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Monthly Archives: February 2010

Massive fall in business investment

Business investment in the last quarter of 2009 was 24.1% down on the same period of 2008. Not only has investment fallen by a quarter, but it is continuing to fall. The figures for the fourth quarter of last year were actually 5.8% down on the previous quarter. The fall in business investment was evident across most industries, although there … Continue reading

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Inflation, Growth and Stability

Paul Tucker, who is a member of the Monetary Policy Committee and Deputy Governor for Financial Stability, has just given a speech in which he discusses some of the current challenges facing monetary policy and issues relevant to the overall framework for preserving macroeconomic stability. First, he discusses the effects of household and bank balance sheet repair on aggregate demand, … Continue reading

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Sharp downturn in FDI flows

Global inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) fell by 39% from US$1.7 trillion in 2008 to just over US$1.0 trillion in 2009, according to estimates by UNCTAD. This decline was spread across all major groups of economies. Following a large fall in FDI inflows amongst developed countries in 2008, there was a further severe decline of 41% in 2009 as … Continue reading

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Forgotten where you put your passport?

In the last quarter of 2009 visits abroad by UK residents fell by 6% on a seasonally adjusted basis, whilst visits to the UK by overseas residents remained broadly constant, compared to the previous quarter according to the Office for National Statistics. When we look at the whole of 2009 the number of visits by overseas residents to the UK … Continue reading

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Sharp fall in retail sales

Retail sales volume fell by 1.8% between December 2009 and January 2010. This represents the largest decrease in a single month since June 2008 when it was 2.5%. Stores which predominantly sell food showed a fall of 2.4%, whilst predominantly non-food stores showed zero growth. Within this latter category, there was an increase in textile, clothing and footwear stores of … Continue reading

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UK Borrowing: Worst January figure ever

Public sector net borrowing was £4.34bn in January compared with a repayment of £5.3bn in the same month last year. A poll of City analysts taken by Reuters had forecast a repayment in January of £2.8bn. In reality, we ended up with the worst figure for any January since such records began in 1993. January is usually a bumper month … Continue reading

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Headline unemployment falls but what lies beneath the figures?

In the three months to December, unemployment fell by 3,000 on the previous three months, to total 2.46 million. This gave an unchanged unemployment rate of 7.8%. There was also good news on the vacancies front, as these rose by 49,000 to 479,000. At the same time redundancies fell in the final quarter of 2009 by 36,000 on the previous … Continue reading

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Rapid rise in UK inflation

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose to 3.5% in January from 2.9% in December. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) this is the second largest ever increase in the annual inflation rate between two months. It follows on from the record increase of 1.0% in the annual inflation rate between November and December. The reason for the increase … Continue reading

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Outlook for jobs worsens

It looks as though jobs are going to be lost from the public sector faster than they are going to grow in the private sector. So says the latest Labour Market Survey produced by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) together with KPMG. In a survey of over 700 employers it appears that those employers who plan to … Continue reading

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Beware of Greeks seeking gifts

The euro zone is in crisis. It seems that not only does Greece have the largest budget deficit in the EU in proportion to the size of its economy, but previous Greek governments have been ‘economical with the truth’ when presenting official statistics. The Greek budget deficit is around 13% of GDP, and the country has agreed to reduce this … Continue reading

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