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Monthly Archives: June 2009

Lending growth virtually grinds to a halt

The increase in total net lending to individuals in May was £0.6 billion, which was lower than both the April increase of £1.1bn and the six month average of £1.3bn. The twelve-month growth rate also continued to fall. It was 2.6% in February, 2.1% in March, 1.7% in April and only 1.4% in May. These figures were published yesterday by … Continue reading

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Foreign investment into UK rises despite recession

The number of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects located in the UK, expanded to 1,744 in the last financial year, 2008-09. This compares with 1,573 projects in the previous year.   According to UK Trade and Investment, the international business development body, in spite of the most difficult economic conditions, the UK was able to maintain its position as the … Continue reading

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Huge differences in GDP per inhabitant across EU

Based on 2008 figures, Eurostat has just published figures for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per inhabitant across the EU. This showed variations of 40% to 253% of the EU27 average across member states. At the other end of the scale, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Malta, Portugal and Slovakia all came in at between 10% and 30% lower than average. Estonia, … Continue reading

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Inflation Targeting: Learning the lessons from the financial crisis

On Tuesday of this week, Spencer Dale, Executive Director and Chief Economist at the Bank of England, used the above title as his talk to the Society of Business Economists, and I will try to summarise his main themes.   He noted that the sudden end to a long period of economic stability has led to the inflation targeting framework … Continue reading

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OECD sees unemployment rising well into next year

The OECD has just released a forecast projecting that unemployment in OECD countries will continue to rise well into 2010, with the average unemployment rate rising to almost 10%. This compares with the latest figure of 7.8% for April 2009.   At the end of 2008 there were 37.2 million out of work in OECD countries but this is estimated … Continue reading

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US fiscal policy and the multiplier effect

Traditional Keynesian theory suggests that a change in government expenditure on real GDP has an effect greater than one-for-one. In other words as a government pumps money into the economy this will put unemployed resources to work which will have a one-for-one effect initially. However, as households receive additional income they will spend some of this and thus there will … Continue reading

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Is price deflation being overstated?

Professor Greg Mankiw of Harvard University has just pointed out that the CPI figure in the US which has moved into negative territory, may be exaggerated because it is based on a “trimmed mean estimate”, which removes the large relative price changes in each month.   He says: “As every grade school student learns when the teacher reports results of … Continue reading

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Public sector borrowing rises at record level

Public sector borrowing rose in May by £19.9bn., which compares with a rise of £12.2bn in the same month last year.  This is the largest monthly increase since records began.  This means that in the first two months of the new fiscal year, there was a total budget deficit of £30.5bn. Borrowing in April and May was almost 50% up … Continue reading

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Youth unemployment is becoming a real problem

Although overall unemployment in the UK has continued to rise, with 7.2% of the workforce out of work, as discussed yesterday, the worsening situation for our young people has been largely overlooked.   The latest figures in the three months to April 2009 show that we now have 16.6% of our 18-24 age group, currently out of work. This is … Continue reading

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Largest quarterly fall in employment since records began

The number of people in employment in the UK in the three months to April 2009 was 29.11 million, which was down 271,000 on the quarter and 399,000 over the past year, according to figures just released this morning by the Office for National Statistics. This was the largest quarterly fall in the number of people in employment since comparable … Continue reading

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