I'm not sure exactly why Queen's "Don't stop me now" has been stuck in my head...something to do with football and wishing not to get knocked out maybe...we were having such a good time! Anyway, as I say in this Sky News interview on the Ian King Show, only a big shock would stop the Bank of England from hiking in August. I also discuss the merits of the new monthly GDP data.
For decades, demographers were too pessimistic on life expectancy and had to revise up their forecasts. Are they now too optimistic? Recent data suggest that UK ‘death rates’ have stopped improving. If sustained, life expectancy projections would need to be revised down. This would have profound implications for government and pension finances.
While the 2018 football World Cup is still in the early stages, we have already been holding our own multi-asset tournament, in which the 32 competing nations battle for goals on several economic and financial criteria. Which teams will go far, scoring goals on economic excellence, and which ones will flunk at the final financial whistle?
Remember the EU referendum? The City thought the British public would see the economic benefits of EU membership and not wish to loosen ties with our closest trading partners. Turns out the City was wrong and had misread the mood of the nation. The current discussion around nationalisation has some worrying similarities, so is the City making the same mistake again?
The UK inflation-linked government bond ('linker') market is dominated by vast UK defined benefit pension schemes. Derisking by schemes tends to increase demand for linkers as equity prices rise, pushing up their prices. For multi-asset investors seeking diversification, that could make them less attractive to buy.
Following the EU referendum, financial markets initially expected the worst, with the weakness of the pound the clearest indication of deteriorating sentiment. And yet, many saw the depreciation as an opportunity for the economy to rebalance away from consumer spending and towards more trade. With this in mind, how successful has the UK been?