The pollsters reckon that the Scottish National Party will become the single biggest party in Scotland following the elections later this week. This has understandably led to thoughts that a subsequent referendum could result in a majority in favour of leaving the 300 year union between England and Scotland, and have Scotland becoming an independent state within the EU. This led me to think tha…Read the article
Provisional figures just out show that the US economy grew at an annualised rate of 1.3% in Q1, the slowest pace in four years, as construction fell at an annual rate of 17%. Q1 GDP was way below expectations, which had been for an annualised growth rate of 1.8%.
At the same time it was announced that the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation rose at an annual rate of 2.2%, up from 1…Read the article
Moody’s monthly default report shows that the global speculative grade default rate fell to the lowest level since April 1997. March’s figure was 1.41%, down from 1.58% in February, which means that just 1.41% of all high yield issuers defaulted in the 12 months to the end of March. These incredibly low default statistics have been made possible by a combination of strong corporate earnings and…Read the article
There was further evidence of a slowdown in the US housing market yesterday, as sub-prime mortgage woes contributed to existing home sales falling 8.4% in March, the largest monthly decline since records began in 1999 and significantly below expectations of a 4.3% decline.
The US is not the only country with a wobbly housing market – Spanish house price inflation slowed to an annual rate of 7.1…Read the article
You may have read today about the story of Alec Holden, who ten years ago bet £100 on himself that he’d live to 100. William Hill offered him odds of 250-1, and he’s now celebrating a £25,000 win. It seems that old age hasn’t dimmed Mr Holden’s wit – the secret is apparently not to worry about anything, do as little work as possible and go on lots of holidays (and in recent months he’s been ke…Read the article
The reason is that medium dated gilts are very closely correlated to global government bond yields. In fact the 10-year gilt yield is act…Read the article
My last housing market note at the end of March discussed how strong mortgage approvals are an excellent predictor of future house price movements. If mortgage approvals are strong, then many people are taking out mortgages. If people are taking out mortgages, then they are looking to buy a house, and if demand for housing increases, house prices do too.Read the article