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It must be August

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  • It must be August. There is little going on in terms of macroeconomic data today, so markets have turned to geopolitical risks to provide a diversion (the Ukraine and Russia). There are no particularly new developments.
  • Scotland had its independence referendum debate overnight, before an excited audience of 350. Opinion polls after the debate seem to suggest that the pro-independence campaign did not sway many voters, which should moderate financial market risks.
  • Italian GDP for the second quarter is due to be released, and markets are hoping that the number will actually turn out to be positive 9after a negative first quarter). The challenge for Italy, and Spain and France, lies in getting nominal GDP growth at a level that can help with the debt burden.
  • The UK BRC shop price index fell more than expected, but shop prices are only a smallish part of consumer price inflation. The US is delivering trade data, but economists' attention is more focused on the strength of the service sector that appeared to be shown in yesterday's data.

Listen to the audio version of this briefing.