For financial professionals in Belgium

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

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.

US loan officer survey signalling credit / economic weakness
Global Perspectives

US loan officer survey signalling credit / economic weakness

​The Fed’s January senior loan officer survey provides further evidence of a deterioration in US economic prospects, signalling a tightening of loan supply and – more significantly – markedly weak credit demand.

Global money trends still downbeat
Global Perspectives

Global money trends still downbeat

Additional monetary data released last week confirm that global six-month real narrow money growth ticked higher in November / December. Growth, however, remains below its range over 2009-17 – a sustained further increase is needed to warrant a shift away from economic pessimism. January global manufacturing PMI results, meanwhile, are consistent with the forecast here of a joint downturn in the stockbuilding and business investment cycles.​

Euroland money trends: false positive?
Global Perspectives

Euroland money trends: false positive?

Recent Euroland money / credit news has been a mixed bag. The assessment here is that economic momentum is likely to remain weak but a region-wide recession will be avoided barring an external shock.

2016 replay?
Global Perspectives

2016 replay?

​Claims are being made that current economic / market conditions resemble those in early 2016.

Chinese money trends signalling further slowdown
Global Perspectives

Chinese money trends signalling further slowdown

​Weak Chinese December money and credit numbers signal that policy easing has yet to translate into an improvement in economic prospects.

US C&I loan surge signalling stocks cycle downswing

​A surge in US banks’ commercial and industrial (C&I) loans in late 2018 supports the view here that the stockbuilding cycle has peaked and will act as a drag on GDP growth in 2019.