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3 Minute Economic Summary – March 2019

Article By Adam Camac | | Financial Planning

Key Points:

  • Global markets continued to grow in March as US interest rates stayed the same.
  • At its March meeting, the European Central Bank stated that it now expects key interest rates to remain unchanged at least until the end of 2019. Consistent with this, they cut their GDP growth forecast for 2019 to 1.1%.
  • Avoiding the prospect of leaving the EU without a deal, Britain will remain a member state of the EU until October 31 as MPs are still deadlocked over a deal. They may leave sooner if a deal can be agreed upon.
  • Australian equities have returned well since the start of the calendar year with the sharp decline at the end of 2018 now seemingly a distant memory. The resources sector again outperformed.
  • US bond yields fell sharply in March with the US 10-year government bond ending the month at 2.41%, having earlier moved just below the 2.4% level. The move was prompted by increasing concerns about the US growth trajectory and lower than expected inflation. Australian yields also moved lower ending the month at 1.78%. As a result, returns to fixed interest were boosted.
  • The Australian dollar was largely unchanged through March. This was despite significant changes in bond yields during the month. Muted changes in commodity prices may have played a part in the currency’s lack of movement.
  • The federal budget was announced this month with the Coalition promising tax cuts for individuals. The federal election will take place on the 18th of May to elect members of the 46th Parliament of Australia.

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