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Monthly Archives: November 2009

How firms price their products

I have just come across two interesting articles about pricing. The first one concerns the apple crop in New York State. It seems that New York’s apple orchards are being carpeted with red as unpicked apples drop to the ground. With the best of the crop off to market, growers say this year it’s cheaper to leave leftovers on the … Continue reading

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I am away for the next few days and will resume blogging on Monday 30th November.

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What causes employment to lag output in recoveries?

Mark Thoma, a macroeconomist at the University of Oregon, has just published an interesting article with this title, for CBS Money Watch.   He notes that this lag in employment has increased substantially in recent recessions from about one quarter before 1990 to more than a year in the last two recessions.   He suggests three factors that might account … Continue reading

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Government to introduce legislation that says I will lose two kilos in weight before Christmas.

What fantastic news, I will be able to get into my Santa suit after all. And, I can just sit back and look forward to the weight falling off me as the result of the government’s new law.   If you think this is far-fetched, it is about as far-fetched as the fiscal responsibility bill highlighted by the government yesterday, … Continue reading

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MPC in 3-way split over Quantitative Easing

Minutes of the last meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England have just been published, and show that seven of the nine members agreed that an extra £25bn should be pumped into the economy through the programme of asset purchasing or quantitative easing. This was enough to secure agreement to raise the total spend to … Continue reading

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Increase in CPI inflation

The government’s target measure for inflation, CPI, was 1.5% in October, which was a rise of 0.4 percentage points, from the 1.1% recorded in September.   The main reason for the increase was within the transport sector and came from fuels and lubricants. Somewhat perversely, prices of fuels fell by 0.7% between September and October this year. But because they … Continue reading

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Book Wars

When firms get involved in price wars it is usually to the disadvantage of the companies concerned – unless they can force rivals out of the market – and to the advantage of consumers who enjoy lower prices. Or can it be more complicated than that?   Recently in the United States, Wal-Mart got involved in a price war on … Continue reading

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Pay gap between men and women narrows

There was a narrowing of the gender pay gap for all employees in the UK this year of 0.5 percentage points to 22%. The Office for National Statistics measures the gender pay gap by the median hourly pay excluding overtime. When full-time employment is examined, males earned an average of £12.97 an hour before tax compared to £11.39 an hour … Continue reading

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UK unemployment may have reached its peak

In the three months to September the number of people unemployed in the UK rose by only 30,000 when compared with the three months to June. This was the lowest increase for 16 months. According to the Office for National Statistics there were 2.46m people out of work in the quarter as measured by the Labour Force Survey. In fact, … Continue reading

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UK trade gap increases

The deficit on UK trade in goods and services seasonally adjusted increased from a deficit of £2.2bn in August, to a deficit of £3.5bn in September.   The deficit on trade in goods alone was £7.2bn compared with a deficit of £6.1bn in August, whereas the surplus on trade in services fell from £3.9bn in August to £3.7bn in September. … Continue reading

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