The European Union (EU) is clearly an important trading partner, accounting for nearly half of all UK exports. However, the EU’s share of UK trade has fallen over the past decade as other economies have seen accelerated growth, with the Brexit question coming down to bargaining power and whether the UK has the ability to act alone in the global economy.
The oil price established a new lower range last week, falling below $40 for the first time since 2008. We expect to see some improvement in the oil supply/demand balance as we move through 2016, but in the short term oversupply will persist.
It was widely expected that 2015 was the year that election uncertainty in the UK would hold back the UK equity market and stall corporate investment. So far this has yet to transpire, despite recent polls suggesting the two main parties remain locked in a state of non-majority limbo.