Will President Trump boost the US economy?

Will President Trump boost the US economy?It seems as if the US economy may be set for an unexpected upturn as Trump prepares for presidency. The new Republican administration has pledged to ‘make America great again’ by putting its resources into boosting the economy which, together with expected trade restrictions is almost certain to fuel inflation above the average 2.2% of Obama’s second term. The economy may also get a boost from the deregulation of labour and environmental legislation. If there’s scope for economic expansion, Trump’s policies could kick-start growth and output and productivity could rise sharply, but as the economy approaches full capacity, inflation will soar. Read more…

Central banks explore digital currency

Central banks ponder the introduction of digital currencyThe successful transition of crypto-currency bitcoin from experimental concept to globally accepted currency with a market value of more than $10 billion, is causing central banks to start exploring the potential of digital currencies for themselves. Research is at an early stage, but central banks – including those in Russia, Canada, the UK, Australia and China are assessing the risks and benefits of adopting a digital currency of their own. Further analysis needs to be done into how digital could affect a country’s economy and financial stability, and how systems could be put in place to defeat hackers, at the same time serving the needs of tens of millions of people. Read more…

Oil prices soar as Opec deal nears agreement

Opec agrees deal to cut supplies in Vienna talksOil cartel Opec has agreed to cut supplies, causing crude prices to soar to the $50-a-barrel mark. Opec pumps around a third of the world’s oil, which makes the commitment to cut production by around 4% – the equivalent of 1.2m barrels a day – made headline news on the markets. Cartel members have been allowing output to rise over the last two years in a bid to damage the profits of US shale and other high-cost producers. Immediately after the news, the S&P 500’s oil and gas exploration and production index — mostly comprising US shale companies — rocketed 10.8 per, with almost all US energy companies benefiting from the outward ripples. Read more…

Brexit and Trump elevate risks to banking sector

Global events including Brexit and Trump win exert pressure on banking sectorRecent political and economic events including Brexit, the US presidential election and China’s economic slowdown have created global uncertainty are creating significant risks for the global banking sector, according to leading ratings agency Standard & Poor. The agency’s global credit outlook for the banking sector in 2017 flags these and other factors as potential hurdles for the banking industry’s creditworthiness over the next twelve months, saying that more than half of the largest global banking systems face negative pressure – especially banks in Latin America and Asia Pacific. Read more…