Important information: The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest.
Yesterday Cineworld announced it was closing every single one of its cinemas in the UK and across the US from Friday, putting a staggering 45,000 jobs at risk; 5,500 of them in the UK.
With the government’s furlough scheme coming to an end on 31 October, can we expect to see more job cuts?
With a total of 9.6 million jobs furloughed, with the government paying part of workers' wages when their employers cannot, the number of pandemic-related redundancies has undoubtedly been reduced. But what happens next?
In August, according to data analysed by the BBC, UK employers planned 58,000 redundancies. That was a far cry though from the 150,000 planned job cuts in both June and July, which all in all took the total number of job cuts to 498,000 during just the first five months of the Covid crisis.
But things are far from over and arguably, for the beleaguered Cineworld workers for one, must feel as though they are going from bad to worse.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new employment support scheme, whereby government will subsidise the pay of employees who are working fewer than their usual hours due to reduced demand, will be welcomed, but employers will have difficult decisions to make in the coming months and the question of how many jobs will nevertheless go, remains as yet, unanswered.
It is not quite all doom and gloom though. UK construction activity “rebounded strongly” in September, supported by a mini-housing boom that helped the economic recovery even as tightening restrictions cloud the outlook. And the retail sector has produced some bright spots amid all the gloom. The motor industry, which has seen its worst September for sales this century, less so.
Questions loom too about how well each country is coping with the crisis. Across the world the pattern of uncertainty is clear. Closer to home, with Scotland reported to be on the brink of a ‘short circuit’ mini-lockdown from Friday night and England possibly about to follow on 23 October, if rumours are to be believed, what that means for the businesses that would have been hoping for an uptick during the school half-term holiday, is now the latest unknown.
Even President Trump’s illness is raising more questions than answers, despite his medics’ best efforts and indeed the President’s own. With a presidential election there, not to mention Thanksgiving and Christmas fast approaching, the end of 2020 is looking uncomfortably uncertain.
With impeccable timing as ever though, Fidelity Investment director, Tom Stevenson, will be joining me next week to answer your questions and shed some light on what may or may not unfold over the next 12 months. In his latest quarterly Investment Outlook Tom will also take stock of where we are at right now. And what’s to come.
Asset by asset he will take us through the prospects for shares, bonds, property, commodities and cash. And take in the global outlook; travelling from the UK to the US, across Europe, to Japan, Asia and the emerging market economies.
Showing the charts you need to see he will shed some light on valuations; invaluable in light of the tech stocks boom in the US. And he will look ahead three months to January when the new dawn for the UK post-Brexit deal or no deal emerges.
And he will also answer the big question on investors’ lips - whether the investing rules have changed and whether the bedrock of 60/40 investing has been up-ended?
And finally, forget what you think you know about the V-shaped recovery that has been long touted as the way ahead. Tom says something very different is actually on the cards.
Get your thinking caps on and your questions to hand because we will be putting them all to Tom in a webcast next week.
Important information: Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. Overseas investments will be affected by movements in currency exchange rates. Reference to specific securities should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell these securities and is included for the purposes of illustration only. This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to an authorised financial adviser.