Weekly Market Insight

Latest Economic & Market Update 16th December 2020

16th December 2020

Good afternoon, it is December 16th 2020 and here is your economic and market update from BlackBee. 

Today’s focus:

  • Consumer sentiment in Ireland records second consecutive month of strong increases
  • IHS Markit Flash eurozone composite purchasing managers index show economy is beginning to stabilise

For the second consecutive month, the KBC Bank Ireland consumer sentiment index has recorded strong increases. The consumer sentiment index increased to 74.6 in December, up from 65.5 in November. It has now reached its highest level since the pandemic hit. In March the Index stood at 75.5. This was followed by a sharp decrease to 42.6 in April. KBC stated that the survey suggests that consumers believe the worst of the pandemic is over but caution still remains regarding the outlook for their household finances in the year ahead. In response to the survey, 41% of respondents said that they had less money to spend this Christmas, while approximately the same percentage replied that their situation was unchanged. KBC Bank Ireland’s chief economist Austin Hughes said that “our sense is that these numbers will translate to a solid if unspectacular Christmas period in terms of consumer spending”. He also said that the consumers are unlikely to simply compensate for lower spend in areas such as entertainment by higher spend on areas such as presents. (Source: RTÉ).

The IHS Markit Flash eurozone composite purchasing managers index rose to 49.8 in December, beating economists’ expectations. In November, the index stood at 45.3. Above the 50 mark indicates growth and below the 50 mark indicates contraction. According to the survey, eurozone business activity rebounded faster than expected as services companies benefited from a loosening of coronavirus restrictions and manufacturers benefitted from rising exports. The index suggests that the economy is beginning to stabilise following a severe contraction in November, however, due to lockdowns freshly imposed this week, there is concern that this may fall again. Although December readings were a big improvement on November, the index remains slightly below 50. It suggests that the majority of businesses are still reporting a contraction from the previous month. The continuing contraction in the eurozone services sector was offset by resilience in manufacturing. The PMI for eurozone services sector rose to a three month high of 47.3, whereas the PMI for eurozone manufacturing rose to a 31 month high of 55.5. (Source: Financial Times).

Best & Worst Performers of Large Cap US Stocks on Tuesday
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Global Market Update
(as at close of markets 15/12/2020)