Welcome to our February bulletin
We hope this bulletin will keep you up-to-date with topical financial matters that can directly affect you… and your money!
Coronavirus dents growth
The new decade began promisingly with a number of factors providing a boost for stock market valuations: at home, the announcement from government regarding an increase in public spending and further clarity over Brexit plans, whilst further afield, some positive progress on US China trade negotiations.
The so-called “Boris Bounce” was then brought to an abrupt end by the outbreak of the Coronavirus in China, which has its origins in the mixing of people and animals.
An impact on global output
Consequently, the World’s second biggest economy has now been ‘quarantined’ with major airlines cancelling all flights into and out of mainland China, plus wholescale restrictions on the movement of its population.
As China is singularly responsible for one fifth of total global output, these events will put a noticeable dent in international growth. Some of the more pessimistic forecasts even suggest that first quarter growth could now be down from 6% to just 2%.
Coronavirus joins a less than illustrious list of viral nasties that includes Zika… Nipah… Mers… and Sars… … and is unlikely to be the last!
In a World of rising prosperity and ever-improving advances in health care perhaps this is a warning that, whilst humans encroach on new habitats, farm more animals as livestock and travel further afield than ever before (whilst the planet itself gets warmer) new diseases may well be an inevitable consequence.
However, despite valid concerns about the short-term spread of the virus, the economy will ultimately bounce back again, once the reported cases eventually start to drop.
Volatility in World markets is something we have now become accustomed to and in spite of recent events, we remain positive for the year ahead.
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