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Monthly Market Highlights – February 2024

| Investments, Market Forces

SA’s inflation rate has increased for the first time in three months, driven by higher fuel and food prices, while unemployment climbed. Inflation was up to 5.3% in January 2024 from a year earlier vs a 5.1% increase in December 2023. SA’s unemployment rate in Q4 2023 rose by 0.2% to 32.1% from 31.9% in the previous quarter. This follows two consecutive quarters of declining unemployment.

Britain’s economy slipped into recession in Q2 2023, making a challenging backdrop for the upcoming election for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who has pledged to stimulate economic growth. By the end of 2023, Japan unexpectedly found itself in a recession, and has surrendered its position as the world’s third-largest economy to Germany. This has triggered uncertainty about the timeline for the Japanese central bank to begin winding down its decade-long ultra-loose monetary policy. The People’s Bank of China opted to maintain its one-year Loan Prime Rate (LPR) at 3.45%—this is the standard for most household and corporate loans in China. However, the five-year LPR, which serves as a benchmark for most mortgages, was reduced by 25 bps to 3.95% from 4.2%.

Please click below to read more in our Monthly Market Highlights. This document is a more thematic and visual economic and market recap in the form of graphs, articles and other news items from different publications and media.

Click here to download the PDF.

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