Five things investors learned in the last week

6th December 2013

1) We’re growing. The Office for Budget Responsibility has radically upgraded its forecasts for the UK economy to 1.4% this year and 2.4% next year. Of course, the OBR has overshot with its predictions in the past. Is it undershooting now? Henderson’s Simon Ward thinks it might be.  Significantly, it predicts that the UK budget will be back in balance by 2018/2019. That’s not the original target date George Osborne set for himself of course.

2) That taper gets closer as the US jobless figures hit the lowest level for five years and US unemployment falls to 7% as Investment Week reports. The talk is it might happen this month.

3) Sales fall across all markets for Tesco. It avoids a profits warning, but this rather brilliant Questor column in the Telegraph suggests that analysts had been ‘low-balling’ expectations the week before. Its conclusion for a host of reasons is sell.

4) The Bundesbank has upgraded its forecast for Germany for next year to 1.7% from 1.5%. Mindful Money’s Shaun Richards chose this week to discuss Germany’s decoupling from France and the implications for a one size fits all monetary policy.

5) House prices. Whether you believe the Nationwide’s 6.7% or the Halifax’s 7.7% we know the direction of travel for house prices. On Mindful Money, Edmund Shing suggests ways to play the theme.

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