading “Patience required on the path to recovery”

Markets vs the Economy: The Big Disconnect

In March, governments across the world scrambled to contain COVID-19 by imposing draconian restrictions on activity.  As offices, shops, roads and rails emptied out, vast swathes of the economy were mothballed.  Over the next six months, we witnessed both the sharpest contraction and the fastest rebound on record, driven entirely by governments’ decisions to restrict … Continue reading “Markets vs the Economy: The Big Disconnect”

Biden presidency could trigger global reallocation to Asia

Less confrontational style likely to lower headline risk and may drive global investors to refocus on the fundamental strengths of Asia’s economies and financial markets. Asian financial markets could reap the benefits if US president-elect Joe Biden proves to be more conventional than his predecessor in the White House, potentially triggering a reallocation of global … Continue reading “Biden presidency could trigger global reallocation to Asia”

The COVID crisis – from risk to opportunity

As recessions go, Covid was an unusually deep one, with many advanced and emerging economies contracting by well over 10% from peak to trough and a few by closer to 20%. However, it was also unusually brief, with the period of contraction lasting for only 1-3 months in most countries, as well as atypically strong; … Continue reading “The COVID crisis – from risk to opportunity”

Fed repression could turn to Fed regret

At its latest policy meeting the US Federal Reserve (Fed) signalled that interest rates would be close to zero for the next three years as it aimed to hit its new objective of a 2% average inflation target and maximum employment. The central bank’s economic projections show that it intends to run the economy “hot” … Continue reading “Fed repression could turn to Fed regret”

UK recovery loses momentum as Covid-19 effects linger

The latest monthly UK GDP estimate shows the economy returning back to growth on a rolling three-months basis – up 8% compared to a -7.6% contraction in July, which should ensure double digit growth for the third quarter. However, the data also reveals a significant loss in momentum, as monthly growth was down from 6.6% … Continue reading “UK recovery loses momentum as Covid-19 effects linger”

Back on the Brexit rollercoaster: buckle up for a bumpy ride

What’s happening with Brexit? The UK and European Union (EU) resumed Brexit negotiations over the summer but made limited progress. The political drama and posturing that accompanied the proceedings look certain to persist in the coming weeks. It appears the UK intends proposing domestic laws to weaken its Withdrawal Agreement commitments on the border between … Continue reading “Back on the Brexit rollercoaster: buckle up for a bumpy ride”

Looking back at the markets through July

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review  The other “R” number … Recession Early in July, investors were buoyed by news of progress in the development of coronavirus vaccines. However, as the month continued, optimism was tempered by a surge in infection rates in countries including the US, … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through July”

Brazil: will this emerging market ever emerge?

Will Brazil be an emerging market that never quite emerges? In the 2000s, the Latin American giant was making impressive progress in converging with developed economies. But since the global financial crisis of 2008, it has surrendered most of these gains. Today, the Covid-19 pandemic is hitting the country hard, threatening not only the health … Continue reading “Brazil: will this emerging market ever emerge?”

The uncomfortable truth about climate change and investment returns

Investors can no longer ignore climate change. Long gone are the days of debating whether it even exists; climate change is here and it’s going to have a major impact on the way we live. It’s also already having a major impact on how we invest. That’s why by the end of 2020 we will … Continue reading “The uncomfortable truth about climate change and investment returns”

The end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end

It is becoming clear that the global recovery from the COVID-19 recession began in May. Widespread, albeit still incomplete, success in slowing the spread of the virus has prompted most governments to begin easing lockdowns over recent weeks, following China’s earlier lead. That has led to broad-based improvements in business and consumer confidence, alternative indicators … Continue reading “The end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end”

Can international tourism ever recover?

Travel restrictions are slowly being lifted, but most people are more likely to be jumping into their cars to go on holiday than onto an aircraft. So, can international tourism ever recover? And might the slump force some countries to reorder their economic priorities? Lessons from previous crises The UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) … Continue reading “Can international tourism ever recover?”

Asia after the storm

The world has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic this year. Most economic activity was suspended as many of us spent our days confined to our homes. The Asia Pacific region will not escape unscathed. Decades of globalisation ensures that we are all in this together, regardless of where one lives, and whether one likes … Continue reading “Asia after the storm”