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

UK economic weakness masked by government spending surge
Global Perspectives

UK economic weakness masked by government spending surge

UK GDP grew by a slightly firmer than expected 1.4% in 2019 as a whole but the expenditure breakdown gives little cause for celebration.

OECD leading indicators: fade the pick-up
Global Perspectives

OECD leading indicators: fade the pick-up

The OECD’s leading indicators continued to recover in December but the signal should be discounted.

Has the virus shock improved monetary prospects?

Has the virus shock improved monetary prospects?

The global manufacturing PMI new orders index reached a 13-month high in January but narrow money trends suggested that it was on course to peak around April and relapse into mid-year.

Chinese PMI softening before virus hit

Chinese PMI softening before virus hit

Chinese recovery hopes were boosted by a rise in the Markit manufacturing PMI to a 35-month high in November.

Is US monetary strength reversing?
Global Perspectives

Is US monetary strength reversing?

US money growth, on a range of measures, picked up significantly during H2 2019.

UK employment rise no obstacle to rate cut
Global Perspectives

UK employment rise no obstacle to rate cut

UK rate cut sceptics argue that a rise of 135.000, or 0.5%, in the number of employees in the three months to November from the prior three months signals a strong labour market and will give MPC doves a reason to climb down.

Chinese firms less downbeat on credit conditions
Global Perspectives China

Chinese firms less downbeat on credit conditions

A fall in Chinese money growth during H2 2019, especially in real terms, suggests that the economy will remain weak through H1 2020.

Early 2020 money data key for global outlook
Global Perspectives China

Early 2020 money data key for global outlook

Six-month growth of global (i.e. G7 plus E7) real narrow money is estimated to have been unchanged at 2.4% (not annualised) in December, based on monetary data covering 70% of the aggregate and near-complete CPI inflation data.

Chinese nominal GDP confusion: slowdown confirmed
Global Perspectives China

Chinese nominal GDP confusion: slowdown confirmed

The Chinese GDP numbers released on Friday appeared to show a strong pick-up in nominal growth in Q4.

Is China recovering?
Global Perspectives China

Is China recovering?

Chinese official activity data for December mostly surprised positively, echoing an earlier PMI revival.

UK inflation slump piles pressure on tardy MPC
Global Perspectives

UK inflation slump piles pressure on tardy MPC

The forecast here a year ago was that the MPC would cut Bank rate to 0.5% during 2019.

A “monetarist” perspective on current equity markets
Global Perspectives

A “monetarist” perspective on current equity markets

The baseline scenario in our previous quarterly commentary was that global economic momentum, having bottomed in Q3 2019, would remain weak in early 2020 before strengthening towards mid-year.