Sterling is down 12% since the referendum and some effects of its decline are becoming apparent.
Pipeline pressures. Sterling’s weakness has fuelled import cost inflation. Manufacturers’ raw material costs rose by 19% y/y in February and firms have been passing some of these costs on to customers. Back in June factory gate prices were falling on an annual basis. Subsequently, output price growth has accelerated in every single month. Last month they were up 3.7% y/y the largest increase since December 2011. Price rises were evident across all product categories from food to fuel. Consumers have been warned. Further price rises are coming. Continue reading
We’ve all heard the oft-used phrase ‘the economy is the number one priority’. However, there is perhaps still a deficit in terms of public understanding of economic issues. People perhaps don’t realise how far Northern Ireland lags the rest of the UK in terms of GVA (and the gap has been widening) or how much more Northern Ireland receives in public spending. Continue reading
It had everything. There was intrigue, espionage, breakups, non-stop drama, and no end of fiction and fantasy. But whether you regard last year as the prelude to an economic horror, or something from an altogether more uplifting genre, what is clear is that 2016 was an epic, with significant implications for the local, national, and global economies. So with the annual Academy Awards having just been handed out, we’ve decided to suggest some potential winners of a hypothetical Economic Gongs. Here are the economies, personalities and organisations we think should be in contention for a range of bespoke categories.
Growth at the end of 2016 had the feel of a seasonal sale. Let’s hope the consumer avoids feeling buyers’ remorse.
Yesterday saw the first publication since the EU referendum on 23rd June 2016 of quarterly Northern Ireland (NI) Services Sector & Industrial / Manufacturing output statistics. Continue reading
Italy’s banking sector problems, building financial risks facing the UK and the prospect of higher rates in the US. The year may be drawing to a close but there will be plenty to keep minds focused in 2017. Continue reading
For now, low inflation is propelling real income gains. That looks set to change over the course of the next year. Continue reading
It probably hasn’t been a great year for Jeremy Clarkson. But can the same be said for petrol heads as a whole? Whilst consumers in general have been benefiting from falling food, clothing and energy prices, what has been happening to fuel, car, and auto part costs? With the hotly anticipated new series of Top Gear set to get underway, I thought it would be worth taking a peak under the bonnet.
Last week was the largest weekly fall in sterling in seven years. Sterling has been this year’s worst performing major currency against the dollar. The pound dipped below $1.40 for the first time since 2009 and hit a low of $1.3836. So far this year sterling has fallen by over 6% against the dollar and is down almost 13% relative to its high last June ($1.593). A number of factors have been weighing on sterling sentiment in recent weeks. These include: market concerns over the scale of the UK’s current account deficit and financial markets pushing back their expectations of when the Bank of England will begin hiking interest rates. Meanwhile the forthcoming EU referendum on the 23rd June is also a source of political risk and financial market volatility.
For seasoned investors, the term ‘Black Monday’ is a reminder of the global stock market crash that occurred on 19 October 1987. Meanwhile the Wall Street Crash (29th October 1929) was also known as ‘Black Tuesday’. This was when panic selling reached its peak and followed steep share price falls on the previous day, ‘Black Monday’, and on the 24th October 1929, ‘Black Thursday’. The third day of the week hasn’t escaped the prefix ‘Black’ either, with the 16th September 1992 dubbed ‘Black Wednesday’ in the UK. This was when currency market speculators forced the UK to remove sterling from the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM).