This year, China is in the headlines because President Trump wants better trade terms. That’s important, but it’s only one piece of a much larger Chinese story that has been unfolding slowly for decades. Periodically, I check in on the latest developments. Today, we’ll see where we are, with the help of my trusted sources.
In this issue, the Northern Trust economics team explores the challenges facing Ireland in Brexit, the continuing demand for eurozone debt, and wage growth within U.S. states.
The investment case for commodities, gold and energy is more compelling than at any other time in recent memory.
The S&P 500 rose and fell this week, ending Friday up 0.5% from the same time last week. The index was down -0.85% from Thursday and is down 0.95% YTD.
The beginning of the first quarter was serene and pleasurable, as equity markets levitated on the back of increasing earnings expectations and solid world economic underpinnings. But the market euphoria didn’t last long.
This morning's release of the publicly available data from ECRI puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 148.9, up 1.1 from the previous week. Year-over-year the four-week moving average of the indicator is now at 2.71%, up from 2.70% last week. The WLI Growth indicator is now at 3.2, down from the previous week.
After a decade of relying on investment and exports for growth, China’s effort to rebalance its economy toward consumer-led growth is well underway and should continue to build steam in 2018.
Franklin Equity Group Vice President and Portfolio Manager Matt Quinlan explains why he thinks US banks could benefit from a more favorable economic and regulatory environment. Given this healthy backdrop, he believes select large-cap bank stocks may increase dividends and stock buybacks in the next two years.
After spending the last four months consolidating gains, crude oil is breaking higher again, and it’s taking inflation expectations with it. The break higher in crude isn’t surprising given that oil fundamentals haven’t been this good in years.
Consumer spending and business fixed investment remained strong, pointing to continued domestic economic growth. Notably, business fixed investment growth, represented by private domestic investment, accelerated to 5.4% year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2017, from a low of 0.71% in the third quarter of 2016.