Finimize - ✏️ Central banks are swapping notes

The BoE and ECB eased up on their hikes | Mobile gaming lost out this year |

Hi Reader, here's what you need to know for December 16th in 3:08 minutes.

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Today's big stories

  1. The Bank of England and the European Central Bank pared down their rate hikes
  2. Here’s what Tesla’s stock price should be – Read Now
  3. Forecasts showed that mobile gaming's set to shrink for the first time since the smartphone era began

Copycat Central Banks

Copycat Central Banks

What’s Going On Here?

Both the Bank of England (BoE) and the European Central Bank (ECB) hiked interest rates on Thursday.

What Does This Mean?

There must be something in the air right now, because three big central banks made very similar moves this week. Back on Wednesday the Federal Reserve (the Fed) made headlines by slowing its hikes down to 0.5 percentage points, then two copycats – the BoE and the ECB – followed suit on Thursday. But a smaller hike's still a hike: they both upped rates by the same amount as the Fed, to their highest levels since 2008: that’s 3.5% in the UK and 2% in Europe. Considering that this is the BoE’s ninth straight hike and the ECB’s fourth, it’s no wonder those figures have crept so high. But with inflation on the wane in the UK and Europe last month, the central banks finally seem willing to ease up on the gas a little.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Not out of the woods.
There's another reason hikes are less steep right now: central banks are trying to avoid tipping their economies into recession – but with the US and Europe circling the recessionary drain for a while now, that seems like a pretty tall order. Plus, inflation might have peaked, but it’s still miles too high. Central banks want it to be around 2% – and the Fed, the BoE, and the ECB have all warned more hikes are likely next year to help make that happen.

For you personally: Souped-up savings.
Higher interest rates aren’t good news for faltering economies, but if you’ve got savings set aside, this should come as music to your ears – especially after ten-plus years of rock-bottom rates. So whether you’re saving toward a short-term goal or biding your time until the stocks on your watchlist look like a bargain, don’t overlook the benefits of higher rates while your cash is sitting idle.

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Analyst Take

Is Tesla’s Stock Actually A Little Too Low At This Price?

Is Tesla’s Stock Actually A Little Too Low At This Price?

By Paul Allison, Analyst

Fans of Tesla haven’t had a smooth ride this year. Its stock is down 60%, and its price-to-earnings ratio is at an all-time low. 

But you’ll need to do some forward-thinking if you want to understand whether the stock’s just hit a bump in the road, or whether it’s shifted into a permanent low gear.

See, valuing shares is about imagining all the profit that a firm will produce in its lifetime, and converting that profit into today’s money. 

But forever’s a long time, so instead, I’m going to do something simpler: forecast the firm’s sales and profit ten years from now, value the future Tesla, and convert that value into today’s currency. 

That’s today’s Insight: strap yourself in, we’re off to 2032 to have a look at Tesla.

Read or listen to the Insight here

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Playing A Losing Game

Playing A Losing Game

What’s Going On Here?

The mobile games market is forecast to shrink this year, for the first time in over ten years.

What Does This Mean?

Mobile games have been around almost as long as cell phones themselves, as anyone who’s played Snake on an old, indestructible Nokia will tell you. But the industry moved at a slithering pace till 2008, when Apple’s App Store went live and unleashed an era of growth that carried the industry giddily into 2020. That’s when Covid hit, and locked-down consumers sought relief in games, pushing the red-hot market to $100 billion. But the good news ended this year: as lockdowns disappeared, demand for escapist games ebbed – just as advertising costs jumped. And with inflation emptying consumers’ wallets, few had cash to splash on trifling things like mobile games. That might be why the market’s overall revenue is forecast to fall 6% this year to $92 billion – a complete U-turn from last year’s 7% growth and a night-and-day difference from 26% two years back.

Why Should I Care?

Zooming in: Unplugging the gap.
Mobile makes up about half of the entire gaming industry, and in recent years it’s plugged the gap as console and PC revenues shrank. But these forecasts suggest that’s unlikely to pan out this year – which could be why the overall gaming industry’s expected to shrink 4.3%. Still, some people think 2022’s just a blip: there are still plenty of markets where smartphone use is just catching on, which might signal that there’s growth to come down the line.

The bigger picture: Consoling customers.
Of all the pinpricks that have punctured the console market, supply snags are some of the most troublesome – especially for Sony’s sought-after Playstation 5. But there are signs that things are finally improving, with data out this week showing that Sony helped drive last month’s 45% jump in US gaming hardware sales. The lesson: consoles just might make a comeback.

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