Simon Ward

Economist

Simon Ward has worked as an economist studying financial markets for more than 30 years. He believes that changes in monetary conditions are a key driver of both the economic cycle and movements in financial markets; accordingly, a forecasting approach emphasising monetary analysis has a better chance of success.

Simon joined Henderson following its acquisition of New Star in 2009. He has also held positions at WorldInvest, Lombard Street Research, and Bank Julius Baer. Simon has degrees from Cambridge University and Birkbeck College.

Simon Ward has worked as an economist in financial markets for over 30 years. His forecasting process combines monetary and cycle analysis. Monetary trends signal the direction of the economy six to 12 months ahead; cycle analysis provides longer-term context and acts as a cross-check of the monetary signals.

Money growth in excess of the rate required to support economic expansion is associated with an increase in demand for financial assets and upward pressure on their prices (“money moves markets”). The relative performance of different assets depends on the direction of the economy and the status of the various cycles as well as popular speculative narratives that concentrate demand and can result in bubbles.

This online journal provides regular updates of the signals from the forecasting approach; it presents a selection of the research circulated by Simon Ward to Janus Henderson investment teams. Comments and questions are welcome.

Simon joined Henderson in 2009. He previously worked at New Star Institutional Managers, Lombard Street Research and Bank Julius Baer. He has degrees in economics and finance from Cambridge University and Birkbeck College, London.

Articles Written

Euroland money trends suggesting 2020 recovery

Euroland money trends suggesting 2020 recovery

​Euroland money measures grew strongly in July, more than compensating for softer June data and suggesting improving economic prospects.

Euroland PMI weak but money trends still hopeful
Global Perspectives

Euroland PMI weak but money trends still hopeful

​The Euroland manufacturing PMI fell further in July but the view here remains that the index is bottoming, based on the leading signal from a rise in six-month real narrow money growth since late 2018.

US profits revision suggesting weaker outlook

US profits revision suggesting weaker outlook

The big news in last week’s US GDP release was a huge downward revision to corporate profits growth in recent years.

US C&I loans confirming inventory downswing

US C&I loans confirming inventory downswing

Three-month growth of US commercial bank loans and leases fell from 1.5% (6.3% annualised) in February to 0.9% (3.5%) in June, reflecting a sharp slowdown in commercial and industrial (C&I) lending.

Same old: UK MPC U-turns after ignoring money trends

Same old: UK MPC U-turns after ignoring money trends

​Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s “sea change” speech this week has laid the foundation for a dovish MPC shift in August.

A “monetarist” perspective on current equity markets

A “monetarist” perspective on current equity markets

​In late 2016, the forecasting approach employed here – relying on monetary and cycle analysis – signalled that the global economy would grow strongly in 2017. A year ago, it suggested that a significant slowdown would unfold during 2018. The current message is that this slowdown is likely to extend and deepen, at least through mid-2019. A recovery in momentum is possible during the second half of the year but such a scenario requires confirmation from stronger monetary trends in early 2019.

Labour market watch: softer US jobs confidence

Labour market watch: softer US jobs confidence

​Today’s Conference Board consumer survey provides more evidence that economic weakness is spreading to the labour market. An indicator combining consumer assessments of current job-finding difficulty and prospects in six months’ time rose to a 14-month high in June.

Labour market watch: more downbeat news

Labour market watch: more downbeat news

The view here remains that global economic weakness is spreading to labour markets, implying that it is becoming entrenched and will require more significant policy easing to reverse. Three news items in recent days are consistent with this development.

OECD leading indicators still weakening
Global Perspectives

OECD leading indicators still weakening

​The OECD’s composite leading indicators support the expectation here of a further loss of global economic momentum into mid-2019.

Money trends / stocks cycle suggesting US weakness
Global Perspectives

Money trends / stocks cycle suggesting US weakness

Global industrial weakness, as expected, has intensified in early 2019. Based on last week’s flash results for the US, Japan and Euroland, the global PMI manufacturing new orders index is estimated to have fallen below 50 in February, reaching its lowest level since 2012 – see first chart. The final reading will depend importantly on Chinese results released on Friday.

Chinese data flattered by New Year timing effect
Global Perspectives

Chinese data flattered by New Year timing effect

​​Chinese trade and money / credit releases for January reported recoveries in year-on-year comparisons and have been interpreted positively by market participants seeking evidence of economic turnaround. The suspicion here is that the improvements reflect a New Year timing effect and will reverse in February.​

Global monetary update: temporary inflation relief
Global Perspectives

Global monetary update: temporary inflation relief

​Global six-month real narrow money growth is estimated to have risen further in January, based on partial data. This increases the probability that October marked a low, in turn suggesting that economic momentum will reach a​ low around July 2019, allowing for a typical nine-month lead.