Will the UK economy slip into recession?

Disappointing GDP data shows the UK economy contracted in the second quarter and raises the risk of the country entering a technical recession. The UK economy contracted by 0.2% in the second quarter, following 0.5% growth at the start of the year. What was behind the data? A sharp drop in manufacturing output (-2.3%) over … Continue reading “Will the UK economy slip into recession?”

Boris Johnson: the challenges faced by the new UK PM

Boris Johnson has won the Conservative Party leadership contest to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister. The former Foreign Secretary and Mayor of London beat Jeremy Hunt, the current Foreign Secretary by a wide margin: 66% to 34% of the votes. From the outset, Johnson must navigate a deeply divided party, and a shrinking majority … Continue reading “Boris Johnson: the challenges faced by the new UK PM”

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”

Why I’m backing a consumer comeback in Europe

Worries over slowing global growth and rising trade tensions hit European share prices hard at the end of 2018. While early 2019 saw a rally, there remains considerable scepticism over the prospects for the European economy and its listed companies. I think much of this scepticism is misplaced and the role of the European consumer … Continue reading “Why I’m backing a consumer comeback in Europe”

Are profits no longer required?

The number of loss-making companies listing on the US stock exchange is approaching a 30-year high, according to new research. Indeed, the average company going through an IPO is now making a loss (IPO stands for initial public offering, the term used when a private company goes public by listing on the stock market). Perhaps … Continue reading “Are profits no longer required?”

Investors should note the approaching tipping point for renewable energy

The efforts to mitigate climate change may be approaching a tipping point. The wave of support for Green Party candidates in last month’s elections for the European Parliament prompted a plethora of articles highlighting the cost of dealing with climate change and the regressive implications for those on low incomes. Subsidies to promote renewable energy … Continue reading “Investors should note the approaching tipping point for renewable energy”

Why the world economy is like a wobbly bike

The world economy increasingly resembles an unstable bicycle that can be tipped over by the slightest bump in the road. Three months ago we said “the easing in US-China trade tensions, more flexible central banks and the benefits of lower oil prices should stabilise activity later this year and support an upgrade in our global … Continue reading “Why the world economy is like a wobbly bike”

May resignation raises UK recession risk

Prime Minister Theresa May has now announced her resignation, stepping down on 7 June. This will trigger a Conservative Party leadership contest, the winner of which would also become prime minister. May’s resignation follows the end of Brexit talks with the opposition Labour Party, which officially concluded without agreement. At this stage, bookmakers have the … Continue reading “May resignation raises UK recession risk”

Three reasons why the UK stock market looks compelling

Whatever the opposite of a sweet spot is, many investors think UK equities are currently in one. With Brexit still unresolved, some have put the market in the “too difficult” basket. While it is understandable to fear uncertainty, as stock pickers we embrace the mis-priced opportunities created by it. The global nature of the market … Continue reading “Three reasons why the UK stock market looks compelling”

Who will pay as US-China trade wars intensify?

The latest developments suggest that trade tensions between the US and China will be more protracted than previously expected. The US recently announced it is raising tariffs on $200 billion of imports from China to 25% from 10%, and China has responded by increasing tariffs on $60 billion of imports from the US. The US … Continue reading “Who will pay as US-China trade wars intensify?”

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”

Have investors missed the real revolution in electric vehicles?

Electric vehicles (EVs) have reached a clear inflection point. Product quality has improved and consumer availability is expanding rapidly. Perhaps most importantly, the cost of electric car ownership is finally approaching parity with traditional combustion engine cars. The colourful stories within the industry have also helped generate interest: the spectacular and turbulent growth story of … Continue reading “Have investors missed the real revolution in electric vehicles?”

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”

Is the UK stuck in Brexit limbo?

The UK has been granted its second extension to the Article 50 deadline, averting a no-deal Brexit that would have happened on 12 April. The UK now has until 31 October to ratify the current Withdrawal Agreement, although there was some disagreement amongst other EU members as to how much longer the UK should be … Continue reading “Is the UK stuck in Brexit limbo?”