ECB throws the kitchen sink, Irish growth at 15 year high
This afternoon the European Central Bank surprised markets with a more extensive than expected package aimed at supporting growth and inflation in the Euro area. This is welcome as the pace of economic growth had eased since the turn of the year thanks to slower momentum in both the Euro zone and weaker conditions from Emerging Markets.
A symbolic day for the Fed
2006…….a year that saw the launch of Twitter, the musical re-launch of Take That, the cinema release of the Da Vinci code and the beginning of the last hiking cycle by the US Federal Reserve (yes it really is that long ago!). But last night the US Federal Reserve (Fed) embarked upon a new rate hiking cycle as it announced a 25 basis point increase in US interest rates. The move was widely expected, in fact it would have something of a shock if it had not happened given how FOMC voters had teed up investors in the past month or so.
Q2 2015 Irish National Accounts - Economy grows by a whopping 6.7% in first half of 2015!
The Central Statistics Office yesterday published Irish national accounts for the second quarter of 2015. These accounts showed that the economy grew by 1.9% in both GNP and GDP terms in the quarter – a very strong performance (see table 1). On top of this the first quarter GDP growth estimate was increased to 2.1% from 1.4% previously, helped by stronger investment spending.
China battles its ‘impossible trinity’!
Of all the happenings in investment markets over the past couple of weeks, China’s decision to devalue its currency last week has attracted most attention from investors. It has been a factor in the weakness in commodities (and commodity related currencies) and Asian and Emerging market equities in the past week while it has also boosted ‘safe haven’ investments in government bonds and gold.