Tense times

Posted by: Paul Donovan

23 Jul 2020

Daily update

  • US President Trump seems to be campaigning on law and order, and China. The president ordered a "surge" of federal agents into selected US cities, and the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston. China tensions matter most to markets in the near term. Threats to the trade deal are unlikely before September or October (that way, the damage to the US economy would only be felt after the election).
  • The UK also has tensions with China. China has banned the broadcast of Premiership football games (for the benefit of American readers this refers to proper football, not rugby with shoulder pads).
  • Korean second quarter GDP fell (no surprise). The pattern of developed economy activity is likely to be a consumption surge late in the second quarter, with production only picking up after that. Consumers are leaving lockdown with money to spend, but it will take time for supply chains to get going. GDP measures production output, not what consumers spend.
  • US weekly initial and continuing jobless claims data are due. US Republicans in Congress are considering extending additional unemployment benefits until the end of the year, but cutting the amount from USD 2,400 per month to USD 400 per month. Consumers would likely notice the difference.

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