Morning Brief – US Employment

US Employment

 

Slow progress in the USA in getting people back to work. Last week 840,000 filed for unemployment benefit versus 849,000 the previous week and 665,000 per week during the 2008/9 economic collapse. While drawing encouragement from this apparent plateauing/small fall in the 2020 numbers, markets are under no illusions that without a further economic stimulus to the US economy, that it is likely that hiring will tail off in the next 3-6 months. The USD remained in a tight range versus EUR, JPY and CNY yesterday as markets await the timing of that economic stimulus package.

 

 

Singapore: Asian economic poster boy

 

This independent nation state and key member of ASEAN having been under British control until 1963, then joined the Federation of Malaysia for a brief 2 year period until 1965. Since then land has been reclaimed from the sea vastly increasing the land mass and providing home to a population of 5.7 million. The economic achievements speak for themselves with a GDP of $274 billion and a GDP per capita of $60K versus Malaysia’s population of 32 million and GDP of $303 billion giving a GDP per capita of $16K. Both nations have unemployment rates that the West can only envy in 2020 of 3% in the case of Malaysia and 1.9% for Singapore. USD v SGD has been at 1.45 twice in the past 5 years in 2016 and in March 2020-now it stands at 1.36 and has been as strong as 1.22 almost exactly 8 years ago in 2012.

 

 

Yesterday

 

A bit of a Beatles theme this time, as today would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday. Crazed fan Mark Chapman having earlier during the day of 8-12-80 obtained John Lennon’s autograph for his own Double Fantasy album, subsequently returned to the Dakota Building in NYC’s Upper West Side and shot him dead. Today is also the 55th anniversary of the Lennon/McCartney song Yesterday which went straight to Number One in 1965 and staying there for 4 weeks. Even the most hardened Rolling Stones fans among our readers (who by definition do not admit ever to liking the Beatles) will have to admit that this is a great song and here’s a reminder as to why:

 

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday

Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be
There’s a shadow hanging over me
Oh, yesterday came suddenly

Why she had to go I don’t know she wouldn’t say
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday

Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
Oh, I believe in yesterday

Why she had to go I don’t know she wouldn’t say
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday

Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
Oh, I believe in yesterday

 

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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