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  • With a welcome break from the Brexit saga, investors focused on some pertinent UK economic indicators released last week. Although, it is acknowledged that these figures are inherently analyzed with the Oct 31 deadline overshadowing any conclusion. Unemployment levels are such that the UK worker is experiencing real wage growth of circa 1.5% – substantial enough in a normal environment for some Bank for England Governors to issue hawkish commentary.  Of course little about the UK economy can be considered normal presently.
  • China provided their monthly data dump of economic figures, including Industrial Production, Retail sales and the Unemployment Rate. These figures were somewhat overshadowed by the release of the Q1 GDP y/y figure of 6.4% unsurprisingly slightly beating expectations of 6.3%. The upper echelons of the communist party have in the past described the GDP figure as a “man-made” number and yet it continues to provide some guidance to the general health of the economy.
  • The US retail sales figures, whilst volatile, indicate an economy that reflects significant consumer confidence. A dovish Federal Reserve, real wage growth and improving equity markets are providing a tailwind to consumer spending which should be beneficial for GDP estimates.
  • In a shortened, holiday impacted week, the most notable economic releases were the PMI’s from the US and the Eurozone. Notably, the German PMI (see chart) for the manufacturing sector was particularly disappointing. The ECB guidance on interest rates may require an especially dovish message to be relayed as economic concerns in the Eurozone’s largest economy becomes more entrenched.