- In March, global equity markets were quite mixed. US shares and bonds traded sideways as Donald Trump’s promise to repeal of the Affordable Care Act failed to gain congressional support, which has called into question whether his other policies, such as tax reform, can also be approved.
- On equity markets the Dow Jones Industrial Average equity index fell 0.6% in the US over the month while shares in Europe rose 3.5% and Australian shares returned 3.3%.
- US consumer sentiment indicators rose to their highest levels in 16 years and business surveys have also remained at high levels reflecting optimism about future growth.
- Chinese activity indicators suggest that economic conditions continue to improve and the economy is being supported by robust global demand.
- Australian economic data softened a little in the past month with a fall in retail sales and a rise in unemployment as well as softer business conditions. However, the economy continues to perform relatively well, supported by higher commodity prices and strong housing construction activity.
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