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Monthly Archives: March 2010

I am away for the next two weeks and will resume blogging on 6th April

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North Sea oil could last longer than expected

The industry body Oil & Gas UK recently published its annual forecast of offshore oil and gas exploration and development activity in the UK, based on a survey of the spending plans of over 70 companies.  It revealed that the number of offshore oil and gas projects currently under consideration for development has risen sharply over the last 12 months, … Continue reading

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Benefits and costs from monetary union

At the end of last week, Francesco Paolo Mongelli, Professor at the University of Frankfurt, published a brief article entitled “Some benefits and costs from participating in a monetary union.” In his conclusion he says that: “There is a broad range of benefits and costs in sharing a currency. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the macroeconomic costs of losing influence over … Continue reading

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World Trade has been a casualty of the global crisis

Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organisation recently gave a speech in Brussels at which he explained the deterioration in world trade over the past year. He said: “These are not easy times. We know that in 2009, growth of real world GDP was negative, estimated at -2.2 per cent. Furthermore, the global unemployment rate reached its highest level … Continue reading

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Concern at expected fall in overseas aid this year

 Aid to developing countries in 2010 will reach record levels in dollar terms after increasing by 35 per cent since 2004. But it will still be less than the world’s major aid donors promised five years ago at the Gleneagles and Millennium and five additional summits. Though a majority of countries will meet their commitments, the underperformance of several large … Continue reading

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Recession has led to a fall in EU migration

Georges Lemaitre, an OECD migration expert, claims that there has been a drop of about 25% in the UK from 2007 to 2008 in free movement labour migration, and that it appears that there will be a further 40% drop recorded for 2009. In a recent  interview he also discusses the extent to which governments can control migration flows and the … Continue reading

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New plan for high-speed rail

Yesterday, Lord Adonis, the transport secretary, announced plans for a new high-speed rail network. This will initially be between London and Birmingham and will have trains which can travel at 250mph and which will cut the journey time for the 120 miles to only 46 minutes. There will be a full public consultation as to the exact route the line … Continue reading

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Record US budget deficit in February

So you think we have problems in the UK? In February the US recorded a budget deficit of $220.9bn which is just under £150bn. This figure was up 14% on the same month a year ago and the biggest monthly deficit ever recorded in the US. The country has now been running a deficit for seventeen consecutive months which is … Continue reading

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First annual increase in manufacturing for nearly two years

Total manufacturing output rose by 0.2 per cent in January 2010 compared to the same month a year ago showing the first annual increase since March 2008, according to figures just published by the ONS. Output increased in four of the 13 sub-sectors and fell in nine sub-sectors. The largest contributors to the rise were the transport equipment industries, which … Continue reading

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Trade deficit widens in January

The UK’s deficit on trade in goods and services was £3.8 billion in January, compared with a deficit of £2.6 billion in December, according to figures released today by the ONS. The surplus on trade in services was slightly down at £4.2 billion in January, compared with a surplus of £4.4 billion in December. The deficit on trade in goods … Continue reading

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