Global Macro Scoreboard

Global Macro Scoreboard: Will Brexit Force a May-xit?

After a rocky Tory party congress, the Brexit hardliners continue to dominate the online conversation and flummox Theresa May.

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The Scoreboard shows the global macro issues generating the most interest and momentum in the digital realm based on Predata signals that monitor online conversations about each issue. Signals are built based on digital traffic (in every available language) relevant to each issue and then correlated to a master signal covering all of the issues. The strength of the correlation, shown on the y-axis, determines an issue's rank on the Scoreboard.

This week's Conservative Party conference laid bare the Brexit-related fault lines ripping apart the Tories. Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond built on overtures from May's Florence speech and attempted, futilely, to shift debate to domestic policy initiatives. By contrast, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and traditionalist firebrand Jacob Rees-Mogg doubled down on the Hard Brexit line that carried Leave to victory last summer. Indeed, of Predata's signals tracking the debate in Britain over Brexit, only the Hard Brexit signal saw a spike in traffic during party conference week. A frustrated May let slip her readiness to sack Johnson as a last ditch attempt to fend off rumblings within the party that she should step down. Markets are paying attention. Brexit topped the Scoreboard for the first time since we began calculating it in August.

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Meanwhile in China, Party Season Begins

As Chinese debt continues to top the Scoreboard, anticipation is building over the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Scheduled to begin October 18, the twice-a-decade gathering is China's most important political event. Xi Jinping is expected to consolidate power and signal whether he will seek a third term as China's leader. There is also speculation Xi could change course on China's Taiwan policy. Tensions have been quietly rising between the island and the mainland; online attention to cross-strait relations reached its highest level in more than 100 days.
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