We were delighted to present our views on UK economic and monetary policy to lively and well informed A level students at Wellington College, Berkshire, for an IEA Conference. We looked at a number of themes including 'austerity' and' the North South divide.'
Markets have been troubled by numerous factors, from negative bond yields, perceived deflationary risk, Chinese slowdown, geo-political risk to name but a few, over the last couple of months. This note tries to look through those issues and ascertain where underlying value may result from the recent sharp sell-off.
One of the major shocks of the last Budget was the proposed introduction of the Living Wage, which will be phased in, over employees over 25, from April 2016. By 2020 all employers will be required to pay a minimum of £9 an hour, some 34% higher than the current minimum level. In an environment of near zero inflation this is potentially a significant issue for many companies. This note examines the likely economic implications, the impact on pay differentials and how this will effect quoted stocks. Please contact us for a copy of the note.
We look predominantly at unit labour costs to try and ascertain where future competitive advantage might lie. Productivity is part of the mix, and there are signs that it is now improving however trends in unit labour costs can also have a major impact on competitiveness and the attraction of individual markets. We look at major global developed markets to see who is gaining ground and we also examine core European nations to ascertain if convergence is occurring, or not. We also outline the trends in peripheral European markets and ask are they re-gaining their competitive edge?
While barbarism does not have a price the political implications of the tragic attack in Paris are potentially significant. The economic and capital market ones are much less profound. The note looks at the threat, the likely implications for Merkel, Hollande, Cameron and the EU and economic impacts. Please contact us for a copy