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(Almost) Daily Market News Update

The news headlines are focusing on the weaker than expected GDP growth in China this morning. However, this growth slowdown does not look like something surprising to us – or indeed most professional observers. The growth slowdown was driven by a marked slowdown in industrial and manufacturing production, which grew only 5.8% and 5.3%, respectively, year-on-year. However, while industrial sector growth declined, service sector growth increased to 7.7%, indicating a continuing shift of the Chinese economy away from manufacturing and towards increased consumption. This trend is underscored by the rising growth in retail sales, though there are worrying signs here as well. Car sales declined 7.1% from a year earlier, indicating that the trade tensions are increasingly likely to curb durable goods consumption by private households. To summarise, the trend towards weaker growth in China continues, but the government’s year-end target of 6.5% growth should still be reachable. At the same time, this latest set of numbers is giving the government and the People’s Bank of China enough leeway to engage in additional stimulus measures, should the situation deteriorate.

  • 19 Oct 18
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(Almost) Daily Market News Update

Wages in the UK grew 2.7% year-on-year, which is the highest wage growth in almost a decade. This confirms the view of the Bank of England that inflationary pressures are building. We have long stated that this view of a potential rise in inflation is overly optimistic in our view, but the strong economic data in the third quarter, together with the accelerated wage growth, indicates that we have to revise our opinion on this matter. Nevertheless, there are obviously bigger fish to fry in the UK as the Brexit deadline closes in and the likelihood of a hard Brexit increases. We still expect a last minute deal on a withdrawal agreement that would trigger an acceleration of investment activity in the UK as uncertainty is removed. In this main scenario, wage inflation should continue to rise and the Bank of England would be forced to hike rates at an accelerated pace in 2019. But for that scenario to materialise, we first need a political solution to the current quagmire.

  • 17 Oct 18
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(Almost) Daily Market News Update

After a significant decline in the last month, the Empire Manufacturing Index rose more than expected in October. Overall, there was little news in the indicator, which has trended sideways at a high level throughout 2018.

  • 16 Oct 18
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