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Monthly Archives: May 2010

A rise in VAT would cost 163,000 jobs

This is the headline figure published today by the British Retail Consortium following a study carried our by the Centre for Economics and Business Research using its model of the UK economy. They found that an increase in VAT to 20% from its current level of 17.5% would result in the loss of 163,000 jobs over four years and a … Continue reading

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Growth to pick up in OECD countries

The latest OECD Economic Outlook says that GDP is projected to rise by 2.7% this year and 2.8% in 2011, across the OECD countries. Previous forecasts last November expected growth this year to by only 1.9% and 2.5% next year. Whilst economic activity is picking up faster than expected, the OECD warned that sovereign debt markets and overheating in emerging-market … Continue reading

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Pushing us towards the death spiral

Yesterday the government announced that it was making initial cuts in public spending of £6.2bn largely by cutting what the Chancellor, George Osborne, called “wasteful spending.” These include cuts in consultancy, travel costs and cutbacks in various departments.  But this isn’t the whole picture on government spending reductions as we still have an emergency Budget to come on 22nd June. … Continue reading

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Do falling markets and tighter liquidity signal a new Great Depression?

This seems a surprising prospect at the moment, but according to Telegraph.co.uk this morning, Andrew Roberts, head of European rates strategy at RBS, said: “Great Depression II” could now be approaching; adding: “It now has the potential to speed toward its conclusion; a European $1 trillion package which does little and political panic tells you we are about to reach … Continue reading

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Employment in EU agriculture falls 25%

Between 2000 and 2009, employment in the agricultural sector in the EU27 fell by 25%, which was the equivalent of 3.7 million full-time jobs. It fell by 17% in the EU15 (those countries in membership before 2004) and by 31% in the 12 member states (NMS12) that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007. In 2009, total employment in the … Continue reading

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CPI was 3.7% in April – alcohol, women’s clothing and volcanic ash to blame.

CPI annual inflation which is targeted by the government at 2.0%, rose to 3.7% in April from 3.4% in March according to figures released this morning by the Office for National Statistics. The largest pressures on prices came from clothing and footwear which rose by 2.2% and was particularly fuelled by increases in the price of women’s clothing; widespread increases … Continue reading

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Household wealth rises five-fold over the past 50 years

Household wealth in the UK has risen from £1.251 trillion in 1959 (measured in today’s prices) to £6.316 trillion by the end of last year. This represents a five-fold increase in household wealth according to new research by the Halifax. This gives an average value of wealth per household of £236,998 which is up from £72,719 in 1959. This rise … Continue reading

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Why has the UK trade deficit increased?

Is this more bad news? Let’s look at yesterday’s stark figures from the ONS. The UK’s trade deficit in goods and services widened from £2.2bn in February to £3.7bn in March. Although the trade in services remained in surplus to the tune of £3.8bn in March, this was down from the £4.1bn recorded in February. When it comes to the … Continue reading

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The ups and downs of unemployment

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.0% in the three months to March 2010. But the number of unemployed increased by 53,000 over the quarter to reach 2.51 million. This is the highest figure since the three months to December 1994. Figures were also published by the Office for National Statistics yesterday to show that the number of people classed … Continue reading

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Surprise 2% increase in industrial output

Industrial output in the UK increased by 2.0% between February and March and also rose by 2.0% on the year to March 2010. This compares to analysts’ forecasts of a rise of around 0.3-0.4%. In fact, the Office for National Statistics had estimated that production would rise by 0.7% when they initially announced the GDP growth figures for the first … Continue reading

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