27 July 2015
Seventy six months have passed since the Bank of England cut Bank Rate to 0.5%. Since then, some MPC members have occasionally voted for a rise but something has always been in the way for the majority. This time around…
13 July 2015
It appears that a compromise deal between Greece and its creditors has been reached. But it will be the nitty gritty of structural economic reform that will determine whether the country is to receive its third bailout.
6 July 2015
Bank closures, daily withdrawal limits, a referendum and a resignation. It was an eventful week for Greece and another lies ahead. The country remains the current top economic concern but two venerable institutions were last week warning of other risks that lurk both at home and in the global economy. Like Greece, debt plays a big part.
29 June 2015
With capital controls, another referendum and banks closed for seven days, the next week will surely be a long time in Greek and European politics. Yet oddly the eurozone private sector economy is looking in better shape than at any point in the past four years. Firms are trading and hiring staff. Are yards hard won about to be ceded?
15 June 2015
800 years ago the barons of medieval England forced King John to agree a limit on monarchical power. This agreement (recognised as the early foundation of individual legal protection and parliamentary democracy) has become known as Magna Carta. And yet debates about the limitations of authority still happen today. The most recent is the proposal to make it unlawful for governments to run budget deficits “in normal times”.
8 June 2015
There are welcome signs that Europe’s economy is slowly emerging from its prolonged slump. It’s a pity then that agreement with Greece remains unfinished business. Securing that deal would remove the Damoclean sword that hangs over the currency zone’s prospects.
1 June 2015
Most parents will be familiar with the anguished cry of “it wasn’t my fault”. And if they could speak, both the US and UK economies would probably be making it. Both had a lacklustre Q1, the US especially. And in both it was caused in large part by a worsening balance of trade. For the US, a poor economic performance reflects soggy global demand more than it does domestic factors.
26 May 2015
Forget 2014. Back then, the UK and US were the fastest-growing G7 economies. Now the UK has slipped into deflation and US growth appears to be stalling. In contrast, the eurozone’s surpassing expectations, with support from the ‘Hero’s’ at the European Central Bank. Europe’s not just become an arena for staging an annual high-camp pop-fest you know. Congratulations to Sweden.
18 May 2015
If you had to condense into three words the factors driving the UK’s economic performance you’d do worse than simply repeating jobs, jobs, jobs. Over 200,000 were added in the three months to March, many of them full time. Yet despite a return to decent, inflation-adjusted, pay growth, there’s not a whiff of inflation in the air.
11 May 2015
If nothing else, the UK General Election confirmed the need always to approach surveys cautiously. Nevertheless, the reported business optimism of UK and US service sector managers suggests both economies stepped up a gear in April. These surveys should prove to be more reliable.