Is inflation a threat to the UK recovery?
This week sees a number of vital economic statistics in the UK with concerns that the rate of inflation is set to spike upwards in the early part of 2010. Recent figures have shown an increase in the cost of raw materials, much of which came from the upward movement in the price of oil, which will have an impact upon inflation. So what else do we need to monitor in the short term?
There is also concern that the government's refusal to maintain VAT at 15%, and instead return it to 17.5%, will also place further upward pressure on the cost of living in the UK. In what is becoming a more difficult scenario by the day, the Bank of England is also under pressure because of the strategy regarding UK base rates which have remained at 0.5% for some time. If inflation does begin to take off, and the Bank of England does not respond quickly enough, we could move towards a situation where the rate of inflation spirals out of control and we need to see a significant increase in base rates in a very short space of time.
The ability to increase base rates and make borrowing more expensive is a very basic tool in the economic UK government's toolbox but one which has proven very effective over the years.
Will we ever find a suitable regulatory system for the UK?
As the government issues yet another revamp of the UK regulatory system for financial markets there are serious concerns that the government's strategy is more short-term than long-term. By creating increased friction between the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority (FSA), as well as bringing the Treasury in to oversee the system, there are great fears of turf wars within the regul...Read More
RDR – Will you pay for Financial Advice?
On the 31st December 2012 changes made to advice standards under the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) will mean that Independent Financial Advisors (IFA’s) are no longer able to claim commission on leads they generate for companies while offering financial advice to consumers. What this means for consumers is that free financial advice will no longer be available through IFA’s in most situa...Read More
Snow costing UK economy £600 million a day
It is estimated that the snowy weather in the UK is costing UK businesses £600 million a day at a time when few businesses can afford to give away trade. A mixture of staff absence numbers and missed trade is beginning to add up and becoming a major concern for the UK government. It is no secret that many small to medium-sized businesses (and a few larger businesses) are literally trading on a...Read More
UK unions want rail network back under government control
In what is fast becoming a government v union battle of wills, it has been revealed that the unions want the UK government to maintain control of the former National Express rail franchise, the East Coast main line.
This is the rail franchise which National Express effectively gave back to the government because of increased losses and the impact it was having on the company's balan...
UK home sales up 24%
24/12/2013 The number of UK homes being sold has risen by 24% over the last year, with sales in November reaching the highest levels since December 2009. HM Revenue and Customs figures shown that 96,979 flats or houses were sold in November, with these figures being further complimented by figures from the British Bankers Association (BBA) that claimed new mortgage approvals rose by 39% over...Read More