Wages set to rise – in emerging markets

When was the last time you had a pay rise? Many people might answer that question by saying “about five years ago.” Envy the Chinese, or Poles, or Mexicans, or Indians. According to PwC, they are likely to see their wages shoot up. This is set to be a very...Read More

Mortgages are cheap, but so too is talk of a property boom

According to a Halifax report, new mortgages are at their cheapest level in 14 years. Mortgages taken out during Q1 accounted for just 27 per cent of borrowers’ net income. In 2007 the ratio was 48 per cent; over the last 30 years the ratio was 36 per cent. Yippee...Read More

Posted Aug 20, 2013

Dutch disease shows perils of an economy relying on rising house prices

It's an odd thing, isn’t it? Not so long ago, people were talking about Belgium as being the country in northern Europe that was most in danger of going the way of Spain, Portugal and co. And for a long time, Holland – along with Germany and Finland – had...Read More

Posted Aug 15, 2013

Inflation rises, how can long can Bank of England stay off the brakes?

Phew, that was close. UK inflation was 2.9 per cent in June, which was 0.1 percentage points less than expected and 0.2 percentage points less than feared, and some might say it was a relief.

If inflation had been 3.1 per cent, as some dreaded, then poor old Mark Carney,...Read More

Posted Jul 16, 2013

Emerging market debt – the potential losers

In 1994, the US Federal Reserve increased interest rates. The eventual effect of this was the Asian crisis of 1997, then the Russian crisis of 1998 and the collapse of LTCM. History does not repeat itself, once said Mark Twain, but it does rhyme.

Did you hear that? It...Read More

Posted Jun 14, 2013

The best piece of economic news on UK PLC in over a year

Well, well, it is good news, and this time it really is.

The Purchasing Managers Indices from Markit/CIPS are perhaps the most meaningful of the forward indicators relating to the UK economy. This week has seen three of them, and they weren’t half bad either.

In fact, the composite index for May,...Read More

Posted Jun 05, 2013

UK grows on the back of bad old habits

The news on UK plc has been pleasing of late, but two doubts remain. Okay, the UK is expanding again, but it is growing from a very low base and very slowly. Secondly, is it the wrong type of growth?

So here is your starter for ten points: What...Read More

Posted May 23, 2013

China stumbles, Eurozone limps

It appears that the Chinese economy lurched backwards again in May. The Eurozone remained firmly in recession, or is that depression? So much for things looking up!

You may know that the Purchasing Managers’ Indices follow a formula, with any score over 50 meaning expansion; under 50 indicates contraction....Read More

Posted May 23, 2013

Debt less of a burden for households

We asked is the debt on your home ‘a heavy burden’, ‘somewhat of a burden’ or ‘no problem at all’. The survey said: UH UHHHHH.

Actually, it was a bit more positive than that. The ONS has been looking at what it calls the burden of property debt in the UK,...Read More

Posted May 14, 2013

Can Google really predict the stock market?

Debt, stocks, restaurant, economics, portfolio, religion, cancer. You can sort of see the link between some of those words, but not all. But there is a link apparently, and the link is with stock market performance.

Take the word debt. If there is a decrease in search engine traffic...Read More

Posted Apr 26, 2013

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