Share Prices & Company Research


28 December 2022

Market Round-Up

China, the world’s second largest economy, has shown its weakest business confidence levels since January 2013 according to recent data, reflecting the damaging impact COVID-19 has had on consumers and businesses. Figures released by the World Economics Index of Sales Managers, a group of over 2,300 companies, which considers the level of activity over a period within each company, suggest manufacturing and service sector activity levels fell significantly in the first half of December. Such negative movements in company growth are a likely result of the dismantling of strict lockdown restrictions, triggering a wave of COVID cases across China as people begin to return to some form of normality. Consequently, the survey has provided an insight into how heavily impacted business sentiment is across the country, as people have been unable to work or spend money to help stimulate the economy since COVID-19 restrictions began. Therefore, worries are mounting as to whether continued negative pressure on China’s economy will be likely to lead the country into a recession in 2023, begging the question what that may look like for the population of China and its international customers.

Despite expectations of both the World Cup and Black Friday sales boosting UK retail activity over the winter period, month-on-month sales for November slid 0.4%, significantly below market expectations. The gloomy data is a key indicator of UK retail sector health and, with what is typically one of the biggest trading months for retail, consumers have looked to tighten their Christmas budget and spread spending in the lead up to the festive period amid a cost of living crisis and continued economic uncertainty. The figures suggest non-food goods and fuel purchases slowed between October and November, while food sales increased. Unfortunately, food sales didn’t increase enough to stop the UK economy falling into its fifth consecutive month of declining business activity, raising concerns around the retail outlook for 2023.

Please note that this communication is for information only and does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell the shares of the investments mentioned. The value of investments and any income derived from them may go down as well as up and you could get back less than you invested.
Market Round-Up
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