Global warnings


The global economy has been slowing for some time. The question is whether we are heading for a soft landing or something worse.

Financial markets last week raised the odds on ‘something worse’. Investors sold riskier assets, including equities, for safe havens such as gold and government bonds. Markets were reacting to alarm signals from two of the world’s most important economic indicators.

First, the yield curve, a gauge of future growth prospects, inverted last week in the US and in the UK. The yield curve measures the gap between the interest rate, or yield, on ten-year government bonds and shorter-maturity debt. Central banks largely set short-term interest rates while long-term yields are driven by market expectations for growth and inflation. When ten-year rates fall below three-month rates, as they have done in the US and the UK, the curve inverts signalling that short rates are too high and growth prospects are weakening. The fact that each of the last seven US recessions were preceded by an inverted curve explains why the equity market took fright last week to the inversion of the yield curve.

Continue reading

Posted on 19/08/2019

Holiday Quiz

Holiday Quiz

Our summer quiz offers a test of your knowledge of holiday-related trivia through an economics lens. The answers along with a brief explanation are at the end of this note.

Continue reading

Posted on 12/08/2019

Where is the cheapest housing?


House prices in the developed and developing world have risen rapidly since the financial crisis.

Continue reading

Posted on 05/08/2019

Summer reading list


A personal view from Ian Stewart, Deloitte's Chief Economist in the UK. To subscribe and/or view previous editions just google 'Deloitte Monday Briefing'.

Continue reading

Posted on 29/07/2019

Britain’s minimum wage at 20


The introduction, just over 20 years ago, of the UK’s National Minimum Wage (NMW) counts as one of the most significant policy innovations of the period. As it enters its 21st year we assess whether Britain’s NMW has achieved its aims and examine its prospects.

Continue reading

Posted on 22/07/2019

Assessing the outlook for global growth


Economists went into 2019 forecasting a slowdown in global growth. That slowdown has come faster than expected. Alarmed by the speed of the downturn, the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank have switched from tightening monetary policy to easing.

The combination of slower growth and easier policy has elicited very different responses from business and financial markets.

Continue reading

Posted on 15/07/2019

Corporate caution, financial market optimism


Today we are launching our quarterly “UK corporate environment” chart book, which is available here:
. The report aims to provide a graphical summary of the key trends and themes shaping the UK corporate sector, setting the context to the CFO survey. We will be developing and refining the chart book and welcome your feedback. Do feel free to use any of the charts in your own presentations and drop my colleague Tom Simmons a line at with ideas and comments.

Continue reading

Posted on 08/07/2019

UK corporate environment

Download the charts in pdf format here
Download the charts in powerpoint via SlideShare here

Continue reading

Posted on 05/07/2019

Equities rally on prospect of cheaper money


At the beginning of this year equity markets were reeling from a sell-off driven by fears over global growth and rising US interest rates.

Continue reading

Posted on 01/07/2019

Are we doing better than we think?


It is commonplace to say that the pace of technological change is speeding up. From Twitter to online shopping our everyday lives are, apparently, being transformed.

Continue reading

Posted on 24/06/2019

Central banks to the rescue – again?


This morning we are launching our second quarter “Global Economy in Charts” report, available here -

Continue reading

Posted on 17/06/2019