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From a macroeconomic perspective:
• The US: Robust economic growth
PMI numbers held at elevated levels above 50 (a sign of expansion), with the ISM Manufacturing Index falling slightly to 57.2, from 57.7 in February. Elsewhere, jobs data continues to show strength, with non-farm payrolls of 235,000 jobs in February, and an upwards revision of the January figure to 238,000 jobs created. Whilst retail sales dipped to 5.7 per cent, from 6 per cent in January, the trend has been upward moving.
• The UK: A constant state of flux
Article 50 was triggered on 29 March, marking the formal start of the UK’s exit from the EU. Amidst the noise emanating from the British media, the impact to the economic outlook still remains to be seen over the near term. PMI numbers have been consistently positive, albeit slowing, with manufacturing and services up 54.6 and 53.3 respectively in February. Elsewhere, retail sales bounced back in February, rising 1.3 per cent month-on-month (MoM). Despite this broadly positive data however, industrial production fell -0.7 per cent MoM.
• The Eurozone: All eyes on upcoming elections
Politics remain a tailwind in April as the French election fast approaches. PMI numbers were strong across the board in March, with the composite index for the euro reaching 56.4, from 56 in February. The strength was broad-based, with multi-year highs in manufacturing PMI for all major Euro economies (ex-Spain).