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It’s going to be a bumpy ride

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It’s been another eventful week and one that serves to remind us that while there may be more sources of optimism this year, compared with last, it’s going to be a very bumpy ride.

There’s no doubt that there’s been plenty more cause for optimism so far this year, especially compared with what we became accustomed to in 2022. The US could experience a soft landing, China may rebound strongly from the removal of Covid restrictions, and the euro zone could avoid a recession.

That’s not a bad shift in expectations at all. However, as soon as the economic data became more favorable, they could turn around again. This week’s US economic data has not been very encouraging. Rather than focus on disinflation and the labour market, it’s been other economic indicators and earnings that have taken the spotlight and it hasn’t been great.

What’s more, it seems we’re seeing more regular warnings of imminent layoffs, the latest coming from Alphabet which plans to cut 12,000 staff globally. Although companies have been reluctant for so long to lay off staff following post-pandemic hiring difficulties, the tide is turning. It could accelerate from now. At which point the economic data might…



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