Continued rise in UK producer prices

Output price inflation rose to 4.2% in December 2010 according to the Office for National Statistics.  This is sometimes referred to as ‘factory gate’ annual inflation, and measures the output prices that manufacturers sell their products at. The rise on the month was 0.5% which is considered quite significant. At the same time, input price annual inflation rose by 12.5% … Continue reading

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House prices are now 18% below their pre-recession peak

House prices fell 1.3% between November and December 2010 according to the Halifax. This meant a further fall of about £2,000 in the average price of a house, which now stands at £163,435. Overall, there was a fall in prices of 1.6% over 2010 as a whole, and house prices are now about 18% below their peak in the third … Continue reading

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Food price index at record high

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has just released figures which show that their Food Price Index reached a record level in December, after rising for six consecutive months. The index measures a basket of food prices which is made up of meat, sugar, dairy, cereals and oilseeds. In December this index reached 214.7, compared to 206 in November … 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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Inflation keeps on rising

CPI annual inflation was 3.2% in October, up from 3.1% in September, to take it to a four month high. However, RPI inflation which includes mortgage interest costs and has a larger element of housing costs than the CPI, actually fell from 4.6% in September to 4.5% in October. The recent trend can be seen in the Table below.   … Continue reading

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“We’re absolutely certain that nobody knows what’s going to happen.”

This could have been the headline from the Bank of England’s November Inflation Report that was published this morning. All in all, it was riddled with uncertainty. Mr King, the governor of the Bank, said that given the slower growth in government spending, the strength of any recovery depended heavily on what was happening externally. He said: “The biggest …. … Continue reading

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Fewer UK companies are going bust

There were 3,974 compulsory liquidations and creditors’ voluntary liquidations in total in England and Wales in the third quarter of 2010 (on a seasonally adjusted basis).  This was a decrease of 2.2% on the previous quarter and a decrease of 13.9% on the same period a year ago.  These figures just published by the Insolvency Service provide some much-needed good … Continue reading

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QE too?

Yesterday, the US Federal Reserve announced that it was introducing its second round of quantitative easing, by pumping $600bn (£373bn) into its economy by the end of June 2011. Will the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England follow suit? The answer for the meantime is ‘no’. Today they decided to keep interest rates on hold at 0.5% for … Continue reading

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Sterling, economic growth and interest rates

One immediate effect of the 0.8% rise in UK economic growth during the third quarter, which was announced yesterday, was an upward valuation in sterling. The pound rose by about 1.5 cents against the dollar and stands at $1.5814 this morning, according to Reuters. The pound has now risen by almost 2 cents this week. The story is the same … Continue reading

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China raises interest rates, MPC divided.

China has announced its first rise in interest rates for three years. According to the People’s Bank of China, its one-year lending rate goes up from 5.31% to 5.6% and its one-year deposit rate also rises from 2.25% to 2.5%. Why has China done this? In recent years double-digit rates of economic growth have become familiar in the country. In … Continue reading

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