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The Investor January 2017
• 2016 is a strong year for investment performance, despite a few surprise bouts of market volatility
• The global economy improved as we approached year end, expect growth to gently accelerate in 2017. Inflation should remain reasonably low over the medium term but could temporarily climb to uncomfortable levels in 2017
• 2017 promises to be another year where risk assets (equities, corporate bonds, commercial property) can grind higher, outperforming cash deposits and government bonds
The Investor December 2016
The Investor January 2016
The Investor August 2015
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President Trump’s decision to pull his American Health Care Act bill late on Friday was seen by some as an early referendum on his policy agenda. However we wouldn’t agree with such a blunt assessment. In reality Trump was unlikely to ever get much (if any) Democratic support to overturn a healthcare policy that more than anything else symbolised the Obama administration.
As expected the US Federal Reserve last night voted to increase US interest rates by 0.25%. In truth little emerged that would cause investors to alter their views on the trajectory for interest rate moves in 2017 and 2018.
This afternoon the European Central Bank kept all its key interest rates unchanged. In his statement President Draghi reaffirmed the ECB’s forward guidance, saying that interest rates will stay at present or lower levels for an extended period and well past the end of its Quantitative Easing program. On the inflation outlook he again reiterated his previous comment that there was no convincing upward trend in underlying inflation.
This morning the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released the National Accounts for Q4 2016
Investors eagerly awaited President Trump’s speech to Congress last night for any detail on his tax, trade and healthcare reform plans in particular. Unfortunately there was nothing for them to chew on with the speech largely just reiterating Trump’s broad vision on all these issues.
Last week we penned our thoughts on how the French Presidential Election might pan out. Overall we suggested that Marine Le Pen will need to see a significant increase in her vote and/or voter participation in the election would need to be quite low in order for her to emerge victorious. Still, given last year’s events and the growing likelihood Le Pen will qualify for the second round ‘run off’ vote for President, one can’t rule out the probability of a Le Pen victory.
With national elections scheduled in France, Germany, the Netherlands and possibly Italy in 2017, politics is never likely to be too far from the minds of investors in European assets in 2017. Below we provide a current update on the state of play on near term events in the Netherlands, France and Italy.
Last week was a busy one for central bank activity with the Fed, Bank of England and Bank of Japan all holding monetary policy meetings. None of the banks changed interest rates but that doesn't mean there was nothing for investors to digest.
Last night’s decision by the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by 0.25% was arguably the least interesting part of the FOMC meeting and press conference given it had been priced in as a virtual certainty by investors. The more interesting aspect was what happened the Fed’s ‘dot plot’ or members’ projections for changes in the Fed funds rate over the next few years.
This morning the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published the national accounts for Ireland for the third quarter of 2016. Overall they showed that real GDP and GNP grew by 4% and 3.2% respectively in the quarter meaning over the past twelve months they grew by 6.9% and 10.2% respectively (see table 1).
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