Humphrey Percy Chairman and FounderMon 12 Feb 2024
Gong Hei Fat Choy!
As we exit the Year of the Rabbit to enter the Year of the Dragon this past weekend there were no less than 9 billion journeys made within the Peoples’ Republic of China as Chinese people caught up with friends and family to celebrate the Lunar New Year after the enforced journey restrictions in 2020-2022. Chinese New Year is and always has been quite big in China(!) but it is now a global phenomenon and celebrated in cities all around the world. USD/CNY 7.1930.
According to the fun loving folk at the OECD, global economic growth may have been set back by up to 40 years as a result of LockDown and the consequent impact on childrens’ education. Cynics also point to some of those way beyond school age in the service sector who appear to have left their cognitive abilities back in 2019. Listening is just one of the casualties of those restrictions in 2020 amidst what appears to be a general dumbing down. Let’s hope that LockDown children buck the trend and prove the OECD wrong. GBP/EUR 1.1700.
Worth keeping an eye on oil prices given that Brent Crude ended up 6% last week on disruption fears and Israel showing no sign of any amelioration in its hard line position-in fact quite the contrary given further statements from President Netanyahu. Brent Crude $82.19.
When Dame Anita Roddick sold her creation the Body Shop to L’Oreal in 2006 for GBP 652million, it was viewed by her detractors as a betrayal. L’Oreal kept it for 11 years before selling it to Brazilian company Natura for GBP 880 million. Then Natura bailed out for GBP 207 million to Aurelius for GBP 207 million at the end of 2023. This week the UK business with 200 shops is likely to be placed into administration. Body Shop operates in 70 countries through both branches and other stores so will almost certainly continue in an altered form, but the spiritual home of Anita Roddick’s business was Brighton, England. GBP/USD 1.2625.
With the publication of the closely anticipated UK Michelin restaurant list last week, the headlines are 170 One Star, 27 Two Star and 9 Three Star. A close study of the list will elicit a number of top places offering bargain lunchtime offers for a limited time at least. One in particular for Welsh readers is the Walnut Tree in Abergavenny which is currently offering 2 courses for GBP 40 which for cognoscenti might just be worth the detour.
It was of course Beatle, John Lennon who sang this number on Top of The Pops this day in 1970. In those days a record of the song was played and the artist sang over it without a microphone. This sort of created an atmosphere for the audience to sway/bop/jump around to while at the same time giving the impression that the singer was…singing. That was the 1970’s for you. Then there was the song of course.
Instant karma’s gonna get you Going to knock you on the head You gonna break your body, darling Pretty soon you’re going to be dead
What in the world you’re thinking of Laughing in the face of love? What on earth you trying to do? It’s up to you, yeah, you
Instant karma’s gonna get you Going to look you right in the face You better get yourself together Come and join the human race
How in the world you gonna see? Who on earth d’you think you are? Laughing at a fool like me? Superstar, right you are
Well, we all shine on Like the moon and the stars and the sun Well, we all shine on Like the moon and the stars and the sun Right you are, come on
Instant karma’s gonna hit you Gonna hit your back off your feet Better recognize your brothers Every one you meet…
Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder
British Pound There really was something for everyone in Bank of England Governor Bailey’s comments yesterday. Firstly he said that the BoE was comfortable with the market’s view of the decline in UK interest rates -meaning one presumes both on extent and timing. Then he followed it up by saying that the UK labour market […]
EU Commission Instead of November’s EU growth forecast of 1.2%, the EU Commission has revised back its prediction to 0.8% for the growth in the gross domestic product of the 20 countries. The 2025 year however will see growth of 1.5%. Back to 2024, it is difficult for the EU bloc to grow much when […]
Germany With the German IFO or Business Climate Index down from 90.10 a year ago to its current level of 85.20, Germany’s business leaders are more realistic about the outlook for Europe’s largest economy than their political leaders. Chancellor Scholz wisely passed the speech making duties yesterday to one of his cohorts who managed with […]