Our perspective on global micro event and strategies.
As the investment team leader of the firm’s Global Macro Strategy effort and a member of the Global Bond Team, John leads our global macroeconomic strategy efforts and contributes to the management of global portfolios for the firm’s clients around the world. He focuses on macro forecasting & analysis and monetary policy for the UK and Europe, as well as the global cycle, translating key macro data into investable ideas and themes and working closely with investors around the firm.
The global macro discourse has shifted over the past few months to a debate around “good” versus “bad” inflation. I think there is a better way to frame it. In my view, as we look ahead, the question should be: will we see a continuation of the status quo or are we on the verge of a regime change? I think there is a high chance it will be the latter.
Over the past 20 years, there have been a number of instances when inflation has jumped higher. Often this has been due to higher energy costs, occasionally a response to strong demand and sometimes tax changes. Each time, the jump has proved short-lived, but has acted as a tax on consumers, eroding the purchasing power of households by squeezing real wages. In response, consumer spending has slowed, and the economy has cooled. In effect, these temporary bouts of inflation acted as an automatic stabiliser on the economy. Was that bad inflation? For households, yes — but not for…
The Wellington Global Cycle Index1 points to an upturn in global economic activity but, in my view, even that positive prognosis is underestimating the bounce that’s ahead. Over the next six months, I predict that growth numbers almost everywhere will be exceptionally strong.
Almost all analysts now have the same broad roadmap for 2021 as we have — strong growth, with a gradual rise in inflation through the second half of 2021. All list the same set of risks: upside risks are attached to a full household-savings unwind and another round of fiscal support, while downside risks are attached to public health. All assume US growth leadership. What is striking is how there is actually very little discussion of inflation.
As economies reopen, it will be difficult for the market to distinguish between…
Most of our inflation gauges suggest the figure is likely to fall towards zero in the next 6 – 12 months. But I think the ingredients are coming together to make higher global inflation (>3%) in the next 3 – 10 years more likely. I also expect the UK to be a bellwether for the higher longer-term inflation to come, given its recent history and the UK’s unique characteristics.
I think there will be a series of negative supply shocks as there is likely to be:
A lot of news has emerged from the euro area over the past couple of months. While that news has led us to reassess the risk of a euro-area break-up, it hasn’t changed our outlook for the economic cycle and our expectation of lower long-term growth for the region after the COVID-19 crisis.
Some of the recent developments have shifted the distribution around the risk of a euro-area break-up, pushing out the downside tail:
Other developments have increased the probability attached to the upside tail. Specifically, Germany has taken the first steps towards…
To be clear, no one can answer that question with any degree of certainty right now. There are still too many unknowns. But for my part, I have a hard time envisioning a scenario where the COVID-19 crisis does not leave an enduring imprint on the global landscape.
By way of context, global growth is currently contracting at its fastest pace since the Great Depression hit in 1929. The range of potential outcomes is broad at this point, but I estimate that the economic fallout from the crisis has already shaved around 7% off global GDP, with more damage to come. Unemployment rates in most countries will likely rise by double digits as tens of millions of jobs are lost worldwide.
The timing of an upward turn in the economy will depend largely on the health care sector, particularly the race to find a COVID-19 vaccine, and the speed at which governments begin to…
The ECB has taken much-needed action, targeting yields and spreads and providing full monetary financing of “whatever it costs” to address the coronavirus crisis. Now European governments need to deliver an appropriate fiscal response.
Late last night, the ECB announced an additional asset purchase programme:
This is clearly a move in the right direction, in my opinion, fundamentally changing the message from the ECB’s previous press conference. It is prepared to finance the cost of…