Some experts believe sugar now poses as big a threat to public health as cigarettes. With obesity costing the NHS billions of pounds every year, can investors force food manufacturers to start being more responsible in their use of this bitter sweet ingredient? Rathbone Greenbank is playing its part in lobbying for change.
Over the past few years, the largest stock market falls have been caused by concerns that China’s fast-paced economic growth could suffer a sharp slowdown. This matters for investors everywhere, given widespread predictions that China will overtake the US as the world’s most important economy. Fortunately, we do not see a slowdown in China as a significant threat for 2018.
Political uncertainty has dominated global events over the past couple of years. Surprise voting patterns have delivered Brexit and President Trump followed by an indecisive UK general election result. A minority government is now negotiating the terms of the divorce from the European Union (EU).
Infrastructure investments have attracted lots of attention from yield-hungry investors in the new world of ultra-low interest rates. But this growing demand, chasing after a limited supply of projects, has made attractive infrastructure investments harder to find.
Britain was once the global giant of the textiles industry, but found itself unable to compete with the relentless growth of cheaper overseas producers. Now though, shifting global economics and the desirability of the Made in Britain brand mean the UK’s textile industry is enjoying a renaissance.
Africa has long been a continent of unfulfilled promise but is it poised to finally become the economic force it wants to be? Investment in infrastructure like railways, roads and ports could light the touchpaper to a brighter future.
Synchronicity has made a comeback this year, 34 years after topping the pop charts. Investors are touting a somewhat flimsy theory about global growth and equity returns, but we’ll be watching more convincing charts in 2018.
European equities have been in fashion this year, but their popularity may be waning as valuations become less attractive and signs emerge that economic growth may have peaked.
A breach of 3% in UK inflation has triggered a letter of explanation from Bank of England (BoE) Governor Mark Carney to Chancellor Phillip Hammond, and lots of media attention. Consumers will be understandably concerned, especially with wage growth lagging, but we believe inflation will peak soon, and remain well anchored longer term (see our latest investment report).