Sunny Frankfurt in autumn
For the past few years I have had the privilege of being invited to Frankfurt on an annual basis by one of our clients. Though part of the information discussed in their impressive high-rise offices is of a procedural nature, there is usually also a macro-economic and stock market update, as well as case studies involving individual companies that make the trip very informative and interesting. It adds first-hand insights to my own impressions and also provides a chance to speak with professionals at this level, which is a welcome intellectual stimulus in its own right.
The Frankfurt conference is held at different times of the year, as a result of which I have experienced this glitzy high-rise city in the centre of Germany in the freshness of spring, the balmy heat of summer and also the cloudy, rainy ambience of late autumn. This year it fell on the first week of November and I was again expecting crisp weather and perhaps even a repeat of the snowfall of a few years ago that added to the early Christmas displays in the shops. Instead it was sunny and mild, with that lovely golden light that makes the world look mellow and at ease with itself.
This was reflected in the atmosphere that prevailed in this large business centre – mostly mild and relaxed, with people lazing in the parks, on sunny terraces and also beginning to focus on Christmas shopping. All in all another great experience in which it was confirmed that global and in particular EU economic growth is rising steadily, corporate earnings are strong, unemployment dropping yet labour costs not catching up yet and inflation slowly surpassing the two per cent benchmark set by most central banks. Bearing in mind that the ECB is based in Frankfurt, you feel that you’re getting the information from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, so when we were told the outlook for 2018 is broadly good it was positive news as we taxi towards the end of 2017.
– Michel Cruz