Simon Ward

Economic Adviser

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

Broad money pick-up to signal medium-term inflation rise
Global Perspectives

Broad money pick-up to signal medium-term inflation rise

The market / policy response to the coronavirus shock is expected here to result in a strong pick-up in global narrow money growth, signalling a robust rebound in economic activity in H2 2020 and 2021 assuming Chinese-style virus containment and a gradual loosening of control measures.

Medium-term thoughts

Medium-term thoughts

Nobody knows the extent and duration of the economic damage from the COVID-19 crisis. A wild guess is that global GDP will be 40% lower for six months. This would imply an income hit of 20% of annual GDP.

What if global COVID spread mirrors China?

What if global COVID spread mirrors China?

Major countries are now adopting radical social distancing policies, which may or may not be as effective as the lockdown in China’s Hubei province in late January.

Chinese monetary stability suggesting policy success

Chinese monetary stability suggesting policy success

Chinese February money / credit numbers are hopeful, signalling stable monetary conditions despite the coronavirus shock.

UK Budget suggests rising medium-term inflation risks
Global Perspectives

UK Budget suggests rising medium-term inflation risks

The UK government and central bank have launched massive fiscal and monetary stimulus at a time of near-full employment. This is unlikely to end well.

Is global real money growth about to surge?
Global Perspectives

Is global real money growth about to surge?

The baseline expectation here remains that the market / policy response to the coronavirus shock – compounded now by an oil supply shock – will result in an early and strong pick-up in global real money growth, setting the stage for a solid rebound in economic activity during H2 2020 and above-trend growth in 2021.

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Euroland monetary reversal confirmed

Euroland money numbers for January provide further evidence that the global monetary backdrop was deteriorating before the coronavirus shock.

“Cyclical” equities – risk or opportunity?

The MSCI World cyclical sectors index last week briefly reached a new record relative to the companion defensive sectors index, seemingly ignoring a soft global economy and the negative impact of the coronavirus shock.

Global real money growth weaker but bottoming?
Global Perspectives

Global real money growth weaker but bottoming?

A post a month ago argued that global monetary developments in early 2020 would be key for assessing economic prospects.

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Chinese money trends weak before virus hit
Global Perspectives China

Chinese money trends weak before virus hit

Chinese money and credit numbers for January were probably little affected by the coronavirus shock, which had limited economic impact until this month.

Global business investment cycle moving into H1 low
Global Perspectives

Global business investment cycle moving into H1 low

The forecast here – before the coronavirus shock – that the global economy would remain weak in H1 2020 rested partly on a judgement that the business investment cycle had yet to reach bottom.

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.