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Global – Global equity markets surprised on the upside with the MSCI Emerging Market Index U.S. The severity of the economic impact of the coronavirus was amply demonstrated by the US GDP for Q2 declining by an annualised rate of 32.9% compared with the previous quarter. While this confirms the extent of the economic decline, investors have been more focused on the recovery aspects displayed by some economic data. US retail sales grew 5.6% in June following on the record rise of 8.5% in May driven largely by those unemployed receiving support measures from the US government. It provided $1,200 stimulus cheques as well as $600 per week in unemployment benefits. As consumer spend is the main driver of U.S. GDP these relief measures helped keep the economy ticking over. The S&P 500 returned 5.6%. Read the full article