Since the 2008 global financial crisis, growing numbers of people in developed countries feel their incomes are falling and that they’ve lost out from globalization and free trade. Though it’s enjoyed a stronger economic recovery than most of the rest of the world, the US is no exception.
Low interest rates don’t just affect your fixed-income returns – they have driven up prices across all asset classes. When investors cannot find decent returns in ‘safer’ bonds, they look for other assets that deliver attractive and sustainable income.
The economy can have a big effect on markets, and is one of the key areas where policy can impact investments. Both candidates are promising government stimulus that could benefit sectors such as construction and aerospace & defence, though there may be some disappointment in the scale and speed of government action.
The US presidential election is the next big event on the agenda for global investors. Though the firmly mainstream Democrat Hillary Clinton is currently a clear favourite in the polls, the potential for political uncertainty is higher than usual with the populist and controversial Republican candidate Donald Trump in the running.
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A common misconception is that China’s recent rise to prominence is a new phenomenon. Writing back in 1776, Adam Smith, who lends his name to Adam & Company, noted that “China has long been one of the richest, most fertile, best cultivated, most industrious and most populous countries in the world.”
Housebuilders’ sentiment is a key component of overall confidence in the property market. While economic growth is a key determinant of housing demand and many indicators point to a short-term slowdown in the overall UK economy, there are some tailwinds.
Given the high levels of political uncertainty and rising taxes on high-value property transactions and second homes, it’s no wonder residential property transactions have taken a tumble compared to 2015.
Following the UK’s vote to leave the EU, there is likely to be a period of uncertainty in the short-term as the country waits for a firmer plan on how the UK and Scotland will proceed politically and economically.
For the small number of athletes that make it, the numerous years of self-improvement provide a sense of personal return most of us can’t even fathom. Yet, through an economic lens, when one considers and compares the returns, the story tends to be mixed. The results of the Olympics from this point of view are, therefore, like the events themselves - unpredictable, and only known ‘after the race is run’.