Investment market update November 2023

Posted on

While inflation is starting to ease in economies around the world, there are still signs of economic challenges ahead. Read on to find out what affected investment markets in November 2023.


In November, chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered the Autumn Statement. Despite media suggestions that Inheritance Tax would be abolished, the biggest announcement was a cut to National Insurance rates for employees and self-employed workers.

While the Autumn Statement contained 110 measures, there were few surprises and the markets remained largely unmoved.

Key figures paint a mixed picture in the UK.

On one hand, inflation fell sharply in the 12 months to October 2023 to 4.6%, compared to 6.7% in September. On the other hand, data from the Office of National Statistics show the UK economy posted zero growth in the third quarter of 2023 following growth of just 0.2% in the second quarter.

Despite inflation falling, the Bank of England (BoE) opted to leave interest rates where they are at 5.25% rather than cut them. The markets rallied at the news interest rates may have peaked – the FTSE 250 share index jumped by 3% following the BoE announcement on 2 November.

While slowing inflation is a step in the right direction, the BoE warned there was still a 50-50 chance the UK would be in a recession by mid-2024.

Figures suggest both households and businesses are struggling to service debt due to higher interest rates.

UK Finance statistics show the number of mortgages in arrears is rising. The number of mortgage holders that are behind with their repayments increased by 7% between July and September, when compared to three months earlier. This figure was partly fuelled by buy-to-let mortgages as the number of landlords falling into arrears jumped by 29% over the same period.

In October, business insolvencies were also up 18% when compared to a year earlier. The rise was linked to weak consumer demand and high interest rates.

Further figures indicate businesses across numerous sectors could be facing headwinds. S&P’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data found:

  • UK factory output has now declined for the longest period since 2008/09 and, for the 13th consecutive month, firms cut jobs.
  • Optimism in the service sector fell to the lowest level so far this year and the PMI was 49.5, just below the 50 mark that indicates contraction.
  • Fewer housebuilding projects were linked to construction output falling further.

The mixed picture of economic data was also reflected in company updates.

Tata Steel confirmed the closure of its steelworks in Port Talbot at the start of the month. The news followed the company’s financial reports showing the firm made a loss of £135 million between July and September.

In contrast, despite pressure on the high street, Marks & Spencer was reported to be the biggest riser on the FTSE 100 index when shares soared 7% on 8 November. The boost followed a huge 75% jump in pre-tax profits to £360 million for the 26 weeks to 30 September 2023.


The European Commission (EC) once again cut its growth forecasts for the eurozone. It now expects the economy to grow by 0.6% in 2023, compared to its earlier forecast of 0.8%. The EC said the economy had lost its momentum due to rising interest rates and the cost of living squeeze affecting household spending.

The European Central Bank (ECB) also warned that banks could face challenges. An ECB report suggests banks were showing “early signs of stress” after a rise in loan defaults and late payments.

PMI data indicates that factories across the eurozone have faced a “considerable” fall in production levels and the decline in new orders is accelerating.

While often being viewed as the powerhouse of the eurozone, Germany hasn’t escaped the slump.

There are concerns that Germany is teetering on a recession. Financial institution ING warned that the country would likely be in a technical recession by the end of 2023. Industrial output in Germany is still 7% below its pre-pandemic level thanks to weak demand.

The decision of Danish shipping giant Maersk to axe 10,000 jobs after posting a steep drop in profits highlights the challenges businesses are facing. The firm said slow global economic growth and destocking after the pandemic are affecting demands for shipping containers by sea.


US inflation fell at a quicker pace than expected in the 12 months to October 2023. The figure was 3.2% and slowly nearing the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.

While the inflation statistic is positive, other data from the US may signal challenges ahead for businesses.

The US economy added 150,000 jobs in October, which fell below the 180,000 economists had expected. In addition, unemployment figures increased slightly from 3.8% to 3.9% when compared to a month earlier.

Weak consumer demand is also affecting the US. The country’s trade deficit increased by almost 5% in September as it imported more goods than it exported. The goods deficit climbed by $1.7 billion (£1.4 billion) to $86.3 billion (£68.29 billion).

Some businesses are performing well though, notably Microsoft. The company’s shares reached a record high of $377.1 (£266.76) on 20 November to extend its gains for this year by more than 55%.

Contact us to talk about your investments

When investing, remember to focus on your long-term plan and goals. It could help you select investments that are right for you. If you’d like to talk about your portfolio and whether it suits your needs, please contact us.

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

We aim to keep our clients up to date on interesting and relevant financial news.

You can sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter by email, even if you’re not yet a client. Sign-up using the form below.

Client testimonials

I have always found Black Swan to be caring and understanding of my quirky lifestyle. I always feel they try to get me the best returns while respecting my current needs.

Sally Muir

A client since 2011

We would be very happy to recommend the support and service we receive.

Valerie Locks

A client since 2010

I have always been completely useless regarding finance - thankfully our financial adviser is not! I've retired with far more than I ever expected and investments continue to grow safely. So - thank you!

Bernadette Jane Warner

A client since 2000

Very happy with the professional service I have received and feel a lot happier now with my finances put in order.

Martin Field

A client since 2011

Julie Cooper was recommended to me by a work colleague. She has been very helpful, professional and has explained everything well. I would definitely recommend her services to anyone else who are interested in a financial review.

Steven Rooke

A client since 2018

…Service has been first class.

Hugh Fells

A client since 2012

My face to face meetings with Rob Young and Jessica Lyons have always been very open and understandable. My questions have been answered clearly and I have left feeling that my financial matters are in good hands.

Sandra Jack

A client since 2000

[A] safe pair of hands in a complex financial world.

Gary Middlehurst

A client since 2003

A reliable company with good communication skills and good knowledge of the financial markets.

Alan Evetts

A client since 2014

Maureen Pembridge is a long-time trusted advisor to our family. The market might fluctuate but her attention to detail is consistent.

Linda Burnard

A client since 2000

I am pleased to recommend Julie as a trustworthy financial advisor. She explains financial jargon in plain language, and always listens carefully to my particular financial needs and has helped me make the best of my savings.

Carolann Samuels

A client since 2010

I have always been satisfied with the way that Black Swan has handled my account. And I have always found the staff very helpful whenever I need to call the office.

Robert Anthony Matthews

A client since 2012

An excellent personal service from a person I know and trust.

Michael Dalton

A client since 2010

I am getting a very good services from Black Swan, they have got my investments sorted out which was in a bit of a mess.

Roy Jakens

A client since 2012

A good, efficient team providing clear ideas to shape a winning strategy.

Adrian Michael Levenstein

A client since 2011

Black Swan is a company to be trusted, with friendly staff and professional advisors.

David Brian Jennings

A client since 2017

I have been with Black Swan for many years. I have never wished to change anything. They give a good straight forward service.

Martin Barrett Brooks

A client since 2010

Andy Peters has been invaluable in firstly combining several pension pots and then giving excellent investment advice. It has given us a great deal of comfort to know that our financial affairs are in such good hands.

James Guillum Scott

A client since 2014

I find my financial advisor easy to talk to and feel that she understands my lifestyle. She is always available for help when I need her and explains in words that I can understand.

Margaret Ena Glasgow

A client since 2000

Andy is a first rate Director, excellent communicator and leader.

Ross Perry

A client since

Black Swan Financial Planning and Andrew in particular, are very clever at working out how risk averse we are, and coming up with solutions that we feel comfortable with. We are happy in the knowledge that we can continue to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Andrew Peters is a very, very friendly person who is great to chat to and easy to deal with. He explains things very clearly in layman’s terms, and if we still don’t understand, he explains it until we do!

Alan & Jane Dyer

Clients since 2012

We have always found Rob [Young] to be very approachable and knowledgeable. We have every confidence in the advice given and feel comfortable with the decisions we’ve made. There are certain opportunities that we wouldn’t have known about if Rob hadn’t brought them to light, which makes the advice good value for money as far as we’re concerned.

Peter & Pauline O’Halloran

Clients since 2013

Rob [Young] is extremely knowledgeable. I knew nothing about the different types of trusts which will not only secure my income in retirement, but also leave a legacy for my children. I’m glad that I sought his advice when I did.

Sarah Wilson

A client since 2015

I am extremely happy with the service afforded to me by the company and my adviser Julie Cooper.

Geoff Coxell

A client since 2010

My wife and myself have been dealing with Black Swan for a number of years. We have met with different representatives from the company over the years and have found all very helpful in their own way. We met with James [Anderson] a few years ago and found him very helpful and knowledgeable. He keeps in contact with us on a regular basis. We find the Company information very helpful and we feel very secure with our finances.

Andrew Kirchen

A client since 2015

I have always found my adviser to be easy to contact, very professional in his approach, yet friendly and understanding. I have a sense of an experienced company behind him, really on the ball financially and with good standards.

B McBean

A client since 2011

Partner with the most reliable and experienced team of advisers

Enter your details & we'll be in touch to discuss your needs.
Alternatively, contact us directly and speak to a member of the team.

    Subscribe to our newsletter