Chart: Is Brexit the First of Many Dominoes?
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Is Brexit the First of Many Dominoes? [Chart]

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Is Brexit the First of Many Dominoes? [Chart]

Is Brexit the First of Many Dominoes? [Chart]

UK and the Rest of Europe Brace for an Uncertain Future

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

Markets have been turned upside down by a surprise Brexit result and the resignation of David Cameron. While there is looming uncertainty around how this will affect the United Kingdom and Europe from an economic perspective, it might be just the tip of the iceberg in terms of long-run consequences.

A Brexit opens the door for future events that would be previously unfathomable by popular opinion, and it gives vital ammunition to groups that are seeking their own referendums for independence.

Unwilling Passengers?

As the UK ship distances itself from European docks, there are two passengers that may have been more comfortable remaining on shore.

While England and Wales voted to “Leave” with 53.4% and 52.5% respectively, Scotland and Northern Ireland were both firmly in “Remain” territory. Scotland, which previously held its own independence referendum in 2014, voted overwhelmingly to have the UK remain in the EU with a 62% vote. Northern Ireland had a similar sentiment with 55.8% voting “Remain”.

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said today that a second independence referendum for Scotland is “highly likely”. She feels Scotland was taken out of the EU against its own will, and that Scottish independence is worth revisiting.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland has echoed these calls, instead potentially looking at voting on a united Ireland. Northern Ireland is the only country in the UK that shares a land border with a country in the EU.

Other Dominoes

The Brexit result has energized other populist movements across the European Union. Anti-immigration leaders such as Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen have ratcheted up cries for their own independence votes:

However, it is not just people on the fringe that are interested in revisiting EU membership. Even before the Brexit result, a poll by Ipsos Mori showed that the majority of people in France in Italy want to at least have a referendum on leaving:

Meanwhile, over 40% of Swedes, Poles, and Belgians are in the same boat.

Now that Brexit is a thing, will these numbers trend higher? What will be the next domino to fall?

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Markets

The Top Google Searches Related to Investing in 2022

What was on investors’ minds in 2022? Discover the top Google searches and how the dominant trends played out in portfolios.

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Trend lines showing when the top Google searches related to investing reached peak popularity over the course of 2022.
The following content is sponsored by New York Life Investments

The Top Google Searches Related to Investing in 2022

It was a turbulent year for the markets in 2022, with geopolitical conflict, rising prices, and the labor market playing key roles. Which stories captured investors’ attention the most? 

This infographic from New York Life Investments outlines the top Google searches related to investing in 2022, and offers a closer look at some of the trends.

Top Google Searches: Year in Review

We picked some of the top economic and investing stories that saw peak search interest in the U.S. each month, according to Google Trends.

Month of Peak InterestSearch Term
JanuaryGreat Resignation
FebruaryRussian Stock Market
MarchOil Price
April Housing Bubble
MayValue Investing
JuneBitcoin
JulyRecession
AugustInflation
SeptemberUS Dollar
OctoberOPEC
NovemberLayoffs
DecemberInterest Rate Forecast

Data based on exact searches in the U.S. from December 26, 2021 to December 18, 2022.

Let’s look at each quarter in more detail, to see how these top Google searches were related to activity in the economy and investors’ portfolios.

Q1 2022

The start of the year was marked by U.S. workers quitting their jobs in record numbers, and the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war. For instance, the price of crude oil skyrocketed after the war caused supply uncertainties. Early March’s peak of $125 per barrel was a 13-year high.

DateClosing Price of WTI Crude Oil
(USD/Barrel)
January 2, 2022$76
March 3, 2022$125
December 29, 2022$80

While crude oil lost nearly all its gains by year-end, the energy sector in general performed well. In fact, the S&P 500 Energy Index gained 57% over the year compared to the S&P 500’s 19% loss.

Q2 2022

The second quarter of 2022 saw abnormal house price growth, renewed interest in value investing, and a bitcoin crash. In particular, value investing performed much better than growth investing over the course of the year.

IndexPrice Return in 2022
S&P 500 Value Index-7.4%
S&P 500 Growth Index-30.1%

Value stocks have typically outperformed during periods of rising rates, and 2022 was no exception.

Q3 2022

The third quarter was defined by worries about a recession and inflation, along with interest in the rising U.S. dollar. In fact, the U.S. dollar gained against nearly every major currency.

Currency USD Appreciation Against Currency
(Dec 31 2020-Sep 30 2022)
Japanese Yen40.1%
Chinese Yuan9.2%
Euro25.1%
Canadian Dollar7.2%
British Pound22.0%
Australian Dollar18.1%

Higher interest rates made the U.S. dollar more attractive to investors, since it meant they would get a higher return on their fixed income investments.

Q4 2022

The end of the year was dominated by OPEC cutting oil production, high layoffs in the tech sector, and curiosity about the future of interest rates. The Federal Reserve’s December 2022 economic projections offer clues about the trajectory of the policy rate.

 202320242025Longer Run
Minimum Projection4.9%3.1%2.4%2.3%
Median Projection5.1%4.1%3.1%2.5%
Maximum Projection5.6%5.6%5.6%3.3%

The Federal Reserve expects interest rates to peak in 2023, with rates to remain elevated above pre-pandemic levels for the foreseeable future.

The Top Google Searches to Come

After a year of volatility across asset classes, economic uncertainty remains. Which themes will become investors’ top Google searches in 2023?

Find out how New York Life Investments can help you make sense of market trends.

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