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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Running out of energy

Total UK energy production was a record 13.5% lower in 2011 than it was in 2010. This meant that we had a net import dependency of 36.5%, the highest level since 1976, according to statistics just released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Oil production was 17.5% lower than in 2010 and continued a downward trend which … Continue reading

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Divergence in growth between US and Europe

Economic growth in the G7 countries is expected to be firmer through the first half of 2012, but the recovery remains fragile and will likely proceed at different speeds in North American and Europe, according to the OECD in its latest Interim Economic Assessment. The Assessment, presented in Paris by Chief Economist Pier Carlo Padoan, says the G7 economies are … Continue reading

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UK growth revised downwards for last year

UK gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This follows two previous estimates of – 0.2% for the quarter. This had the effect of reducing total growth in 2011 down to 0.7% from the 0.8% earlier estimate. In the last quarter of 2011 output of the … Continue reading

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Increasing pay gap between public and private sector workers

A study just published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that in April 2011 the average worker in the public sector received 8.2% more in hourly pay than an average worker in the private sector. This compares with differences of 7.8% in 2010 and only 5.3% in 2009. Why is the gap getting wider? Many would argue that … Continue reading

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UK inflation continues to fall

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) fell to 3.4% in February, from 3.6% the month before, according to the Office for National Statistics. This means that inflation has been on a downward path since September last year, and has fallen to its lowest rate since November 2010. The recent trend can be seen in the Figure below. RPI and CPI Percentage … Continue reading

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Internet accounts for higher percentage of GDP in UK of all major economies

In 2010 the internet economy in the UK accounted for 8.3% of GDP, followed by South Korea with 7.3%, China with 5.5% and only 4.7% in the US, according to a study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the UK the value of the internet economy was £121bn in 2010, which makes it larger than the healthcare, construction or … Continue reading

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Unemployment rises but could be flattening out

The headline figure shows that UK unemployment rose by 28,000 to 2.67 million in the three months to January, according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics. This meant that the unemployment rate rose to 8.4% from 8.3% on the quarter, and this is the highest it has been since 1995. On the other hand there were … Continue reading

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Positive growth signals seen in OECD countries

Composite Leading Indicators (CLIs), designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend, continue pointing to a positive change in momentum in the OECD as a whole. The United States and Japan continue to drive the overall position but stronger, albeit tentative, signals are beginning to emerge within all other major OECD economies and the Euro area as … Continue reading

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A downside to Quantitative Easing?

Pension funds are being hit, and hit hard, by quantitative easing (QE), according to the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF). The process of QE instituted by the Bank of England in 2009, involves creating money to buy up government bonds. The purpose of this was to put more liquidity into the banks to improve their balance sheets and to … Continue reading

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