UK trade deficit in August – 2nd highest on record

The UK’s deficit on trade in goods and services increased to £4.2bn in August, from £1.7bn in July, according to the Office for National Statistics. This was the second highest figure on record for the total trade deficit. Our trade in goods deficit also widened to £9.8bn from £7.3bn in July. This was due to a drop in exports and … Continue reading

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Prospects for growth worsen

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has slashed its forecasts for growth in the UK. It had previously predicted that we would see growth of 1.3% this year and 2.2% in 2012, but these have now been reduced to only 0.9% this year and 1.2% next year. The CBI does not believe that we will slip back into recession this … Continue reading

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Call for new world currency by IMF

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for a global currency based on the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). These were created by the IMF in 1969 and were initially intended to be the major asset to be held in foreign exchange reserves under the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system. However, the fixed rate … 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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Global recovery is under way

Global activity is rising again and is expected to reach 3 per cent growth next year, according to the World Economic Outlook which was published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today.   The IMF considers that growth has turned positive due to the wide-ranging and coordinated nature of government intervention which has helped to reduce uncertainty in financial markets. … Continue reading

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Poorest countries need to adopt a new approach

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) has just published its “Least Developed Countries Report 2009”, which looks at the world’s 49 poorest countries.   The report says the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) need to focus macroeconomic policy on building up both the productive capacity of their economies and infrastructure. Also, they need to ensure that their fledgling banking … Continue reading

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G20 is a hit, but Brown’s battleship stays afloat

“This is the day that the world came together to fight back against the global recession, not with words, but with a plan for global recovery and for reform and with a clear timetable for delivery,” was the way Gordon Brown summarised the outcome of the G20 summit in London.   According to the communiqué issued in the name of … Continue reading

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Poorest countries hit by third wave of global financial crisis

First the advanced economies, then the emerging economies and now the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries are being hit by the global crisis. This was according to Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday this week as he launched a new report.  He said: “This puts at risk the major achievements of higher growth, … Continue reading

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