Morning Brief – Gallic Puff of Wind?

Gallic Puff of Wind?

 

That is the question facing Madame Christine Lagarde of the ECB ahead of the meeting tomorrow: is French inflation annualised to December which was released yesterday of 3.3% a passing puff of wind or more of a stiff French breeze? On the back of recently released German inflation which reflects that it could well be more than just a passing phase, the ECB despite its previously stated reluctance to raise rates and remove the current easy monetary conditions will be under pressure to act rather than watch. EUR/USD 1.1270.

 

UK Productivity Gap

 

Following our recent piece about UK productivity, we have been asked by several clients for further comparisons between the UK and other countries. Here is how average annual output growth per worker has changed between 2009 and 2019:
Japan +1.2%, Germany +1.1%, Canada +1.0%, France +0.9%, USA +0.8%, UK +0.7% and Italy 0.4%. between 1997 and 2007 the UK was +1.9% in second place behind USA with +2.3%. So in both absolute and comparative terms within this peer group the UK has become less competitive.

 

Gaming

 

If gaming is a foreign country to you, like it is for me, the announcement that Sony maker of PlayStation has paid USD3.6 billion for games developer Bungie which is behind titles such as Destiny might get your attention. Two weeks ago rival Microsoft maker of the Xbox console paid USD 68.7 billion for Activision Blizzard which is the owner of Candy Crush and Call of Duty. Even if this all leaves you a bit nonplussed, there is clearly a wave of integration and corporate activity in the gaming sector. Nearer to home, it is worth having a look at French video game company Ubisoft Entertainment that owns Assassins Creed and Rabbids among many other titles. While somewhat lively as a share price, there is no doubt that interest will increase in this company owned by the Guillemot family as the race to consolidate in the gaming sector progresses.

 

Too Much Too Young

 

English two tone and ska revival band (no me neither) The Specials released this gem on this day in 1980 which promptly went to Number One despite its controversial lyrics at the time, and which now would precipitate much more than controversy. For those of you who did not remember this song, it captured the zeitgeist of the time (more with the beat than with the lyrics):

 

You’ve done too much
Much too young
Now you’re married with a kid
When you could be having fun with me
Oh no, no gimme no more pickni
You’ve done too much
Much too young
Now you’re married with a son
When you should be having fun with me
We don’t want, we don’t want
We don’t want no more pickni
Ain’t he cute?
No he ain’t
He’s just another burden
On the welfare state
You’ve done too much
Much too young
Now you’re married with a kid
When you could be having fun with me
No gimme, no gimme, no gimme no more pickni
Call me immature
Call me a poser
I’d love to spread manure in your bed of roses
Don’t want to be rich
Don’t want to be famous
But I’d really hate to have the same name as you
You’ve done too much
Much too young
Now you’re married with a kid
When you could be having fun with me

 

 

 

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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