Yesterday, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond delivered his first Autumn Statement to parliament. Hammond ultimately delivered a spending boost targeted at improving the UK’s chronic productivity deficit. Sterling ticked higher during the statement as the announcement of a £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund was unveiled, whilst another £2bn was aimed at research and development. Other notable headlines from the statement are that Letting agent fees are now to be banned, minimum wage is to rise and an extra £1.4bn has been allocated to build 40,000 new homes.
Across the pond, the US released an extremely bullish durable goods figure before the FOMC released the minutes from their latest meeting. Firstly, durable goods grew by 4.8% against an expected 1.2% - the best reading since October 2015. The figure pushed the Dollar higher against the majority of its currencies. The FOMC minutes showed that policymakers on the evening of the US elections appeared confident that the strength of the economy would warrant an interest rate increase soon. Although the minutes showed the majority to vote to keep rates on hold in November's meeting, some argued that a hike should come at the December meeting to preserve the Fed’s credibility. As Fed Chair Janet Yellen commented last week in her testimony to congress, Trump’s election will not change the central banks plans for a rate increase - now firmly expected on December 14th.
Today, the economic data slows considerably. German Ifo business climate survey is the only data release to note, but with no dramatic change expected, today could see muted movement in the markets.