The Fed holds fire....for now! The reporting around last night’s Federal Reserve decision on interest rates was almost Superbowl like – Bloomberg ran radio and television simulcast coverage of the announcement and one almost couldn’t help counting down the clock (positioned prominently in the corner of the television screen) towards the announcement.
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.
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.
US economic news has improved a little of late, particularly from the middle of the second quarter onwards. Consumer spending indicators firmed up slightly as did manufacturing data. Furthermore, investors saw continued progress in unemployment rates which fell to 5.3% in June from 5.7% in January.
Irish growth story continues in Q1 - Real GDP up by 1.4% in the quarter This morning the Central Statistics Office released National Accounts for Ireland for the first quarter of 2015 (see Table 1). These figures show that the strong momentum in the economy continued into the first three months of the year.