Today, the Chancellor, George Osborne delivered an upbeat and more political Budget as he promised to nuture a ‘resilient economy’, upgrading his growth forecasts of GDP from 2.4% to 2.7% this year and from 2.2% to 2.3% next year. He also highlighted the decline in unemployment and a target to eliminate the budget deficit by 2019. However, he cautioned that ‘the job is far from done’, as the UK is half-way through an austerity programme of tax rises and spending cuts stretching to 2018.
Following a sharp equity sell off towards the end of January, February saw a welcome return to growth in the markets. Global economic data for the first two months of 2014 has been largely positive and in line with expectations.
Following a market rally throughout December, there was widespread optimism regarding market sentiment for 2014. The majority of broker reports seemed to indicate the FTSE100 would break through 7000 points for the first time and some even suggested 7500 may be possible by this time next year.
Trustees have the overall responsibility for the investment of a charity’s funds, however we are now seeing an increasing trend in trustees choosing to delegate ongoing investment decisions to a third-party.
The fourth quarter rounded 2013 off on a high, with many global equity markets posting impressive double-digit gains for the full year.
The US equity market reached a record high in November, the S&P500 rising 3%, although the gain for a sterling investor was pared back to just 1% due to sterling strength.