So, longer-term U.S. government bonds are now yielding lower than short-term bonds. Is this really a big economic warning?
At the end of March 2019, the employment rate for the United Kingdom was estimated at 76.1%, the joint- highest figure on record. The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 20.8%, again close to a record low.
Different measures tell another story:
- Real disposable personal income per capita
- Personal income payments
- Total employee compensation
- Personal consumption expenditures per capita
UK gross domestic product (GDP) in volume terms was estimated to have increased by 0.5% in Q1 (January to March) 2019. In comparison with the same quarter a year ago (Q1 2018) UK GDP increased by 1.8%, the fastest growth since Q3 2017.
The U.S. unemployment rate hit 3.6% in April 2019, its lowest level since December 1969.
The Eurozone or Euro area (EA) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 7.7% in March 2019, down from 7.8% in February 2019 and from 8.5% in March 2018. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since September 2008.
The European Union (EU) unemployment rate was 6.4% in March 2019, down from 6.5% in February 2019 and from 7.0% in March 2018. This is the lowest rate recorded in the European Union since January 2000.
Seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.4% in the Eurozone or Euro area (EA) and by 0.5% in the European Union during Q1 (first quarter) of 2019, compared with Q4 2018, according to a preliminary flash estimate published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
A question that many people have is – how long can the equity markets keep soaring, how long can house prices keep increasing and how long can demand for negative yielding government bonds continue?
The answer to all of the above is probably (but not necessarily) indefinitely. In many ways we are living in very interesting times. This time it is different, why wouldn’t it be?
Real gross domestic product (GDP) for the U.S. increased at an annual rate of 3.2% in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, according to the advance estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).
The IMF reckons that global economic activity slowed notably in the second half of 2018. According to the IMF, the escalation of US–China trade tensions, credit tightening in China, macroeconomic stress in Argentina and Turkey, disruptions to the auto sector in Germany, and financial tightening alongside the normalization of monetary policy in the larger advanced economies have all contributed to a significantly weakened global expansion.