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Monthly Archives: October 2009

First annual rise in house prices since March 2008

According to the Nationwide, house prices were 2.0% higher in October 2009 than they were a year earlier, to give an average house price of £162,038. This was the first annual rise in house prices for nineteen months.   Whilst this is promising news for the housing market at first glance, the figures behind the headline are not all good. … Continue reading

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US economy bounces back

Figures published at lunchtime today show that the US economy grew during the third quarter from July to September at an annual rate of 3.5%. This follows four consecutive quarters of decline from the third quarter of 2008 of -2.7%, -5.4%, -6.4% and -0.7%.   It should be noted that the US states its GDP figures in a different way … Continue reading

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UK slips back on gender equality measure

The Global Gender Gap Rankings for 2009 produced by the World Economic Forum show that the UK has fallen back in terms of gender equality. In 2006 the UK was in ninth position in the world but fell to 13th place in 2008 and 15th place this year.   The Index’s scores show the percentage of the gap between women … Continue reading

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Comparing UK recessions

Following the decline in UK GDP of 0.4% during the third quarter of 2009, the Office of National Statistics has just published an interesting comparison between the current recession and previous recessions in 1990-91 and 1980-81.   They have only looked at two variables – changes in GDP and changes in unemployment. Although the UK has currently experienced six quarters … Continue reading

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I am away for the next 10 days and will resume blogging on Tuesday 27th

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Fall in UK unemployment

With unemployment popularly expected to peak above three million, most commentators were surprised by one measure of unemployment showing a tiny fall over the three months to the end of August. In fact, according to the Office for National Statistics, there were 2.469m unemployed between June and August, which was slightly fewer than the 2.47m recorded between May and July. … Continue reading

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How to save £50 billion

No, this isn’t about putting 20 pence pieces into a jar. The Institute of Directors has just published a report suggesting 34 ways that the UK government could cut £50bn from public expenditure. Some of these may be considered provocative suggestions but expenditure cuts have to start somewhere.   This is a 66 page report and provides a rationale behind … Continue reading

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Big fall in CPI inflation

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of annual inflation fell to 1.1% in September from 1.6% in August. This was its lowest level since September 2004. Given the remit to the Bank of England to keep inflation within 1% of the 2% target, this means that a further fall in inflation may well require the governor of the Bank to … Continue reading

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Should we be worried by the rise in producer prices?

UK output prices for all manufactured goods rose by 0.4% in September compared to the same month last year, according to the Office for National Statistics. This is also referred to as ‘factory gate inflation’ and analysts were very surprised by the figure. Only two months ago in July, the figures were showing a fall in price of 1.3% compared … Continue reading

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Reduction in UK’s productivity gap

When the UK’s productivity is measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per worker, latest figures show that we are now above Japan, similar to Canada and Germany, although still lower than Italy, France and the US. This is according to new 2008 estimates just published by the Office of National Statistics.   When measured by GDP per hour, which takes … Continue reading

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