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.
Is English football on the verge of a meltdown?
Rumours in the football world indicate that Hull City have effectively transfer listed all of their players in the attempt to reduce the company's debt while Portsmouth football club is still in significant turmoil and has again warned staff that January wages could be late for the third time in recent months. So is UK football and English football in particular on the verge of a meltdown? Whil...Read More
Are buyers returning to worldwide stock markets?
This week we have seen the takeover of Sun Microsystems by Oracle and the takeover of Stiefel by GlaxoSmithKline with many investors suggesting that UK and US markets could be on the turn. The above deals are multibillion dollar takeovers which only a few months ago would probably have been out of the question. So are we seeing investors return to stock markets or are these just one-off situations...Read More
Unemployment rises to 1.82 million
Confirmation that the rate of unemployment in the UK is approaching 2 million will be a further reality check to those who assume the economy will bounce back in the short to medium term. So far the unemployment figures have been nominated by the low paid workforce but there are signs that problems are growing in the middle-class of the working public.
If the middle classes are stru...
Should all women receive maternity leave even if they don't have children?
A UK think tank has today caused significant ripples in the UK employment market with the idea that all women should be offered "maternity leave" even if they do not have children. In a situation which is starting to get out of control, the UK equality movement is now calling for ladies in the workplace to be offered paid or unpaid leave from work which would effectively be their "maternity leave"...Read More
GDP figures are expected to show end of the recession
UK GDP figures (Gross Domestic Product) are due today at 9:30 AM with analysts expecting the figures to show a 0.2% growth in the UK economy quarter on quarter. This follows a 0.6% reduction in the second quarter of 2009 and many people believe this next set of figures could signal the end of the recession. However, there are growing concerns.
Some analysts believe that the disappoi...