The American economy is roaring ahead, showing increasing signs of strength. So far, the year has been quite kind as far as the economy goes. The strength of the American economy, in particular, is boosting Europe and other markets. With stock markets at or near historical highs, international investors and wealth managers have also enjoyed a boon. Still, there has been some negative news in the United Kingdom (more on that later).
The American economy has largely been on the up and up this year. However, many wealth managers have been concerned over underperforming indicators. One of the most worrisome indicators for the American economy has been sluggish industrial output. As the world’s largest single economy, what happens in the American economy affects people around the world. Industrial output, however, enjoyed exceptional growth, surging a solid 1%.
With the American job market gaining strength and wages on the rise, the American economy looks especially strong. There are some risks, however. President Trump is pushing for NAFTA renegotiations, threatening to upset one of the largest economic blocs in the world. Government shutdowns remain a risk, and interest rates are also on the rise.
UK Worries Persist With Banking Industry Moving Offshore
While the American economy is enjoying excellent strength, worries continue to mount in the United Kingdom. Banks located in the United Kingdom have indicated that they could shift as many as 9,000 jobs offshore as part of their post-Brexit plans. Now, many of them are starting to put their plans into action.
The United Kingdom has long acted as a world leading financial hub. However, with Brexit promising to rip the UK away from continental Europe, many companies are now looking to offshore. The banking industry could be particularly hard hit as finance is now a global business affair. Meanwhile, due to the strength of the American economy, many US banks are looking to expand investments. Expect the UK to be passed over as those investments head to the EU.
Recently, JP Morgan and Standard Chartered both released their post-Brexit plans. Unfortunately, the news was largely as bad as expected. Goldman Sachs and Citigroup have both already unveiled their post-Brexit plans as well. Even as these banks are enjoying success due to the strong American economy, they are looking to wind down in the UK. In total, 13 major banks have already outlined and released their post-Brexit plans and the news isn’t good.
While the actual Brexit movement focused on manufacturing and other more traditional economic sectors, it was finance that arguably had the most to lose. The United Kingdom had established itself as Europe’s de facto financial capital. American and Asian banking firms looking to set up in Europe frequently chose London and the UK. Now, these very same banks are writing post-Brexit plans that will see them move offshore.
Paris, Berlin, and other continental cities could enjoy a boon. Many banks’ post-Brexit plans call for relocating to other nearby European hubs. These hubs will allow banks to maintain access to Europe’s huge markets even as the UK losses access. Expect wealth managers and others to offshore to these locales.
The biggest concern for many European banks, meanwhile, has been turned back. Some were fearing that Europe could succumb to a populist wave similar to what was seen in the USA and UK. This wave was turned back, however, in both the Netherlands and France. Angela Merkel’s government in Germany, meanwhile, remains quite popular even if it has suffered some setbacks due to migration.