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Category Archives: Consumer Expenditure

One in six families sold their second car in 2011

This is according to Bridgestone, the tyre maker, who surveyed 2,000 UK families. This was principally due to the continued rise in fuel prices, but was also influenced by insurance costs and the general rise in the cost of living. The survey also found that many more families may be forced to take similar action this year, with over 90% … Continue reading

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Slump in UK retail sales

There was a surprising fall of 1.4% in retail sales in May. There had been a rise of 1.1% in April, but the Office for National Statistics put that down to a combination of the royal wedding and the number of Bank holidays added to the fine weather. But, the fall during May was the steepest since January 2010, and … Continue reading

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Is the jump in retail sales merely an illusion?

The volume of retail sales rose by 1.9% in January compared to the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This was after the December figure was revised downwards from an earlier estimate of a fall of 0.8% to a corrected figure of minus 1.4%. This was the biggest December fall since records began. When we examine … Continue reading

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The Irish crisis: Is it too late to cancel Christmas?

Thank goodness the UK is not in the eurozone. Ireland is on the verge of another banking crisis due to an ill-advised lending policy, which fuelled a property boom which turned to bust during the recession. Although the Irish government initially said that it did not need any help, the EU has sent the ‘heavies’ in, with the European Central … Continue reading

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Commodities to blame for higher shop prices

Food inflation increased to 4.0% in September, from 3.8% in August, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) – Nielsen Shop Price Index, published today. Non-food inflation also rose to 0.7% from 0.5% in August. Overall shop price inflation increased to 1.9% in September from 1.7% in the previous month, which took it to its highest rate for five months. … Continue reading

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The internet accounts for 7.2% of UK GDP

This is the finding of a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on behalf of Google. They maintain that the internet is worth £100bn a year to the UK and this does not include the £360bn a year business-to-business market. The report says that if the internet was a sector of the economy it would be the fifth largest … Continue reading

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Surprise lift for UK economy

The UK economy grew by 0.8% in the third quarter of this year, following 1.2% growth in the second quarter. Most analysts had been predicting a growth figure of around 0.4%, so this is obviously good news. But, we need to bear in mind that these are provisional figures and are subject to revision at a later date. I have … Continue reading

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So where are we now?

The dust has started to settle after the draconian cuts put forward by the Chancellor, George Osborne, last week, as he put forward plans to cut government spending by £81 billion over the next four years. Was he right to make cuts of this magnitude? The UK borrowing figures last week might suggest that he was. The figures show that … Continue reading

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Record public sector borrowing in August

Public sector borrowing reached £15.9bn in August, which was a record figure for the month. This compares with £14.1bn in the same month last year. The current budget deficit which shows the difference between government spending and income rose by £2.3bn to £13.3bn. This is not very good news on the surface, and gives added reason to the chancellor to … Continue reading

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Record UK trade gap

The deficit on trade in goods widened to £8.7bn in July, which is the biggest monthly figure since this current series of measurement began in 1998. This deficit compares with one of £7.5bn in June according to figures published yesterday by the Office of National Statistics. The UK’s balance of trade on goods and services also widened from £3.6bn in … Continue reading

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