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The G20 likes growth (who would have thought it?)

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  • The G20 doubtless spread relief around the world when its statement revealed it was not, in fact, opposed to growth. In fact, the G20 likes economic growth. And it likes lower unemployment. It almost makes the taxpayer funding expense of a G20 summit worthwhile to have that confirmed.
  • In Japan the governing coalition won a majority (but not a constitution changing two thirds majority) of the upper house of the Diet. The markets have viewed this as an expected outcome. The question is what happens to reform (i.e. is there any) and the consumption tax increase.
  • Portugal's government failed to form a grand coalition for austerity on Friday, but will apparently carry on in government anyway (until the end of their term in 2015, according to the president). The political concerns may abate, but the economic challenges remain.
  • The data calendar is very quiet today. US existing home sales are forecast to come in strong, with earlier strong pending home sales data giving a guide to today's numbers.

Listen to the audio version of this briefing.