As the fight against COVID-19 continues, economies are beginning to reopen. Are we about to experience a typhoon of activity to mirror the huge slumps of 2020?
Bond yields and a new season’s flowers both sprung up last month, heralding an end to the dark days of lockdown winter. Chief investment officer Julian Chillingworth ponders the big question on investors’ minds – does this also foreshadow a prolonged period of higher inflation?
The average American family has received $11,400 of government cheques since the pandemic began. That’s a big windfall for people and a difficult economic puzzle for the US Federal Reserve to decipher.
The US is about to turn on the spending taps once again to combat the effects of the pandemic. This time it coincides with the reopening, so expectations for GDP growth are soaring – taking yields with them.
More stimulus spending now, with the largest tax hike in decades to follow
When bond markets move, governments and stock markets take note. A swift rise in yields has rattled equities and focused attention on countries’ swollen debt piles.
Scientists estimate that if we are to feed the world’s growing population we will need 70% more food by 2050. With a mere 10% of the Earth’s surface suitable for cultivation and soil degradation putting much of that under threat, many suggest the answer is vertical farming. It seems the stuff of science-fiction. Can it work?
After a busy start to the year there’s still a lot of uncertainty swirling around in markets. But economies tend to bounce back hard after sombre periods, and hope remains that our eventual return to ‘normal’ will be no different.