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Monthly Archives: August 2009

UK population rises by over 400,000

The population of the UK rose by 408,000 in the year to mid-2008, giving a total of 61,383,000. This amounted to an increase of 0.7%. This compares with a growth rate of 0.2% from 1981-91; 0.3% from 1991-2001; and, 0.5% since 2001. This is an increase of two million people living in the UK in the past 8 years.   … Continue reading

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Sharp fall in business investment

Just when we were seeing some positive signs of recovery it appears that business is not joining in – at least as far as capital investment is concerned. Business investment for the second quarter of 2009 is 10.4% lower than the previous quarter and 18.4% down on the same period last year, according to figures just published by the ONS. … Continue reading

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Rise in UK homes where no-one works

There has been a huge rise in the number of working-age people who are living in workless households. The Office for National Statistics defines a working-age household as one that includes at least one person of working age – either a man aged 16-64 or a woman aged 16-59. A workless household is then defined as a working-age household where … Continue reading

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New industrial orders rise in the eurozone

In June 2009 the euro area saw a rise in the industrial new orders index by 3.1% compared with the previous month. This is in sharp contrast to the May figure which showed a fall of 0.5%.   However, taking all 27 countries of the EU together, industrial new orders actually fell by 0.4% in June, after rising 0.5% in … Continue reading

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Bank lending continues to fall

The Bank of England has just published its Trends in Lending report which seems to present nothing but bad news. It says that in the second quarter of 2009 total net lending to businesses fell across all the main industrial sectors.  Gross lending (not allowing for any repayments) fell from £42.9bn in the first quarter of 2009 to £27.3bn in … Continue reading

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Deeper in the red

The good news is that the government is painting the town red. The bad news is that it is with the red ink they are using to write the government’s borrowing needs – needs that we are all going to have to pay for, one way or another, in the years to come.   We have already gone from bad … Continue reading

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Advanced economies no longer in recession

After four quarters of continuous decline in GDP, the 30 advanced nations of the OECD showed that growth had stabilised in the second quarter of 2009. Well, if we are being completely truthful, they recorded a contraction of -0.002%, but this compares with a fall of 2.1% in the previous quarter.   As far as the major seven countries of … Continue reading

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Inflation higher than expected, but is it good news?

The consumer price index (CPI) for July was 1.8%, which was exactly the same as it was in June, and remained within the government’s 2% target. The CPI saw some downward pressure on prices from food, soft drinks, restaurants and hotels but these offset by rises in the prices of games, toys, hobbies and recorded media such as DVDs and … Continue reading

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Is Japan pointing the way forward?

Japan is the world’s second largest economy and yesterday announced a return to GDP growth, with a rise of 0.9% in the second quarter of this year. Given that in the last quarter of 2008 Japan’s growth rate was declining at 13.1% on an annual basis, this appears to be a promising recovery. This news follows on from France and … Continue reading

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Do we need a High Pay Commission?

Today the centre-left political pressure group, Compass, and 100 leading public figures launched a campaign to curb excessive pay. They called on the government to establish a High Pay Commission.   The statement says: “The crisis we find ourselves in is one significantly caused by greed. The salaries of those at the top raced away while the median wage stagnated. … Continue reading

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