Market Update – 19th April 2023.

Global equity markets are slightly higher so far this week, despite the fact that James Bullard, the President of the Fed Bank of St. Louis, said he would like to see US interest rates rise further in order to fight inflation, as recession fears are overblown.  Although last month’s banking scare has quickly eased and economic data suggests the US economy is proving to be a lot more resilient than expected, it should be noted that James Bullard is not a voting member on the Fed’s interest rate committee.

It is not a too dissimilar story in the UK as the economy is currently proving to be reasonably resilient – no doubt helped by the fact that this week’s employment data showed payrolls rose by 31,000 in March, while year-on-year wage growth in the 3 months ending February came in at 5.9%.

However, this could potentially embolden those BoE policymakers who are worried that wages and inflation will feed each other (known as a wage/price spiral) to increase UK interest rates by a further 0.25% when they meet on 11 May 2023, especially as today’s CPI inflation reading came in higher than expected at 10.1%.

Elsewhere, data from China suggests that that their economy has rebounded nicely since reopening at the end of last year, as GDP grew by 4.5% year-on-year in Q1, helped by a 10.6% increase in retail sales.

Investment Management Team

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