Morning Brief – Central Economic Work Conference

Humphrey Percy
Chairman and Founder
Fri 15 Dec 2023

Central Economic Work Conference

The CEWC is China’s closely watched economic policy setting committee which this week was chaired by President Xi. An economic growth rate of 5% has been set for 2024, but a more realistic target according at least to Western analysts is 4.5%. While still healthy in comparison to near zero to low single digit growth in other world economies, there is some doubt about the economic growth outlook for China given the lack of economic measures to encourage personal expenditure.

USD/CNY 7.1380.


The Tesla owner manuals are quite clear: drivers need to remain fully alert and keep their hands on the wheel. The founder, chief shareholder, CEO and relentless cheer leader for the company that has made him the richest person in the world tells it differently: for legal reasons the driver has to remain the driver, but in fact the car can drive itself. Following more than 1,000 crashes in the USA almost all the 2 million Tesla cars in the USA have been recalled. And the share price? Up 110% on the year. Gravity defying and all part of the Musk hype which seemingly has little effect even on a product and in a market that is intensely safety conscious. With a market cap of USD 750 billion, the shares stood at 102 at the end of 2022 before rising to 299 before its current level of USD239.

Central Bank Messaging

As we wrote yesterday, the US Federal Reserve set a surprisingly benign if not doveish tone on Wednesday night. Result euphoria in US markets and a weaker USD. Then in came the ECB and the Bank of England with too soon to say messages yesterday. Much stronger GBP up over a cent and a much stronger EUR. Will it last? It seems so but do expect it to have setbacks and not continue in a straight line.

EUR/USD 1.0990.

Seasonal Tale

Tescos are recalling their 130gm offering of Tesco Finest Apple and Cranberry Stuffing as it may contain ..moths which unsurprisingly renders it unfit for human consumption. Doubtless the first of many such stories to foster the Christmas spirit. At least GBP is seasonally strong.

GBP/USD 1.2755.

You Wear it Well

This day in 1990 Rod Stewart married NZ super model Rachel Hunter with the oh so charming announcement: “I found the girl that I want. I won’t be putting my banana in anybody’s fruit bowl from now on.” Despite this early fruity promise, they split in 1999.

I had nothing to do on this hot afternoon
But to settle down and write you a line
I’ve been meaning to phone you but from Minnesota
Hell it’s been a very long time
You wear it well
A little old fashioned but that’s all right

Well I suppose you’re thinking I bet he’s sinking
Or he wouldn’t get in touch with me
Oh, I ain’t begging or losing my head
I sure do want you to know that you wear it well
There ain’t a lady in the land so fine

Remember them basement parties, your brother’s karate
The all day rock and roll shows
Them homesick blues and radical views
Haven’t left a mark on you, you wear it well
A little out of time but I don’t mind

But I ain’t forgetting that you were once mine
But I blew it without even tryin’
Now I’m eatin’ my heart out
Tryin’ to get a letter through

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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