Here’s the latest quarter four update provided by Parmenion.
“Overall, 2019 was an excellent year for investments with the dip in markets at the end of 2018 now seeming rather negligible. Some of the reasons for this will lie with the central banks providing more money in the form of further quantitative easing in addition to the US Federal Reserve Board cutting interest rates three times across the year.
Confidence in markets for 2020 is still relatively positive, a recent survey of advisers when asked if they thought markets during 2020 would be as good as 2019 responded with Yes – 61% No 9% and unsure 29%.
There is potential concern in relation to the recent outbreak of the coronavirus in China that has now reached every region in China as well as reported cases in at least 15 other countries. China is home to one fifth of the worlds’ population and have 15 million of the inhabitants in lock down with the restrictions on movement. This includes tech giants Google, Amazon and Microsoft who have shut down operations and requesting employees work from home or extend their Lunar New Year holiday. Other large corporations have taken similar action.
The last major outbreak, which was the SARS virus of 2003, created a ‘Black Swan’ event, indicated on the graph being a short-term market drop followed by a rally. That said, over the last decade the Chinese economy has slowed down compared to the lofty heights in excess of 15%.”
In other news…
Just in case you missed it, here’s a quick round up of some of the financial news from January which might be of interest?
The Bank of England resisted calls to cut interest rates and held them steady at 0.75%. We will see at the end of February whether our leaving the EU will have any immediate impact on short term interest rates.
Although the budget is not until 11th March, there was a proposal released regarding National Insurance contributions. Currently, employees start paying National Insurance contributions when their annual income exceeds £8,632. However, Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the Exchequer presented documentation to Parliament to increase this by more than 10% to £9,500.
This would mean savings for an average employee of £104 in the next tax year.