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Weekend Round-Up

Macro Monday, renewed prospects of a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza, IFS issue report on UK becoming a slow performer for growth, and what to expect for the week ahead.

Macro Monday
UK Turnout: The highest turnout recorded at a UK general election over the last century was in 1950 at 83.9%.
In 2001, turnout decreased to 59.4%, its lowest level since 1918 having fallen 12 percentage points from 1997.
At the last general election in 2019, turnout fell to 67.3%, breaking four consecutive elections which saw increasing voter turnout.

Israel-Gaza: Ceasefire Negotiations

In the Middle East, headlines over the weekend have centred on renewed prospects of getting a ceasefire proposal passed.

The plan would see a six-week ceasefire in which Israeli forces would withdraw from built up areas of Gaza. Hostages being held by Hamas would also be released as would some prisoners in Israeli jails. Meanwhile, aid would be distributed to refugees and civilians in Gaza, helping to alleviate some of the pressures on the 1.7 million internally displaces people.

Washington and Biden have been central to formulating this latest three-point plan, though, the US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, indicated that it is an “Israeli proposal, and one that they arrived at after intense diplomacy with our own national security team”.

According to Kirby, “We would note that publicly, Hamas officials came out and welcomed this proposal.”

In Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu is facing pressure from two far-right ministers who have said that they will quit if the Prime Minister agrees to the deal, stressing that Hamas must be destroyed prior to any agreement being reached. Here, the Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir vowed that they would “dissolve the government” over agreeing to the ceasefire, but Netanyahu has emphasised a contingency plan in the case of the two’s resignation.

IFS on UK’s Sluggish Growth

On Friday, the IFS issued a report which stated that the “UK went from one of the fastest growers for working-age incomes among developed countries pre-2007, to one of the slower performers”. This came as growth between 2007 and 2019 averaged 6% in the UK, well below Germany’s 16% and the US’ 12%.

This comes as average real pay has grown just 3.5% since 2009-10 which according to the IFS is growth that would have been expected to have taken place every 17 months, prior to the Great Recession.

Such sluggish real wage growth has meant that median income grew 6% between 2009/10 to 2022/23. According to their estimates, they would have forecast to see median income grow 30% over the same period had it not been for the GFC.

The Week Ahead: BoC, ECB and US Labour Market in Focus

As markets continue to consider central bank’s monetary policy pathways, this week’s main events will include interest rate decisions from the Bank of Canada on Wednesday (where the market is pricing in around an 85% chance of a 25bps cut) and the ECB on Thursday (where the market is pricing in around an 95% chance of a 25bps cut)

This comes alongside a string on PMI data released today and Wednesday as markets look to see how the private sector is fairing under current fiscal and monetary conditions.

The US labour market will also be heavily in focus this week with ADP employment figures released on Wednesday ahead of Friday’s key print which will see data on Nonfarm Payrolls, Labour Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Rate and Hourly Earnings for the month of May.

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