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LGT Navigator: Fed Beige Book sees US economy on moderate growth path

November 28, 2019

In its regular economic report (Beige Book) published yesterday evening, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) attests that the domestic economy continues to grow moderately. This was also confirmed by the latest US economic data. In the following, the majority of Wall Street indices then continued their record run at a moderate pace. Today, the New York Stock Exchange remains closed due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Federal Reserve Beige Book

The Fed sees the American economy on a slight expansion course. In the so-called Beige Book, the twelve regional banks of the Federal Reserve System each report their assessment of the economic development. The report is then used by the Fed's Open Market Committee (FOMC) as a basis for decisions on monetary policy. The outlook for further economic development is generally positive, with consumer spending remaining solid and a certain improvement in industry at a low level. Overall, the assessment seems somewhat more optimistic than in October. Official data on US economic growth in the third quarter seem to confirm the slightly more confident assessment of the economic situation. The gross domestic product of the world's largest economy expanded during the summer at an annualized rate of +2.1%. A previous estimate had been based on +1.9%. In the second quarter, the US economy grew at an annualized rate of +2.0%. Private consumption, which accounts for around two thirds of GDP, grew by +2.9% in Q3, but this was much more moderate than in Q2, with an increase of +4.6%. At the same time, companies reduced their investments in Q3.

As just reported, the Swiss economy grew by +0.4% in the third quarter, stronger than economists had expected (consensus: +0.2%), and increased its pace somewhat compared to the previous quarter (+0.3%).

Bank of Japan in the shadow of the Fed

In the wake of the Fed's "interest rate pause," Japan's central bank is likely to leave its interest rate policy unchanged for the time being. This was signaled by central bank board member Makoto Sakurai during a speech yesterday. Currently, the central bank must keep a close eye on domestic and global economic developments and there is currently no need to take action. On the occasion of the last interest rate decision, however, the Bank of Japan had declared its fundamental willingness to further loosen key interest rates if necessary. The next monetary policy decision is due on 19 December, after the Fed will probably be at gunpoint on 11 December.

Britain's Premier Johnson's chances at the polls are good

According to a new poll, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his conservative Tory Party are on the verge of a significant victory in the parliamentary elections on 12 December. The survey, conducted by the Times and YouGov polling institute, would currently see a Conservative victory of 359 out of 650 seats, bringing the Tory Party to 42 more seats than in the 2017 election. Jeremy Corbyn's opposition Labour Party would get only 211 seats, 51 less than last year. The Tories are also well ahead in other polls.

Democrats invite Trump to next hearing

In the ongoing investigation into the impeachment of US President Donald Trump, the Democrats have invited the President (or his lawyers) to attend the hearing on Wednesday next week or to question witnesses themselves. Jerry Nadler, Chairman of the US House of Representatives Justice Committee, said that Trump could now seize the opportunity to be personally represented at the hearings. The move is a response to continuing complaints from Trump and the Republican that the trial is unfair. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, announced that he would report to the Justice Committee on the "clear evidence" against Trump found so far after the Thanksgiving holiday session break. Schiff also added that it was not only about a possible misconduct of the President in the Ukraine affair, but also about whether Trump had obstructed Congress by blocking testimonies. On the basis of the report, the Justice Committee must define possible charges, according to which the democratically ruled House of Representatives will then vote on an impeachment procedure against Trump. If a majority of the House of Representatives votes in favor, the republican-dominated Senate will be faced with a court case. In the end, two-thirds of the senators would have to vote for a removal from office, which is highly unlikely in view of the majority situation and the still closed ranks in the Republican Party.



Economic Indicators November 28

MEZ Country Indicator Last
07:45 SZ GDP Q3 (q/q) +0.3%
09:00 SP Consumer Prices (y/y) +0.2%
11:00 EZ Economic Sentiment 100.8
11:00 EZ Business Climate -0.19
11:00 EZ Consumer Confidence -7.2
14:00 GE Consumer Prices (y/y) +0.9%

Earnings Calendar November 29

Country Corporate Period



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