The Monday Briefing

Global economics in The Monday Briefing

Our summer reading list

Summer reading (and listening) list

This year’s reading list is actually a reading and listening list. The six articles and two podcasts aim to provide an engaging distraction however you spend your summer break. The articles and podcasts are available free online, although some websites restrict the number of articles that can be accessed without charge each month.

While many who find extraordinary success do so early in life, some, like Cézanne or Darwin, make their greatest contributions later in life. This long read from The Atlantic argues that ‘late bloomers’ make critical contributions in a wide range of fields. The peak age for innovation, for instance, comes in the late 40s while the success rate of entrepreneurs’ business ventures rises with age well into the 50s. Lifelong curiosity, the ability to self-teach and wide interests emerge as the qualities of those who hit their stride later in life.

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Posted on 15/07/2024

UK - new government, new policies, old problems


Britain’s new government has big ambitions for the UK economy. It wants to make the UK the fastest-growing economy in the group of seven industrialised economies by the end of the parliament. This would involve raising UK growth from an average of 1.3% a year to more than 2.0%, the rate that is seen as the norm for the US. Faster growth would help unlock the UK’s core problems of stagnating real incomes and deteriorating public services. Labour also wants to ensure greater economic stability, what Rachel Reeves, the new chancellor, calls “securonomics”.

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Posted on 08/07/2024

Equities power ahead


The rally in global equities that started in late 2022 has gathered pace this year. A brighter economic outlook and the expectation of rate cuts to come have boosted equities around the world.

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Posted on 01/07/2024

Goodbye cheap money

Goodbye cheap money

As inflation has fallen so central banks have started to reduce interest rates. Switzerland led the way, cutting rates in March and again earlier this month. Sweden moved in May and, earlier this month, the euro area and Canada cut rates for the first time in this cycle. Financial markets expect the Bank of England to follow suit in August and the Federal Reserve to do so in November.

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Posted on 24/06/2024

Labour Party economic policy


Please join me this Wednesday, 19 June, from 12:30-14:00 BST for a webinar on November’s US presidential election. I will be joined by US-based Duncan Edwards OBE, chief executive of British American Business and seasoned observer of the US political and economic scene, to explore what the elections could mean for businesses in the UK and the US.

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Posted on 17/06/2024

Equity boom, equity retreat


While equity indices power ahead, the global supply of equities is shrinking. The disappearance of equity through share buybacks and leveraged buyouts exceeds new public listings. In the past listing on a public exchange offered the principal route to new funds for larger businesses. Today there are a host of alternatives.

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Posted on 10/06/2024

Industrial policy - what works, what doesn’t


Industrial policy is back in fashion. One thing on which US Republicans and Democrats do agree is the need to support key industries through tax breaks, subsidies and import controls. The EU seems to be moving in the same direction. The UK Labour Party is promising a new era of industrial policy if it wins the election of 4 July.

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Posted on 03/06/2024

Europe returns to (slow) growth

Growth in a riskier world

Europe’s economy seems to have turned the corner. In the first quarter of this year, the economy expanded by 0.3%, the strongest reading in a year and enough to lift the region out of recession. This doesn’t look like a flash in the pan. Economists expect the EU to keep growing this year and through next.

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Posted on 28/05/2024

Car wars


Last week, the Biden administration announced that the US would impose 100% tariffs on imports of Chinese electric vehicles (EVs). In terms of trade policy, a 100% tariff is shock and awe stuff. It is a landmark decision in the competition to dominate the global EV market.

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Posted on 20/05/2024

The UK exits recession

Shorter  milder UK recession in prospect

The UK economy returned to growth in the first three months of the year, having slipped into a technical recession in the second half of 2023. GDP growth of 0.6% on the previous quarter represents the strongest expansion for two years, and the joint fastest in the G7 alongside Canada.

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Posted on 14/05/2024