Friday’s US jobs figures that showed an increase of 353,000 jobs which was almost exactly double what was expected has poured more than cold water on the argument for the first US rate cut happening next month. With wage inflation at 4.5%, the fear that the present level of interest rates is curbing growth in the US economy is not only devalued, it has been replaced with a different fear which is that cutting rates when the economy is already doing better than expected will stoke the embers of inflation. Just for good measure Presidential hopeful Donald Trump despite having appointed Federal Reserve Governor Powell in the first place, has stated that if elected, he will replace Chair Powell as he “is too political.” EUR/USD 1.0780.
It turns out that UK wind farms routinely overstate how much wind they are going to produce. Why that matters is that when the UK’s grid does not require further wind generated power, there is a tariff for those wind farms not to produce wind power and it is the consumer that pays for that non generation. Despite the fact that the wind farm is not producing that power but simply saying that it can, the wind farm still gets paid. Of 121 wind farms surveyed, 40 overstated their power production by 10% and 27 by 20%. So what happens in practice? When wind is turned off, it is because gas is turned on and the combined sum of those payments is estimated to cost the consumer GBP800 million per annum not to mention the amount of carbon pumped into the atmosphere. Watch this space for a long overdue correction to the overstatement of wind power racket. GBP/USD 1.2630.
In an effort to add some sizzle to hamburger sales, McDonald’s have introduced the concept of the Best Burger to a number of their markets, but by 2026 it will be rolled out worldwide. The change is not to the meat content of the burgers but rather to the cooking process which will apparently drive more sales and is already in some places increasing demand by as much as 10%. The Best Burgers are a step up in flavour and allow McDonalds to increase prices for not only burgers but also for other products which customers turn to due to the higher priced Best Burgers. USD/JPY 148.40.
This is the new sun kissed European destination for cash strapped Brits: Montenegro. This summer flights from Luton Gatwick and Bristol for £58pp each way offered by EasyJet will give holidaymakers the opportunity to rub shoulders with A List slebs and Europe’s beautiful people who are all discovering the delights of Montenegro. GBP/EUR 1.1710.
Heart of Gold
This day in 1972 a Canadian singer named Neil Young released this his only song to go to Number 1 in 50 years-but there again Neil Young is still churning out records and some of them are much better than his earlier efforts. This song was considerably embellished by Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor, but once his solo career was launched, Neil Young without David Crosby(RIP), Stephen Stills and Graham Nash went on to become a hugely successful star in his own right.
I want to live I want to give I’ve been a miner For a heart of gold It’s these expressions I never give
That keep me searching For a heart of gold And I’m getting old Keep me searching For a heart of gold And I’m getting old
I’ve been to Hollywood I’ve been to Redwood I crossed the ocean For a heart of gold I’ve been in my mind It’s such a fine line
That keeps me searching For a heart of gold And I’m getting old Keeps me searching For a heart of gold And I’m getting old…
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 […]