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The long and winding road to Brexit

Having secured formal approval of the divorce deal from EU leaders on 25 November, Prime Minister Theresa May now faces the far bigger challenge of securing UK parliamentary approval by mid-December. Both political and economic uncertainty could remain elevated until the 29 March deadline. The tail risk of a no-deal Brexit on 29 March remains […]

Unravelling knotty issues

As the recent upsurge in volatility shows, the outlook for risk assets is becoming more uncertain than ever. Trade wars, doubts about economic and corporate growth prospects, big fluctuations in oil prices and the winding down of expansionary monetary policies, not to mention gathering political and geopolitical tensions, have all contributed to market wobbles since […]

Weekly View – WE HAVE A DEAL!

Brexit and oil kept their centre-stage positions in last week’s headlines. Despite initial opposition from France and Spain, all 27 EU members agreed to Theresa May’s Brexit deal by lunchtime at Sunday’s European Council meeting. Could this be an indication of how poor the deal is for the UK? Despite May’s insistence that there is […]

Italy and the EU: a debt-based excessive deficit procedure

This week, the European Commission issued its opinion on Italy’s budget plans. Deeming them noncompliant with the EU’s budgetary rules, it recommended that an Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) be opened.Of the options available to the EU, a debt-based EDP would be the most difficult for Italy to deal with, as it would last longer and […]

US-China trade update: G20 meeting preview

A new low point in trade tensions between the US and China was reached in September 2018 when the US placed an additional 10% duty on roughly USD200 billion of Chinese imports. However, since then, hints at a potential ‘détente’ have focused on the G20 summit in Buenos Aires at the end of November, with […]

By threatening growth in Texas, collapsing oil prices could hurt the US at large

The link between oil prices and the health of the US economy has changed considerably this decade, especially as a result of the domestic energy sector boom. The US produced a  record high of 11.7 million barrels per day last week, versus only around 5 million in 2008. The epicentre of this oil boom, linked […]

German Q3 contraction: more than a blip?

Real GDP in Germany fell 0.2% q-o-q in Q3, compared with a 0.5% rise in Q2. This was below consensus and marks the first quarterly contraction in GDP since Q1 2015. The headline number looks horrible, but the market was prepared, as high-frequency data were already pointing in that direction. As usual, the Federal Statistical […]

US retail prices show limited signs of tariff effect

US core inflation (excluding energy and food prices) remains relatively muted, slowing slightly to 2.1% y-o-y in October, from 2.2% in September. The average over the past year is 2.1%. To some degree, the surprise was that prices did not increase more, especially given fresh tariffs on Chinese imports. In late September the Trump administration […]

After May’s divorce deal: the road ahead for Brexit

Theresa May’s cabinet has approved her divorce deal with the European Union (EU). A few cabinet secretaries have resigned, including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab because the deal keeps the UK in a transitory ‘customs union’ with the EU, which in his view continues to give the EU too much influence on UK affairs. The next […]

China hard data for October reveals mixed picture

Hard data out of China for October was mixed. On the positive side, growth in infrastructure picked up, suggesting the government’s fiscal policy easing is taking effect in the real economy. Industrial production numbers stopped declining, and the mining sector has a particularly strong performance. Growth in fixed asset investment rebounded strongly in October, to […]

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