I attended Lloyds TSB Corporate Banking economics seminar yesterday. This was hosted by Martin Church. This type of event is always interesting if only to hear how gloomy the economists can be, how qualified their opinions, and to witness how great their skills with graphs in powerpoint.
The presenter was Trevor Williams - Chief Economist at Lloyds TSB Financial Markets. He disappointed on two counts; only limited gloom and some (for an economist) unequivocal opinions. However he did not disappoint on the quality and complexity of his graphics!
Some nuggets I took away:-
- Wallmart accounts for around 10% of US imports.
- The UK is way behind the US and continental Europe in exporting to China but coming up fast - opportunity for growth here.
- The Pound will continue to duck and weave between the dollar and euro. This flexibility is so useful there is limited chance of our joining the Euro in the short to medium term quite apart from the policical difficulty in doing so.
- Lloyds interest rate forecast is a slight rise to around 5.5% and no further.
- UK growth slowing from 3.25% in 2004 but they still see around 2.75% in 2005.
Finally as this is my first post, credit to Ian Grove-Stephensen, CEO The Chalkface Project Limited for putting me onto Typepad for this blog. Have a look at Ian's Blog, I particularly liked the recent entry concerning a man eating walrus.