Historically, inflation has tended to be correlated to the strength of the labour market. As unemployment decreases, the pool of available labour shrinks, enabling workers to demand higher wages. This feeds through to the overall price level, putting upward pressure on inflation. Today, however, we are seeing a puzzling global macroeconomic backdrop.
Although not widely discussed, 2015’s EU Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) has had a big impact on how institutions manage their cash balances. As a result, institutions are hunting for secure vehicles for their cash deposits. The CF Canlife Sterling Liquidity Fund aims to meet this demand, with the aim of delivering an enhanced return relative to short-term bank deposits.
Up until mid-June, UK gilts had performed robustly from a total return perspective in 2017, as 10 year yields edged down from 1.24% at the start of the year to hit 0.93% on the 14 June. This translated into a gain of 2.84% from the FTSE Gilts All Stocks Index over the same period. However, there has been a change in tone from developed market central banks of late.
The second quarter of 2017 was marked by central banks’ communication returning as the main driver of performance of financial markets. The US Federal Reserve (Fed), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Canada (BoC) guided investors towards an intention to normalise their monetary policies by reaffirming their confidence that the current global recovery will bring inflation near their 2% target.
Tomorrow happens to be Canada Day, which celebrates the 1867 unification of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into what we now know as Canada. I have just returned from a trip to Canada, attending a number of conferences and meetings with our group clients and colleagues. It was my first visit to the country and, perhaps most surprisingly to me, was the difference in the prevailing political environment.