MarketLine Blog

Posts tagged to Economy

Airbnb: Uncertain future of short-term rental platforms

MarketLine

Airbnb’s rapid expansion and takeover of the world’s home-sharing community is subsequently changing the landscape of travel accommodation. However, it is becoming clear the formerly touted benefits of posting vacation rentals on short-term rental websites are becoming more of a hassle for property owners. Several cities around the world have expressed concerns that platforms such as Airbnb stand as unfair competitors to hotels and can turn some neighborhoods into sterile, tourist-only zones. This resulted in the introduction of stricter regulations concerning short-term rentals France is Airbnb’s second-largest market after the… Read more

New Zealand: New efforts to curb skyrocketing house prices

MarketLine

New Zealand has the world’s most frenetic property market, with prices in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, now outstripping London. In 2017, New Zealand house prices were the most unaffordable in the world and prices in Auckland have risen by 75% over the last four years alone. Home ownership is also low. The share of owner occupied dwellings has fallen from 74% of all private dwellings in 1991 to 63% in 2018. The last five years have also witnessed a rise in homelessness. At the same time, New Zealand has… Read more

Australia Banking sector under misconduct investigation

MarketLine

Finance is Australia’s biggest industry, and its banks are some of the most profitable in the world. Australia’s “Big Four” – Commonwealth Bank (CBA), ANZ, National Australia Bank (NAB) and Westpac – collectively hold about 80% of the country’s banking market. Despite its strong position, Australia’s banking and financial services sector has been rocked by a series of scandals over the last decade, with all “Big Four” largest banks being accused of serious misconduct. As a result, a royal commission, Australia’s highest form of public inquiry, has been called to… Read more

Namibia: NEEEF is not the solution. New policy would be bad for the economy

MarketLine

NEEEF is not the policy the Namibian economy requires at present. Businesses, however big or small, would be required to be at least 25% owned by people described as ‘disadvantaged persons’ and occupy half of board and management positions. The suggested legislation appears to be an effort towards what amounts to forced redistribution of wealth and has similarities with the land redistribution attempted in Zimbabwe. Ownership is not the only target: spending and investment would be subject to new controls too. Problems regarding implementation are legion. Given approximately 40% of… Read more

Spring Budget 2017: Budget statement to address Brexit effect and to impact business rates

MarketLine

The economic forecasts released by the UK government before and after the referendum, are astounding in how much they have changed: from an optimistic positive outlook quoted by George Osborn, to a more bleak negative picture for the next five years. Uncertainty playing a major part has led to the outcome of more borrowing for the UK government in order to cover the worst case scenario of lower valued tax receipts in the future. With the Spring statement being the first and last one this April (there will only be… Read more

Gig Employment: Not a smooth ride

MarketLine

The number of individuals defined as self-employed is growing aided by the latest trend of gig-employment. These self-employed individuals serve to increase competition between those seeking full time employment and those who prefer to work contract to contract. A recent change in the mindset of the gig-employment workers has caused a shift in working patterns with these workers now beginning to seek out full time employee status and the benefits which accompany this. Businesses which previously exploited these gig workers (e.g. Deliveroo and Uber) are now under scrutiny and face… Read more

Chinese Foreign Direct Investment Liberalization

MarketLine

Reducing the number of markets foreign investors are prevented from entering – down to 62 from 93 – marks a useful step in the right direction and should encourage investment into China, reducing the gap to the outflow. Investors should become more comfortable with China given the proposed new rules, but there is much to be done and reasons for pessimism. The proposals appear to be hobbled by caution and need to go much further to create a lasting impact. More worryingly, the problems that the changes aim to tackle… Read more

Donald Trump: Incoming president likely to create bigger mess than his hair

MarketLine

Donald Trump’s policy detail is rather thin, but based on multiple and contradictory things he has said on the campaign trail, shrinking of the state via both reduced tax income and federal spending while promising to build a border wall and renovate infrastructure, protectionist stances on international trade agreements while promising a Brexit Britain a comprehensive deal, an expansion of dirty industries at the expense of environmental regulation, and undermined central bank independence. Donald Trump’s election to the Oval Office was considered one of the most divisive and bitter elections… Read more

Trump’s win is good news for US economy

MarketLine

Donald Trump’s whole mantra during his campaign (as evidenced by his rather natty headwear) has been to ‘Make America Great Again.’ In order to do this, he knows he must make the US competitive on the global stage. He has pledged to reduce taxes heavily for low and middle income Americans and also to make sure that the wealthy (including corporations) do not pay too much as that undermines jobs. This should help boost the currently questionable level of job creation and to increase spending power, which should in turn… Read more

An inconvenient truth about the euro area

MarketLine

The creation of the euro area was a mistake. Top ranks of business and political classes in Europe were expecting an explosion in trade and economic activity following the creation of the single currency area in 2002. The euro would lubricate the integration of the newly formed euro area. It would be possible to achieve higher levels of growth and long-term prosperity. Unfortunately, the real GDP of the euro area increased only by 1.8% per year between 2001 and 2006 and by merely 0.2% per year within the 2007 -2015… Read more

EU before Brexit – looking underneath the headlines

MarketLine

Data from eurostat puts the number of unemployment in the Euro area at 16 million in 2016, close to 10% of its population aged between 18 and 74 years of age. This is equivalent to the entire population of the Netherlands or 8 times the population of Paris. Clearly, the number of Europeans struggling on a daily basis is much higher than the official figure coming from the eurostat. This is because any person that works at least one hour per week is considered to be employed. The failure to consistently reduce… Read more

UK Economy – held back by euro area Treaty

MarketLine

The Maastricht Treaty has been slowly asphyxiating any possibility of sustained economic recovery in Britain. It has been partially responsible for the erratic recovery of manufacturing, production and construction industries. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Britain peaked back at pre-crisis level in the second quarter of 2013 driven mainly by the growth of the services industry. This industry is 13 per cent larger in value compared to 2009 (figure below). Production, construction and manufacturing industries are on average 7% smaller than their pre-crisis levels. The majority of UK industries… Read more

Brexit – Taking a positive approach

MarketLine

Should the British citizen choose to leave the EU structures, the whole process will take place gradually as per Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Over the next two years parties will have to reach agreements on the conditions for the exit, otherwise the UK would return to the default position, when it comes to trade with the EU, as defined by the rules of the WTO The possible savings of not having to contribute towards EU structures for 2016 are expected to reach about £9.6bn (about $14.7bn). This amount… Read more

Negative Interest rates: Desperate times, desperate measures

MarketLine

Central banks across the developed world have taken to Negative Interest Rate Policies (NIRP) in a radical attempt to stimulate demand- the idea being that those sitting on assets will be penalized in an attempt to either lend the capital or spend it. The UK’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has not ruled out the idea, but Japan, the European Central Bank, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland have enacted NIRP already for a variety of reasons; Japan and the ECB in last ditch efforts to stimulate demand, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland in… Read more

British Economy – structurally damaged?

MarketLine

Large-scale lending has become a key component for the economic growth of Britain’s economy since the 1980s. It has aimed to incentivise British consumers to permanently increase their borrowing rates and consumption. This practice has boosted the profitability of the British financial system by an unimaginable scale. It has generated a permanent stream of cash flowing from consumers to the banking system based on the acquisition of mortgages and consumer credit to purchase durable and nondurable goods. It has also helped households to navigate through a prolonged period of house… Read more

Gas and Electricity in Great Britain – Competitive market illusion

MarketLine

A nationalized energy industry had operated in the United Kingdom for more than 40 years but it was gradually reformed with the introduction of market liberalization in the 1980s. Market liberalization was followed by a large-scale industry privatization fully completed in 1998. The competition injected in the industry through these reforms has been concentrated on generation and supply of gas and electricity. However, evidence from the Office of Gas and Electricity market (Ofgem), the body responsible for the regulation of the system, shows that the market is far from competitive…. Read more