The battle for Conservative leadership continued over the weekend with both Johnson and Hunt promoting their plans to gain more support whilst posturing intensely.
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Interestingly, both seemed to lean on the promise of hefty tax cuts and increased government borrowing in a bid to rekindle the economy and soften the blow to businesses across the UK who's competitiveness will be brought into serious question should the UK leave the EU without an agreement in place. Hunt went to the extent of laying out a £6 Billion buffer with a drop in corporation tax down from 19% to 12.5% which would leave the UK as one of the most attractive levels amongst developed countries for multinationals to base their activity. The theory is this will also help farmers and fisherman keep their head above water through the uncertain months ahead. It will be interesting to see if this helps Hunt gain support in the weeks ahead. Being the less keen on the idea of a No-deal Brexit, the markets would probably favour a conservative party lead by Hunt. Any shift to Hunt's advantage then could see the Pound stronger in the currency markets.
With the face off due to continue until the 23rd of July and the next live TV debate scheduled for the 9th, it does feel like economic data releases might be holding more weight than the political news this week, which is quite the rare occurrence for 2019.
The end of last week saw the Confederation of British Industry raise an alarming report. As a result of bad weather and the pressures Brexit appear to be putting on business confidence, growth across UK PLCs appears to have fallen to the lowest levels in almost 7 years, posting a fall of 13% in the number of companies expanding.
It will be interesting to see if this filters down to this week's releases, the main ones to look out for being the key PMI surveys to managers from the manufacturing and services sector.
A contraction is already expected from this morning's manufacturing release, whilst tomorrow's Services release is expected to remain unchanged from the previous month. Greater falls than expected could well lead to another drop in the pound, making foreign currency more expensive.
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