1. Asia – quieter stock markets today. I did see this however: all 22 bond traders, analysts and others surveyed forecast China’s corporate default rate will rise in 2016. Normally I do not trust unanimous surveys BUT in this case I think it is reasonable to anticipate a rise.
Of course the big question is whether too much pessimism is priced into the market already?
2. UK prospects – A Times economist survey concluded Britain is facing higher taxes if the chancellor is to meet his goal of eliminating the budget deficit by 2020, interest rates are expected to rise far earlier than market expectations, with first increase April-September, house price inflation should moderate and cheap oil will hold down consumer prices, leaving households with more of their wages to play with. The European Union referendum, likely to be held in the summer, could slow growth.
Interesting stuff of course but perhaps inevitably for a survey horribly generic. Anyhow picking up the consumer spending part influenced by cheap oil...also influenced by a worrying propensity to borrow!
3. Generally a good day for the stock market including new highs for Alphabet (aka Google) and Amazon. As noted here they are prime candidates for inclusion in the Dow Jones Industrial Average:
A couple of tweets to finish up:
4. Best holiday season graphic so far. Be great to see global (or at least European) equiv data. Does it exist $SBUX?
5. Worth a read on #Russia. A huge coup for #MauldinEconomics to have George Friedman write a weekly piece IMO. Link here.