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  • As expected, the Chinese announced retaliatory actions to the Trump administrations increase in the tariff rate. Thus far the Trump administration have dodged where possible the application of Tariffs on consumer goods however, should they continue to place tariffs on Chinese goods this will be unavoidable. This will have consequences for US inflation but more worryingly it may negatively impact consumer, corporate and investor confidence.
  • Weaker than expected retail sales and Industrial production figures brought forth commentators highlighting the damage that the trade war is having on the Chinese economy. There is no doubt that trade wars are costly for all of those involved but politically Xi Jinping holds the advantage of being “President for Life”, whilst Donald Trump will be required to face voters ire in next year’s presidential election.
  • The competition to replace Theresa May as Conservative leader (and Prime Minister) has unofficially begun in earnest with a plethora of candidates putting their credentials forward. Seemingly, May is to bring her withdrawal agreement back to parliament for one final vote in early June after which (assuming it fails) she will present a specific timetable for her departure. Of course whoever replaces May will face the same complications of differing views within the Conservative party and the parliamentary arithmetic will not have changed. Nevertheless, a change in leadership may bring us closer to a second referendum or another general election and a conclusion to the exhausting withdrawal part of the Brexit process.
  • Appreciation in Irish House prices continues to decline as greater supply and the Central Bank of Ireland’s lending regulations begin to impact. Notably price growth outside of Dublin (+6.8% y/y) is considerably faster than that of the capital (+1.2% y/y).