Global economics in The Monday Briefing
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2019 was a good year for financial markets and investors, with global equities up 27% over the course of the year. All major asset classes ended 2019 up on the year and risk assets were clear outperformers.
Global stocks rallied through most of last year, punctuated by short-lived sell-offs driven by rising trade tensions in May and worries about US growth in August. Risk assets largely shrugged off geopolitical concerns around the Middle East, Russian interference in foreign elections and growing US-China discord.
Equities were supported by unexpected monetary easing by the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB) designed to bolster growth. At the end of 2018, financial markets had expected the Fed to raise interest rates and the ECB to end its programme of quantitative easing in 2019. Instead, the Fed made three 25bps rate cuts and the ECB reduced interest rates and eased monetary conditions.
This week’s Monday Briefing offers a view on prospects for global growth in 2020. We also review the findings of the latest survey of UK Chief Financial Officers which show a post-election surge in business confidence. A copy of the CFO Survey can be found at: https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/finance/articles/deloitte-cfo-survey.html
This week’s briefing looks at some of the big economic events of the last month or so. As a result we have dropped our usual news section this week. We will release our full year-ahead view for the UK and global economies next Monday, 13 January.
Here, to mark the start of the Christmas week, are twelve of our "and finally" news stories from the Monday Briefing in 2019. The Monday Briefing is taking a break until Monday, 6 January. In the meantime, the Deloitte Economics team wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
We are publishing our annual Christmas reading list today. It aims to offer a thought-provoking break from the rigours of Christmas. All are available free and online. You can save these articles on your smartphone's or tablet's reading list. To print any use the print icons, where available, on the webpages to ensure the whole article comes out.
Our Christmas quiz offers an eclectic test of knowledge of economics and business. The answers and a brief explanation of the factors at work are at the end of this note.
Expectations of business change over time. The tax and regulatory environment shift with the political cycle. Society’s expectations change too, and in recent years they have risen.
While they disagree on many things, the UK’s Labour and Conservative parties seem to favour an expansion in the state – though to very differing degrees.
Last week US equities hit new highs on hopes that China and the US would reach an agreement in their 18-month trade dispute. Financial markets think a deal would reduce uncertainty, boosting investment and growth.