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Group Finance Director, Julian Navey, considers Brexit, Trump and the outlook for the economy in 2017.
We start 2017 with so many unknowns and uncertainties in the World Economy that it would seem foolish to make any firm predictions about the next 12 months. One thing is certain that in terms of both share prices and currencies, the markets will remain very nervous and subject to substantial changes in response to minimal changes of emphasis. It only takes a quick mention of “hard” or “soft” Brexit to send Sterling into a spin before an alternative comment sends it back the other way. Share prices in the FTSE 100 are moving in the opposite direction to Sterling because a weak pound is good for exporting companies who dominate the index. However, now we need to add the ingredient of President Donald Trump. The immediate reaction was for the US Dollar to weaken as investors could not see a clear pattern as to how the US economy would respond to some of the immediate actions the President is taking. Trump has started to try and talk the US Dollar up to make exports more attractive. That will only be short-lived until a real understanding of economic effects become clear.