Protests and Progress
Today it feels like we finally have some real data to look forward to as the markets await news from the UK, US and Europe.
The news we are waiting for from the UK is first quarter GDP and we are expecting Britain’s growth to continue with an annual growth rate of 3.2%. The continued focus on UK confidence is sharpened by how deeply in recession we were and how well we seem to be doing compared to everyone else.
In Europe, we have EC confidence indicators and most importantly German inflation releases, which will certainly make interesting reading. Expectations are for a decent outcome which will ease the pressure on Mario Draghi having to make a decision regarding “unprecedented measures” yet again. In fact, in an off-the-record chat yesterday he insinuated as much. This is obviously a huge surprise to all.
The US are trying to impose further sanctions on Putin and his allies which may provoke further reaction. At the moment, the markets seem to be ok with this and hopeful, if not optimistic, that things will not escalate. It also seems Janet Yellen’s clarity plan for the Fed’s outlook is having the opposite effect and creating confusion instead.
Finally, we have a tube strike in London today, but don’t worry we’re all here and we’re not the only country to be affected by strikes! In South Africa, protracted labour strikes have begun to impact the financial stability of the country. A platinum industry strike has lasted for 3 months and cost employees ZAR 6.5bn (£360m) in wages and producers ZAR 14.5bn (£800m) in lost revenue.
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