28 September to 4 October: President Trump’s health: a new layer of uncertainty

We have just had a very busy and intense week, but before turning to the latest political developments in the US, let’s start with the state of the world economy. The JP Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI further increased in September, rising to 52.3 – a 25-month high. The gauge suggests that the recovery of worldwide industrial activity continued, as economies carried on with their re-opening efforts.

Now, turning to American politics. In our view, it is safe to say that the first Presidential debate did not live up to expectations in terms of relevant insights, as the two candidates steered clear of discussing their views on current issues and their policy agendas. Shortly after the debate, everybody’s attention re-focussed on the news that President Trump had tested positive for Covid-19 and subsequently medevacked to the Walter Reed Army. The President’s health concerns add another layer of uncertainties to the elections on the 3rd November. After the Presidential debate, but before the President’s diagnosis a WSJ/NBC survey was conducted, which showed that Joe Biden widened his 8-point lead in the polls, to 53-39%. Joe Biden also led in Florida (47-42%) and in Pennsylvania (49-42%), an NYT/Sienna College poll showed.

US politics will remain in the limelight this week, as investors will focus on President Trump’s health and the vice-presidential debate on Thursday. On the day before the debate, the Fed will publish the minutes, which may offer details whether policymakers would consider increasing the amount of asset purchases. The annual IMF/World Bank meetings will draw some attention as well, as the IMF releases its updated growth forecasts and the analytical chapters of its World Economic Outlook.

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