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Monthly Archives: May 2009

Will the rise in the oil price continue?

According to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) the answer is “yes”.  After prices fell last year from $150 a barrel to $30 a barrel, there has been a recovery. Yesterday, oil prices rose above $65 a barrel and the secretary-general of OPEC said that “We are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.” The organisation … Continue reading

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Sterling breaks $1.60 barrier

Yesterday the pound strengthened to $1.60 for the first time since November last year. This follows the pound sinking to $1.36 in January, which was the lowest level for over twenty years.   Why did sterling rise? The dollar is normally seen as a sanctuary in times of global turmoil but there has been some sentiment in the markets that … Continue reading

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The pain is spreading

I was on the phone to a friend in South Africa last night who works in the construction industry. He told me that sales made by his company were down 25% this year, and they were giving up any wage increases in order to save jobs. This was backed up by the news released yesterday that the South African economy … Continue reading

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Record fall in GDP in OECD area

In figures just released, the OECD, which covers 30 advanced nations worldwide, has reported that Gross Domestic Product fell by a record 2.1% in the first quarter of 2009 amongst its member countries.   This amounts to the largest fall since records began in 1960 and compares with a fall of 2.0% in GDP in the previous quarter. Of the … Continue reading

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Lending to UK businesses remains weak

A study by the Bank of England entitled “Trends in Lending” has just been published. This shows that net lending to businesses has remained weak. The official data covers lending by all banks and building societies and shows that the monthly flow of net lending in March 2009 was “subdued, though positive.”  When looking at the three month annualised growth … Continue reading

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Japanese economy contracts at record rate

Japan, which is the second largest economy in the world, shrank by 4% in the first quarter of 2009. This fall in GDP was the fastest since records began, and represented a 15.2% drop when compared to the same period a year earlier. This was also the fourth successive quarter of decline, and followed a fall of 3.8% in the … Continue reading

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RPI inflation falls to minus 1.2% to record biggest drop since records began

In April 2009 the Retail Prices Index (RPI) fell from -0.4% in March to -1.2% in April. This was the biggest fall in prices since records began in 1948. The recent fall into negative territory for the RPI has been due to the huge cut in interest rates over recent months, as the Bank of England has reduced rates from … Continue reading

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Little Green Data Book 2009

For those of you who are keeping up with environmental issues, the World Bank has just published its “Little Green Data Book 2009”. This latest edition points out that the world’s cities are the main drivers of global warming because most economic activity takes place in urban areas. Since cities have become hubs of relative affluence, their greenhouse gas emissions … Continue reading

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Germany leads EU downwards

GDP fell by 2.5% in both the euro area and the whole of the EU27 during the first quarter of 2009, according to flash estimates produced by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Communities. In the final quarter of 2008 growth rates were -1.6% in the euro area and -1.5% in the EU27.   When we compare the first … Continue reading

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Could this be the solution to the global financial crisis?

I have adapted the following from an email which I recently received. You might like to add your comments as to what is going on in the scenario below:   It is August in a small town on the South Coast of France. Holiday season is in full swing, but it is raining so there is not too much business … Continue reading

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