Economy

  • Half of Britons expect young to be worse off than parents

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    A recent survey by the think tank, the Resolution Foundation, has found that almost half (48%) of respondents expected people born between 1981 and 2000, categorised as millennials, to have a standard of life worse than their parents due to economic concerns. In contrast, only 23% believed that millennials could expect their standard of life to be...
  • Will interest rates ever rise?

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    The deputy governor of the Bank of England has stated that the bank should not be tempted to increase interest rates due to “imponderables” within the UK economy. The comments from Ben Broadbent, an ally of the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), were published in an interview in mid-Ju...
  • The Consensus View

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    With the hung parliament following the UK election result - it turns out that there isn’t a consensus view!   But perhaps what the UK now has is a parliament that better reflects more of the views of the UK people, a generally well diversified bunch.  So what does this mean for investment markets? When you take a much wider view, considering the gl...
  • US election – the outcome and implications for the UK economy

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    With Republican candidate Donald Trump defying both the polls and expectations across the globe and convincingly winning the US election over Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton, 2016 will undoubtedly go down as the year of the political upset. The US dollar took a considerable hit after Trump’s victory was confirmed, but bounced back to a thirteen-...
  • George Osborne uses Autumn Statement to spell out clear policy messages

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    According to George Osborne’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review, we all look set to face a galvanised HMRC, with an increased war chest for tackling tax evasion and avoidance. The Chancellor believes £5bn of additional revenue is expected to be raised by his new range of initiatives. Measures are planned to introduce new penalties for the Genera...
  • The Autumn Statement 2015 Overview

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    Just over four months ago, George Osborne delivered his second Budget of 2015, following the Conservative Party’s outright victory in the May general election. At that moment, the view from 11, Downing Street must have looked remarkably pleasant. Osborne’s handling of the economy was widely credited with playing a large – if not pivotal – part in t...
  • November Market Commentary

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    Introduction Well, what a splendid month October was, with all the major world stock markets that we cover in this Bulletin skipping merrily upwards. Germany and China led the way with gains of 12% and 11% respectively, and if you only looked at the figures you’d be quite justified in thinking that everything in the world economic garden was rosy....
  • October Market Commentary

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    The end of September, and the end of the third quarter of 2015 – a quarter which, as all the financial press reported, was the worst for global equities since 2011. As CNBC put it: A sustained collapse in commodity prices, China’s stunning market rout followed by its shocking currency devaluation as well as fears of a Greek default and a US interes...
  • September Market Commentary

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    Introduction “Markets can fall as well as rise…” Never was that statement more true than in August, when virtually all the major world markets headed down, led by the plunging stock market in China. It became virtually impossible to watch a news bulletin without seeing a shell-shocked fund manager or a weeping private investor. It is, however, impo...
  • How the Summer Budget changed the landscape for SMEs

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    Those who listened to the Summer Budget on 8th July for news affecting small businesses will no doubt have been glad to see corporation tax slashed and the employment allowance increased, but an article recently published by KPMG asked, did the Summer Budget go far enough in announcing measures to help small businesses grow? In the lead up to the...
  • August Market Commentary

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    July was a dramatic month. Greece held a referendum and emphatically rejected the austerity package offered by its creditors. Motor-cycle riding Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis resigned,  calling the creditors “terrorists”, and the new finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, was seen going into yet another final, final crisis meeting with his negoti...
  • July Market Commentary

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    An essential part of writing this bulletin each month is making daily notes on the main business and stock market news. This month we have comfortably broken our record – more than six pages of notes. And as you might expect, about half of those pages are about Greece and its debts. ‘An agreement was in sight’ on the debt repayment – but then the f...
  • Second 2015 Budget Announced for 8th July

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    Chancellor George Osborne has surprised voters, political and business leaders alike by announcing that he will take the unusual step of delivering a second 2015 Budget on 8th July, just one hundred and twelve days after the Budget of 18th March. With an Autumn Statement also due later in the year, the second Budget will mean the Chancellor will de...
  • Market Commentary from Guy Baker

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    There are three things going on in the markets right now. First, most of us know that long term performance smooths out short term volatility. By definition, weekly, monthly, or quarterly data will always be more volatile than the long term trend. Go back to the 1980s or 1990s, when real GDP growth was 4%, a “slow” quarter was 2%. But today, our Pl...
  • 2015 Budget Preview

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      It’s only two months ago – on December 3rd – that Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivered his Autumn Statement. But we’re now just a few weeks away from his last Budget before the General Election, which will be held on May 7th. When Osborne delivered his Autumn Statement he was relatively optimistic. Britain was recovering from...
  • Christmas Shoppers leave it later than ever in important year for high street and online economies

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    Online shopping is booming and online retailers should brace themselves for the busiest December on record, as UK shoppers plan to leave their Christmas shopping later than ever. That’s the verdict from Experian, which revealed its predictions for the 2014 festive season this week. In 2013, ‘Manic Monday’ – 9th December 2013 – witnessed a huge spik...
  • Stock Market Falls – October 2014

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    On 3rd September this year, the FTSE 100 index briefly touched 6,898.62: this was within 52 points of the all-time high of 6,950 reached in the final trading session of 1999. Since then the FTSE has fallen significantly. At the time of writing this update, it stands at 6,367 – down more than 500 points (nearly 8%) from September 3rd. Not surprising...
  • The 8 most important points from the 2014 Budget

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    The Chancellor may have gone for the popular phrase from Chancellors of yore by taking ‘a penny off a pint’, but what were the real big announcements during The Budget 2014? We summarise the 8 main points: 1. Changes to pensions mean many more options than just buying an annuity In measures to be introduced in April 2015, pensioners will have compl...
  • Where do we go from here? Greece, the Eurozone and the future of the British Economy

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    I was never a fan of Mr. Brown as either Chancellor or Prime Minister, but he must be given enormous credit for one decision and that was to persuade Mr. Blair to drop the idea of Britain joining the Euro. I agree with the general consensus amongst political commentators and financial journalists that this will now never happen (or, at least, not i...