|Who said comedy was dead?|
This background creates a more supportive backdrop, potentially, for the UK economy. That said, the expectation of the Bank of England is for another year of sluggish growth (at best) as the country grapples with austerity measures. It will be interesting to see what effect the new Governor, Mark Carney, will have when he takes over on 1st July next year. One suspects he will face a somewhat different set of challenges to those that he faced in his role as Governor of the Bank of Canada. This economic background is likely to create an environment in which interest rates remain unchanged during 2013 which should, in turn, underpin government and corporate bonds. Much, however, will turn on expectations for 2014 as the year progresses.
The political world will be, as ever, fascinating. The UK is still some way from the next General Election (which must be held by 7th May 2015), but the Independence Referendum in Scotland in 2014 may cast a shadow. The political environments in the US, China and Japan are relatively stable, but the unpredictable nature of Middle East politics is unsettling, to say the least. In Europe, Angela Merkel must go to the polls in the autumn and this will set the tone for the political scene in Germany for the next four years. Europe, however, looks to be the home of the comeback kids. Following François Hollande’s victory in the French election, the opposition UMP party has spectacularly imploded, leading some to speculate that the scene may be set for the return of Nicolas Sarkozy. Meanwhile, Il Cavaliere, Silvio Berlusconi, has indicated that he may, after all, consider running again for the role of Italian Prime Minister - looking to replace another candidate for Individual of the Year, Mario Monti. Who said comedy was dead?