The first quarter of 2017 saw continued optimism for an increase in global economic growth and a broad increase in equity markets. Despite markets selling off after the failure of the US President’s first attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act – calling into question his ability to deliver on other stated policies – global equities still finished the quarter up 7.04%. Testament to general confidence was the ease with which markets absorbed the US Federal Reserve’s second rate rise in three months.
In the UK Theresa May triggered Article 50, which although historically significant, caused no market reaction as the exact nature of the Brexit deal remains clouded in speculation and political posturing. The Scottish Parliament’s vote for a second independence referendum only served to make predicting outcomes even more difficult. UK inflation figures came in above expectations and it was notable that one member of the MPC voted to raise rates despite the Brexit uncertainty.
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