It’s only business investment which can save the economy

This is the substance of an economic forecast just released by the Ernst & Young ITEM Club. Whilst acknowledging that the UK may have been saved from a double dip recession by a ‘loose’ monetary policy, the ITEM Club believes that UK GDP growth will be a dismal 0.4% this year, before rising to 1.5% in 2013 and 2.6% in … 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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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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Fall in consumer confidence

Consumer confidence fell in the last quarter of 2009 with nearly a third of consumers expecting the economy to get worse this year, according to research published today by the Association of British Insurers.   Of 2,500 adults questioned, 31% expected the economy to worsen in 2010 with only 39% being optimistic – a sharp fall from the 52% recorded … Continue reading

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Record repayment of consumer borrowing

The Bank of England has just reported that unsecured loans, which include bank loans but exclude mortgages, fell by £713m in October, which is the biggest month-on-month fall since records began in 1993.   The total amount of unsecured consumer borrowing now stands at £228bn. When we look at the change in consumer credit for October the figures show that … Continue reading

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France and Germany move out of recession

Both France and Germany grew by 0.3% in the second quarter, much to the surprise of economic forecasters. This rebound followed a whole year of negative GDP. This compares with a fall in GDP of 0.3% in the US and a drop of 0.8% in the UK.   Given that GDP in Germany had fallen by 3.5% in the first … Continue reading

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Japanese economy contracts at record rate

Japan, which is the second largest economy in the world, shrank by 4% in the first quarter of 2009. This fall in GDP was the fastest since records began, and represented a 15.2% drop when compared to the same period a year earlier. This was also the fourth successive quarter of decline, and followed a fall of 3.8% in the … Continue reading

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Sharp fall in retail sales last month

Retail sales volume fell by 1.9% between January and February . On a year-on-year basis sales grew by 0.4% but this was the slowest pace of growth for 14 years. There was a mixed picture depending on the type of shop. For example, over the past 12 months non-specialist stores showed a decrease of 5.2% but shops that were predominantly … Continue reading

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