How strong might the UK’s post-Covid economic recovery be?

Despite encouraging signs, policy support will be required for some time to come. It has been a tough start to the year for the UK. As lockdown restrictions continue to slowly ease, we examine the progress made in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, and whether hopes for a strong economic recovery are well founded. Vaccines offered … Continue reading “How strong might the UK’s post-Covid economic recovery be?”

Wall of money keeps markets buoyant

Inflation is not the enemy of central banks right now and their printing presses continue to run. Money creation look set to continue and government debts will rise. There is uniformity amongst the leading central banks of the world that recession, not inflation, is the enemy. They are all offering ultra-low interest rates, substantial money … Continue reading “Wall of money keeps markets buoyant”

Are investors adjusting to the new normal?

Potential for recovery following Covid-19 and trends which have accelerated as a result of it give many reasons for optimism heading into 2021. The list of reasons for investor uncertainty heading into 2021 remains long. A global pandemic. Lockdowns. Volatile markets. Political turbulence. Uncertainty over jobs and the economy. Record levels of government borrowing – … Continue reading “Are investors adjusting to the new normal?”

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”

Government borrowing is large but not yet a problem

Advanced country governments have found it easy to increase their borrowings at very low interest rates, but they can’t make a habit of borrowing such large sums. Over the last three months, most governments have greatly increased their spending and suffered a major decline in tax revenues. There was always going to be a large … Continue reading “Government borrowing is large but not yet a problem”

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”

Keep calm and carry on

An unexpected global pandemic has triggered the third bear market of the 21st century. At the start of the year, equity analysts had priced in profits growth of 5-10% a year, now they are downgrading their profits estimates by 5-10% a week. One of the deepest economic recessions since the 1930s will expose some well-known … Continue reading “Keep calm and carry on”

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”

Surprises in European equities

Why have European equities performed so well in 2019 and what are the prospects for 2020? For much of 2019, European equities were an unloved asset class, shunned by investors. At first sight, this was understandable – the region is growing only slowly, wracked by political tensions and wrestling with headwinds in vital sectors such as … Continue reading “Surprises in European equities”

How far will the monetary boost go?

The world’s central banks are keen to boost economies. Many are using the scope of falling US interest rates to do something similar themselves. Some are worried about the lack of money in the markets and are taking action to boost liquidity. Some are concerned about a low rate of new borrowing reflecting poor rates … Continue reading “How far will the monetary boost go?”

Investors must get used to an environment of lower growth

We will have to get used to an environment of lower growth. However, this is the kind of environment in which active managers will truly prove their worth. “Nobody buys a farm based on whether they think it’s going to rain next year. They buy it because they think it’s a good investment over 10 … Continue reading “Investors must get used to an environment of lower growth”

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?”

The comfort of strangers: investors should look to the less familiar

Adaptation is necessary when an environment becomes less favourable. So, as the global outlook assumes a gloomier cast, we believe investors should look beyond the comfort of conventional asset classes and bolster their portfolios with less familiar – and less correlated – assets. Secular stagnation? Recent headlines provide no shortage of alarming developments: a lurch … Continue reading “The comfort of strangers: investors should look to the less familiar”

Jaw-jaw at Jackson Hole: Fed exercise to restore lost credibility could end up harming it further

This month’s Jackson Hole symposium is intended to address the ‘challenges for monetary policy’. In reality, the debate will probably be around the merits or otherwise of the US Federal Reserve (Fed) continuing to cut interest rates or not. The Fed finds itself at a taxing junction. It needs to reassure investors that it has … Continue reading “Jaw-jaw at Jackson Hole: Fed exercise to restore lost credibility could end up harming it further”