For decades, demographers were too pessimistic on life expectancy and had to revise up their forecasts. Are they now too optimistic? Recent data suggest that UK ‘death rates’ have stopped improving. If sustained, life expectancy projections would need to be revised down. This would have profound implications for government and pension finances.
Global economic data releases have surprised to the downside in recent months, particularly in Europe. While some of this appears to be noise (data were unexplainably strong in the last quarter of 2017), higher oil prices pose further downside risks.
On the face of it, Donald Trump has proven to be an aggressive and erratic US president. Yet academic research shows 'good cop, bad cop' works as a negotiating technique. Although we're seeing a lot of 'bad cop' Trump at the moment in the trade war, is this just a negotiating tactic?
The ‘yield curve’ has flattened significantly. This is worrying both investors and some Fed members given its track record of anticipating recessions. But has the yield curve become a less timely predictor in recent cycles?
Chinese growth is the lowest it's been since the depths of the 2008/09 recession, although its share of the world economy has tripled since 2005. How worried should we be?