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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Recovery in OECD trade

The volume of merchandise trade of the G7 group of countries grew in the third quarter of 2009, after being largely stable in the previous quarter. In fact, exports from G7 countries grew by 5.0% quarter-on-quarter and imports rose by 4.1% in the third quarter. However, when we look at year-on-year figures, exports were down 17.5% and imports also fell … Continue reading

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Recession has ended, but only just.

Surprising figures just released by the ONS show that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with a decrease of 0.2% in the third quarter. This was put down to growth in both services and production.   However, this figure was quite surprising as most commentators were expecting a larger rise, even up … Continue reading

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Falling sterling: Advantages and disadvantages

Over the last three years the euro has gone up in value by 30% against sterling, whilst the dollar has risen by 20%. This fall in the value of the pound has been picked up in three articles which I have been reading over the weekend.   The first, published in the Telegraph online this morning, supplies some good news. … Continue reading

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China back to double-digit growth

The Chinese economy grew by 10.7% year-on-year in the final quarter of 2009. This was the fastest growth for two years and meant that there was a growth in output for 2009 as a whole of 8.7%. The official growth target had been 8.0%.   Gross Domestic Product totalled £3,020 billion in 2009 which put China’s output just below the … Continue reading

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Record figure for UK December borrowing

Public sector borrowing in December last year reached £15.7bn, which was £1.9bn higher than the December 2008 figure, according to the Office for National Statistics today. This was the highest December figure on record.   This means that the government’s net borrowing has reached £120bn for the first nine months of the fiscal year and seems to be on track … Continue reading

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Unemployment and Employment Both Fall

The number of people unemployed between September and November 2009 fell by 7,000 to reach 2.46 million, according to the ONS this morning. Many economists had been expecting a rise in unemployment to about 2.50 million. This is the first quarterly fall in unemployment since the three months to May 2008, and gives an unemployment rate of 7.8%.   However, … Continue reading

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Largest ever increase in UK inflation

CPI annual inflation which is targeted by the government, rose to 2.9% in December 2009 from 1.9% in November. This increase of 1.0% was the largest ever increase in the annual rate between two months.   Why was the increase so large, especially considering that the consensus amongst City economists was for a rise to 2.6%? The basic reason is … Continue reading

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To Hull and back

The recent recession has increased the gap between city economies in the UK, according to the Centre for Cities annual index. When looking at the increases in the Job Seekers Allowance claimant count rate in November 2009, compared to February 2008, Hull fares the worst. In fact the claimant count rose from 4.8% to 8.4% over this period. At the … Continue reading

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Spending on clothes has gone down, so why do we need bigger wardrobes?

UK households spent less on average per week on shoes and clothing in 2008 than at any time since 2001-02, according to ‘Family Spending’, the annual report on household expenditure from the Office for National Statistics.   Spending on clothing and footwear fell to an average of £21.60 per week from a high of £23.90 in 2004-05. Why did we … Continue reading

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Fall in consumer confidence

Consumer confidence fell in the last quarter of 2009 with nearly a third of consumers expecting the economy to get worse this year, according to research published today by the Association of British Insurers.   Of 2,500 adults questioned, 31% expected the economy to worsen in 2010 with only 39% being optimistic – a sharp fall from the 52% recorded … Continue reading

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