UK businesses appear in decent shape. Turnover is up as are Corporation Tax receipts. Yet sterling has lost roughly one-tenth of its value since June and that’s raising input costs and squeezing profits. A long summer of falling costs boosting profits is coming to an end. Continue reading
A decent month which saw a rebound in trade and a decent year for industry still leave gaps in both. The trade deficit remains at near-record levels while industrial output is 7% lower than it was a decade ago. The first gap is the more significant. Continue reading
If you’re walking in the dark it’s useful to know where you’re starting from. With Q2 GDP growth confirmed at 0.6%, supported by decent data for June, we can be confident that the UK economy started the summer in decent shape.
The UK economy grew by a sprightly 0.6% in Q2. But with everything viewed through a pre/post-vote prism this counts as old news. Yet not every change will be due to ‘Brexit’, with signs the economy was cooling even in May. Continue reading
Every UK data release is being closely analysed in the post-Brexit world. But it’s still early days. It’ll be a good number of weeks, probably months, before we have a better handle on the impact of the result. Continue reading
The Bank of England surprised last week by not cutting interest rates. The accompanying statement showed that most members expect to loosen monetary policy at August’s meeting. But given that expectation it left a perculiar question in its aftermath. If then, why not now? Continue reading
Some parts of the UK economy are in overdrive, powered on by a rising population that keeps demand growing and the supply of workers flowing. But the strength that’s seen in household spending isn’t matched by exports or investment. The UK’s sectors and regions are running in different gears.
With five weeks to go before the EU referendum the campaigns are now in full swing and scrutinising every piece of data for signs of Brexit nervousness. Yet there’s still a lot going on that isn’t driven by our domestic political agenda and the Bank of England conceeded that the noise is making its job of interpreting the data more difficult. Continue reading
For years we have been used to the US economy growing faster than that of the UK and the UK growing faster than the Eurozone. But this year started with things in reverse. All three economies grew, but not by enough to change any central banker’s plans.
Last week was mostly about lows. First, the IMF downgraded its forecasts for the UK economy this year. Second, the Bank of England’s inaction is adding support to a “lower for longer” expectation for UK interest rates. And third, the US economy’s retail sector growth hit its third lowest number since 2008. Leave it to China then to hit a high – largest single quarter credit boost to the economy in its history. That high may yet be followed by a low… Continue reading