And then there were four (probably)

Posted by: Paul Donovan

31 Mar 2020
  • US politicians are celebrating the passage of fiscal stimulus package number three by talking about fiscal stimulus package number four. The third package was impressively large. However, some spending may not be enough. The aid may not get through fast enough. Many US small businesses have limited cash available – so short delays create big problems.
  • China published a March business sentiment opinion poll. These ask if things have improved since last month. Last month China was shut down. This month in China is back to work. Everyone should say things have improved – even if they are not "good". But not everyone answers the question that they are asked.
  • The UK offers final fourth quarter GDP data – markets do not care. The monthly GDP series (due in April) may be more interesting, assuming it is published. Asking people about their economic activity is a lot easier to do when people are not locked down at home.
  • Euro area March consumer price inflation is due. It is also problematic. What is the price of a restaurant meal if restaurants are closed? For March, prices from early in the month may be used. But it may become impossible to produce consumer price data in the coming weeks.

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