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US economic performance is likely to warrant further gradual increases in the federal funds rate. Chair Yellen reiterated her view that "waiting too long to remove accommodation would be unwise, potentially requiring the FOMC to eventually raise rates rapidly, which could risk disrupting financial markets and pushing the economy into recession."
Highlights: Russia's Central Bank is on the horns of dilemmas. Turkey is seeing a very significant worsening of its corruption indicators. In Tunisia, the economy is ailing despite the aid, but there is some political hope. In South Africa, the budget has been revised in a toxic atmosphere. In China, the Communist Party's Plenum was held under the banner of transparency... Brazil cuts its key rate for the first time since 2012 (but only by 25bp).
Fears about 'hard Brexit' have escalated in recent days and that has pushed GBP to fresh multi-year lows. We expect the concerns to linger and lower our GBP forecasts. We expect GBP/USD to finish the year at 1.23 and EUR/GBP at 0.90. Further out, we expect a cautious recovery because we believe that 'hard Brexit' will be avoided and that the UK will able to secure an enhanced free trade agreem ent with the EU in the coming years.
Highlights: Hungary's sovereign paper "investment grade" rating has been reinstated. What is the nature of the Russian regime? In Egypt, support from multilateral agencies has helped boost reserves, but the conditionalities are painful. Q2 external demand has been saved from recession in South Africa. India has adopted a law designed to unify the tax system for goods and services at national level. Mexico: why is the peso so weak and the key rate so high?
On 4 August, the Bank of England lowered its key policy rate by 25bp to 0.25% as a response to the expectation of a Brexit-induced weakness in demand. Furthermore, it delivered a package of unconventional measures aiming to provide additional support to growth. These included a restart of the purchases of government bonds to the tune of GBP60bn, the purchase of corporate bonds (up to GBP10bn) and a new Term Funding Scheme.
Highlights: Kazakhstan is in recession for the first time since 2009. Hungary's sovereign rating is at long last back at investment grade. In Algeria, the depletion of the Revenue Regulation Fund has triggered a rise in public debt. Mozambique looks increasingly likely to default on its sovereign debt. April in China: keep your eye on the ball… The Termer government has political difficulties in Brazil.
There's a lengthy list of risks piling up upstream of our economic scenario. In addition to the geopolitical and political risks, consider also the following concerns: collapsing Chinese growth; a brutal, uncontrolled depreciation of its currency by Beijing; commodity prices plummeting again; a sharp slowdown in US growth; a sharp increase in corporate bankruptcies in the US oil sector; Eurozone deflation; and the inevitable miring of the emerging world in recession. These risks are especially frightening as gauging their possible dire consequences is a difficult, if not impossible, task… particularly as they are all connected and mutually sustaining.
To round off this already long list, and be certain of the imminence of catastrophic meltdown, the assumption that central banks have already used up all their ammunition is sometimes put forward. In the event of a marked growth slowdown, in the US in particular, it is felt that central banks would lack any means of action.
Highlights: What consequences will recent developments have on Turkey? Rating agency opinions of Saudi Arabia are starting to diverge. The ANC no longer feeds the dreams of South African youth. Routed in India's general elections? Latin America sees a virtually across-the-board rise in key rates.
US annual productivity growth has slowed since the 1970s, with a pronounced slowdown occurring during the recovery from the Great Recession. Weak productivity growth appears to reflect a combination of cyclical and structural factors as well as measurement issues.
Alexis Tsipras's surprise decision to call a referendum on proposals by Greece's creditors marked the end of negotiations. An agreement in principle on a number of issues had been found, but one key component was missing: the conditions governing a further debt restructuring. Tsipras is doing a balancing act between pressures from Syriza's left wing and the creditors, and in doing so is gambling his political survival.
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