Yesterday afternoon the latest ICM opinion poll showed the Conservatives still in front, however Labour are closing the gap.
There appears to have been an improvement for Labour, with them seeing their polling increase to 36%. Over the past few weeks, Sterling has seen some handsome gains against the Euro and US Dollar, with the rate almost tracking the polls. However, with just a few days to go, Mr. Johnson probably doesn’t think the election can come soon enough.
Having tried hard to dodge any overly relentless interviewers and making sure he doesn’t appear on the debating stage all too often, Mr. Johnson has another 48 hours to stick it out. Yesterday morning he stole the phone of an ITV reporter, who was showing him the picture of a boy lying on his coat in a Leeds hospital as there wasn’t enough beds.
The Conservative majority has been starting to slip away, although this has been from Labour gaining support from the Liberal Democrats. It still seems difficult to see past a Conservative win, although it’s the majority that they need for Mr. Johnson to pass the Brexit deal that hangs in the balance.
Recession talks in the US are continuing, with some forecasting the US economy to continue to slow down. A survey of 53 forecasters with the National Association for Business Economics put the prospect of a recession at 21% in the first half of next year and 43% at the end of next year. Whilst that supports that it’s less than 50% likely, the forecasts for 2021 suggest a 66% chance of a recession. Clearly, there is a long way to go till that point and an awful lot could change, but US economic growth looks like it may come down with a bang.
The Trump administration have so far put $360 billion of tariffs on Chinese imports and they plan on the 15th December to introduce another $160 billion. The Chinese have retaliated with $120bn of tariffs on US imports, although they don’t have the same impact.
US economists next year are unsure if the Federal reserve will follow suit; they did this year with several interest rate cuts. However, the US Dollar, which has lost ground against Sterling in the last few weeks, will be affected by both internal and external factors in the coming months. It was thought that talks between the US and China were coming to a deal; evidently that doesn’t look to be the case just yet.
The EU and US trade war could be close to taking a turn for the worse, as US President Donald Trump continues to threaten to put further taxes on EU specialities such as champagne. This has been in retaliation to France and French President Emmanuel Macron pushing to introduce an international tax on digital services, which primarily would go after the likes of Google and Facebook.
President Macron is currently swamped in battles, after the strikes continued in France. Tomorrow President Macron will introduce his new pension reform in government, which is clearly so far not proving too popular. Some commentary in the press yesterday pointed out that President Macron has achieved the impossible and managed to unite workers across industries on something.
The imminent future for the Euro is likely to be affected by the election in the UK at the end of the week. However, moving after that point, a Brexit deal may provide some certainty, but the boost for Sterling might help the GBP/EUR to continue its rise. Once again, we may have to wait for a few weeks before a clear picture becomes obvious.
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