Uncertainties hang over financial markets

Confidence continues to deteriorate Concerns over inflation and the outlook for monetary policy and economic growth continued to preoccupy investors in May. The FTSE 100 Index  edged up by 0.8% over the month, while the FTSE 250 Index fell by 1.4%. Consumer confidence fell to its lowest level since at least 1974 during May, according … Continue reading “Uncertainties hang over financial markets”

Economic Review – May 2022

Bank warns of deteriorating outlook The Bank of England (BoE) has warned that the UK faces a “sharp economic slowdown” in the coming months as it continues to raise interest rates in a bid to dampen rapidly rising prices. Following its early-May meeting, the BoE’s nine-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted by a 6-3 majority … Continue reading “Economic Review – May 2022”

Ukraine and the impact on markets

The events in Ukraine have understandably destabilised markets as investors digest the prospect of war in Europe. Geopolitical horrors such as this one have usually seen a relatively short-lived impact, with markets recovering quickly after the initial shock. However, is it naïve to assume the same thing with a conflict of this magnitude? The consensus … Continue reading “Ukraine and the impact on markets”

A volatile start to 2022

Widespread declines in January Leading equity markets generally fell during January amid concerns over the prospect of higher interest rates in the US, the impact of the Omicron variant, and mounting tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The Vix Index – which tracks expectations of future volatility – rose to its highest level in over a … Continue reading “A volatile start to 2022”

Economic Review – January 2022

Economy regains pre-pandemic size The UK economy grew strongly in November to move beyond its pre-COVID level, with increasing momentum recorded across all industry sectors prior to the arrival of the Omicron variant. Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the economy grew by 0.9% in November. This was much stronger … Continue reading “Economic Review – January 2022”

Higher inflation for longer

Global Market Review Intensifying inflationary pressures The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that the world is facing inflationary pressures that will be “higher and longer than expected”. During October, US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell commented: “We now see higher inflation and the bottlenecks lasting well into next year … I do think it’s time … Continue reading “Higher inflation for longer”

Gathering clouds

Global Market Review Questions over growth Investor sentiment during September was a hostage to concerns over faltering economic growth, rising inflation, surging energy prices, and an increasingly hawkish tone from central banks, compounded by speculation that Chinese real estate giant Evergrande might be on the verge of collapse. Tapering moves closer in the US The … Continue reading “Gathering clouds”

Will the Bank of England be raising interest rates soon?

Until recently, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which has responsibility for setting interest rates, was undecided if conditions were right for tightening monetary policy. Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England (BoE), revealed in August that the MPC could not categorically say that there was clear evidence that significant progress … Continue reading “Will the Bank of England be raising interest rates soon?”

Economic Review September 2021

Upgrade to UK GDP growth The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revised UK economic growth for Q2 2021 to 5.5% from an original estimate of 4.8%. The UK’s level of GDP is now 3.3% below where it was pre-pandemic in Q4 2019, revised from the previous estimate of 4.4% below. Other ONS data indicates … Continue reading “Economic Review September 2021”

Economic Review August 2021

Strong second quarter growth The latest gross domestic product (GDP) figures showed that the UK economy grew strongly in the second quarter, although more recent survey evidence does suggest the recovery is losing momentum. Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed the economy grew by 4.8% in the second quarter of this … Continue reading “Economic Review August 2021”