If only a double-dip was an ice cream

In the last few minutes it has just been announced that the UK is officially back in recession. Gross Domestic Product fell by 0.2% in the first quarter of this year, which follows on from a decline of 0.3% in the fourth quarter of last year. The official definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative growth. And, … Continue reading

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UK GDP falls in the last quarter of 2011

UK GDP shrank by 0.2% in the final three months of last year, according to figures just published by the Office for National Statistics. This is the first fall since the last quarter of 2010. Most economists had expected a drop of 0.1%, although this is only a preliminary estimate and may well be corrected at a later date. The … Continue reading

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Economy remains flat says NIESR

Research published yesterday by the National Institute of Economics and Social Research (NIESR) says that their monthly estimates of GDP suggest that output declined by 0.1% in the three months to January 2011. This follows on from the official fall in growth of 0.5% in the three months to December. Growth in January was actually 0.6% which was considered ‘robust’, … Continue reading

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Family spending falls to a 10-year low

There was a fall in family spending in 2009 as the recession took its toll. The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the average household spent an average of £455.00 per week, compared with £471.00 in 2008, which was the first fall since this new series of measurements began in 2001-02. It can be seen in … Continue reading

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500,000 public sector jobs at risk

Once we’ve decided to which political party we are going to say “squeeze me I’m yours”, we are then going to be well and truly squeezed. And those in the public sector are going to be squeezed more than most. This prospect has led the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) to say that more than half a million … Continue reading

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Upside down Economics

Yesterday, the Reserve Bank of Australia raised interest rates from 3.75% to 4.0%, which is the fourth increase in rates since last October. Yes, I did say ‘raised’ interest rates. While the rest of the world has been digging itself out of recession the Australian economy grew at 2.7% during 2009. This is at a time when other major economies … Continue reading

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Massive fall in business investment

Business investment in the last quarter of 2009 was 24.1% down on the same period of 2008. Not only has investment fallen by a quarter, but it is continuing to fall. The figures for the fourth quarter of last year were actually 5.8% down on the previous quarter. The fall in business investment was evident across most industries, although there … Continue reading

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Sharp fall in retail sales

Retail sales volume fell by 1.8% between December 2009 and January 2010. This represents the largest decrease in a single month since June 2008 when it was 2.5%. Stores which predominantly sell food showed a fall of 2.4%, whilst predominantly non-food stores showed zero growth. Within this latter category, there was an increase in textile, clothing and footwear stores of … Continue reading

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Headline unemployment falls but what lies beneath the figures?

In the three months to December, unemployment fell by 3,000 on the previous three months, to total 2.46 million. This gave an unchanged unemployment rate of 7.8%. There was also good news on the vacancies front, as these rose by 49,000 to 479,000. At the same time redundancies fell in the final quarter of 2009 by 36,000 on the previous … Continue reading

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Recession has ended, but only just.

Surprising figures just released by the ONS show that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with a decrease of 0.2% in the third quarter. This was put down to growth in both services and production.   However, this figure was quite surprising as most commentators were expecting a larger rise, even up … Continue reading

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