24th September 2018
Brexit clamour vs. real market news
The UK’s establishment had pinned high hopes on a Brexit breakthrough at the EU’s Salzburg (non-Brexit specific) summit. But the rest of the EU had a different agenda, so disappointment was inevitable. Judging by the vastly different media interpretation between Continental and UK media outlets, the Salzburg snub is a matter of vantage point. French and German comment centred around the detail of the proposed Northern Ireland border solution, not the Chequers plan altogether. Otherwise it was seen as presumptuous that the UK side felt duped that their plan to ask for broadly the same trade benefits without being a member was not warmly welcomed. There were no suggestions of intentional humiliation of the UK’s prime minister.
UK economy defying Brexit gloom
The UK economy is looking brighter after recent data. Following last week’s news that the quarterly growth rate was at its fastest pace in over a year (+0.6%), data this week showed that retail sales played a significant part. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that sales in June-August were 2% higher than the previous three months, and 3.4% higher than a year ago.
Rising inflation – return to normal or bad omen?
Following a considerable pause since February, the past six weeks has seen an upswing of global bond yields. Given that yields often react to inflation expectations, it might be tempting to think that the surprisingly high UK inflation data for August was the cause. But the UK’s price increases haven’t been symptomatic of a change worldwide; global data has signalled little change in the current pace of inflation in the various major regions.
What’s driving the car makers around the world
Even those without an interest in James Bond or high-end performance car marques will have found it difficult to miss the business pages coverage of the upcoming listing of Aston Martin on the London Stock exchange, planned for this October. The speculation around the valuation of Aston Martin has been rife, but that’s not the only car maker news this week.
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