We’ve heard lots of recent comparisons between today and 1976, given the heatwaves and drought that affected both years, and that 2022 is the UK’s driest year since. But whilst we have recently been basking in sunshine and dealing with the impact of the warm weather, it is the cost of heat, light and food for households this winter that should be on all of our minds.Continue reading
Sharper fall in activity as price pressures hit demand
Today sees the release of July data from the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland PMI®. The latest report – produced for Ulster Bank by S&P Global – signalled that declines in customer demand amid strong inflationary pressures led to further sharp reductions in output and new orders in the Northern Ireland private sector. Rates of inflation remained elevated over the month, despite showing signs of easing. The main positive from the latest survey was a further rise in employment.Continue reading
Chief Economist’s Weekly Briefing – A Rocky Road
Last week interest rates were hiked by the largest amount since the Bank of England gained independence in 1997. But it was the further hike in the estimated inflation peak, with it set to remain higher for longer, as well as a forecast recession that ultimately grabbed the headlines. Conditions outside the UK are little better, confidence in the Euro area is dropping and Chinese PMIs are contracting as the impetus from reopening fades.Continue reading
Another decade, another recession … but this one’s different
When US Presidents, UK Prime Ministers and other leaders in politics and business take charge, the first 100 days of their leadership is always seen as critical. Last Thursday marked 100 days since the first case of COVID-19 was reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) at the start of January. The scale of the change, political intervention and business disruption that we have seen since then has been truly unprecedented. And what happens in the next 100 days will likely be just as alarming and unprecedented. Indeed, the word unprecedented is now so overused that it no longer does justice to just how rare and extreme events have been.Continue reading
Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – Narrow miss
Both Germany and the UK escaped recession, figures last week showed. But both have reason to be concerned about their near-term outlook. UK election campaigning suggests either a (i) large or (ii) enormous dollop of government spending is coming. Germany could do with either.
Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – Waiting for the good news
All eyes were on political theatre in Westminster last week. No-deal Brexit looks more likely. And with it some economic disruption – how much is unknown. The global economic outlook is not promising: the US and China are still locked in the trade war and the Eurozone is fighting to stave off a recession.
Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – Divergence
A deluge of inflation data and speeches from central bankers put monetary policy in the spotlight last week. Whilst the US is talking up the chances of it raising rates this Summer, at least one of the UK’s rate setters is seriously considering voting to cut rates later this year.
Economic Gongs: Best actors in an increasingly unpopular drama
There is an increasingly unpopular drama unfolding in the global economy. It’s not quite the epic of 2007/8. But it certainly has economists and investors gripped, as we have witnessed the Big Short on oil prices and a Revenant-style bear market that has mauled the share prices of the stock markets’ biggest stars. Continue reading
Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – Hard Work
We’re all at risk of robots stealing our jobs, or so futurologists are fond of saying. For now though the UK is creating plenty of jobs for humans. The problem remains woeful productivity and weak wage growth.
NI heading for recession?
In the first episode of #TalkingEconomix, leading economists Richard Ramsey and John Simpson shoot the breeze on the Northern Ireland economy. They cover issues including why Northern Ireland may be heading for recession, why the economy is under-performing, and why Northern Ireland’s low tax, high spend fiscal mix is unsustainable.