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From a macroeconomic perspective:
• US: “America first”
GDP growth slowed to 1.9 per cent in January, having risen 3.5 per cent in the third quarter. Unemployment remains low at 4.7 per cent (versus 4.6 per cent in November), and wage increases saw a rise of 0.4 per cent month-on-month.
• UK: Surprising resilience since the Brexit vote
GDP growth accelerated in January, with a rate of 0.6 per cent in the final quarter and 2.2 per cent on an annual basis. Manufacturing and construction surveys also continue to show the benefits of a weakening pound and both industrial and manufacturing production numbers were strong with month-on-month rises of 2.1 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively.
• The Eurozone: Staying strong
Europe continues to show positive, and importantly broad, economic momentum both in core and peripheral countries. GDP numbers were reasonably strong, with a Euro-wide 0.5 per cent posted for the quarter, in line with expectation, and industrial production grew at 1.5 per cent month-on-month, meaningfully outperforming expectations at 0.6 per cent.