THE MSCI equity gauge looks set to fall for the first time in 3 days after disappointing Chinese manufacturing data showing unexpected contraction. Chinese manufacturing has in-fact dropped to a 6-month low, which represents a pretty poor start to 2014, adding weight to the theory that Chinese growth will continue to slow throughout the year. Despite the slowdown in growth, the Chinese economy is expected to expand more this year than any other major economy. The Chinese government have stressed that their focus is rather on rebalancing the economy where an over reliance on credit has been cited as a significant issue.
On a cautionary note, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has warned against premature optimism in regards to the health of the euro zone economy. Draghi has warned of unforeseen risks that could derail the recovery, but did clarify that he doesn’t see inflation or deflation as a big issue. Of course, a statement of this nature is only required owing to the fact there are signs of a sustainable recovery, underlining the progress made within the bloc.
In another boost for the British economy, data today has shown car production reached its highest level since 2007 last year. This is a result of both impressive domestic sales and demand from outside the EU. Car production, totalling 1.510 million in 2013 – up 3.1 percent from 1.465 million in 2012 – has proved to be a beacon of strength amongst British industrials. Around 80 percent of the cars produced in Britain last year were exported.