The issues that have dominated news cycles in recent weeks should not obscure the robust underlying fundamentals of the US economy, in our view. Though some short-term weather-related disruption is possible, the economy seems to be maintaining its path of moderately strong growth, aided by healthy contributions from consumer spending and business investment.
The Federal Reserve’s September policy meeting played out largely as expected, as US monetary policymakers left the central bank’s benchmark short-term interest rate unchanged. The Fed did clarify when it would begin to unwind its hefty balance sheet, and updated its economic forecasts and interest-rate projections.
My colleagues and I have been actively speaking about the evolution taking place in many emerging markets over the past few decades. We’ve seen dramatic shifts occurring, with the often one-dimensional economic models of the past giving way to new and diverse growth drivers.
As Germany prepares to go to the polls in its general election, David Zahn, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s head of European fixed income, considers what the result could mean for Europe, the European Union and the eurozone.
Global markets have been relatively calm this summer despite many uncertainties. Geopolitical risks have continued across the globe, and in some areas, looming monetary policy changes also appear likely. A key question for many investors is whether the sleepy summer period of low volatility will give way to a more turbulent autumn.
French President Emmanuel Macron is preparing to take on France’s powerful unions as he attempts to overhaul the country’s labor code. Here, Philippe Brugere-Trelat, Franklin Mutual Series executive vice president and portfolio manager, Franklin Mutual European Fund, explains why a Macron victory on this front could open up opportunities for investing in French equities.
Speculation had been rife that the European Central Bank might have used its September Governing Council meeting to signal the start of tapering for its quantitative easing program. That confirmation didn’t come, switching attention to the October 26 meeting.
As the focus of my work is emerging markets, I don’t spend a lot of time in the United States anymore, even though I grew up there. But like many people, I took a bit of time off this summer to enjoy a visit with family. We traveled to Mackinac Island in the state of Michigan, situated in Lake Huron.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (known as ASEAN) celebrated its 50-year anniversary in early August. The regional cooperative was established in 1967 with Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore as founding members. Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Cambodia later joined.
As the traditional summer lull in market activity draws to a close, investor attention turns to key monetary policy meetings across the globe, kicking off with the European Central Bank meeting on September 7, which some commentators believe could see the announcement of a change in monetary policy approach.