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Found 5 results

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36273448 The Bank of England has given its starkest warning yet that a UK vote to leave the EU could hit the economy. Mark Carney, the Bank's governor, warned that the risks of leaving "could possibly include a technical recession". Prime Minister David Cameron said the warning amounted to "a very clear message" of the dangers of Brexit. Vote Leave campaigners have strongly criticised Mr Carney, with one calling for him to resign. However, a spokesman for Mr Carney rejected the call, saying the Bank had "a duty" to make its judgements known. The latest minutes from the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) said that a leave vote may cause both growth and sterling to fall and unemployment to rise. Mr Carney said the Bank had not compiled formal forecasts about the possibility of a recession - defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth - resulting from a Brexit vote. Chancellor George Osborne said the UK now had a "clear and unequivocal warning" from the MPC as well as the Governor of the Bank of England about the risks of a Leave vote, "The Bank is saying that it would face a trade-off between stabilising inflation on one hand and stabilising output and employment on the other," he said. "So either families would face lower incomes because inflation would be higher, or the economy would be weaker with a hit to jobs and livelihoods. This is a lose-lose situation for Britain. Either way, we'd be poorer." Jacob Rees Mogg, a Tory MP and Treasury Select Committee member, called on Mr Carney to resign. "I think it is unprecedented for the governor of a central bank to suggest that people should short his own currency. Suggesting sterling will fall sharply is simply not what responsible central bankers do," he said. Former Work and Pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith said that Mr Carney needed to be "very careful" about making such comments. Lord Lamont, the former Chancellor and Vote Leave spokesman, said: "The governor should be careful that he doesn't cause a crisis. If his unwise words become self-fulfilling, the responsibility will be the governor's and the governor's alone. A prudent governor would simply have said that 'we are prepared for all eventualities'." In response, a spokesman for Mr Carney said: "The Bank of England has not made, and will not make, any overall assessment of the economics of UK's membership of the European Union. "At the same time, the Bank must assess the implications of the UK's EU membership for our ability to achieve our core objectives and we have a duty to report our evidence-based judgments to Parliament and to the public. That is the fundamental standard of an open and transparent central bank. "Assessing and reporting major risks does not mean becoming involved in politics; rather it would be political to suppress important judgments which relate directly to the Bank's remits and which influence our policy actions." The Bank's latest quarterly Inflation Report, released on Thursday, predicted that economic growth would slow in the second quarter of the year, but pick up in the second half. It also cut the growth outlook for the next three years. The report also forecast that inflation would reach 0.9% in September if long as the UK stayed in the EU. The MPC unanimously voted to keep interest rates at 0.5%. Analysis: Kamal Ahmed, economics editor In the Bank of England's assessment of the health of the UK economy, one ringing sentence jumps out: "The most significant risks to the [economic] forecast concern the referendum," the Monetary Policy Committee says. It goes on to reveal that far from this simply being a judgement on what Bank officials describe as the "uncertainty spike" around the fact the referendum is taking place at all - this is a judgement that Brexit would have a material effect on the economy. In a Bank world of carefully chosen words, "material" means significant. And significantly downwards. Read more from Kamal here. The Inflation Report said that uncertainty over the EU referendum was already weighing on economic activity: "There is evidence that a material proportion of the 9% fall in sterling exchange rate since its peak in November could reflect referendum effects. "It is hard to judge how much of the slowdown reflects a loss of underlying momentum and so may persist and how much is likely to unwind if uncertainty recedes following the referendum. Referendum effects will also make it harder to interpret economic indicators over the next few months." Nick Stamenkovic, strategist at RIA Capital Markets, said: "The clear message of the Bank of England is that they are in no hurry to do anything until they assess the impact of the outcome of the referendum on the economy." However, the inflation report noted that in the event of a leave vote, the MPC would face the difficult choice of raising rates to control inflation or lowering them to stimulate the economy. The Report said that inflation probably fell back to 0.3% in April from 0.5% in March, reflecting the falls in oil and food prices over the last year and the strength of sterling in the same period. It expected inflation to return to the target 2% level by mid-2018 as these factors faded out. Carney is Toast. NI numbers prompt row over 1.2m EU 'immigration gap' http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36271390 BBC Assistant Political Editor Norman Smith said "there is a real row brewing" over the figures and one pro-Leave Tory MP had told him "the letters demanding Mr Cameron's resignation were already going in to the chairman of the 1922 Committee" - the powerful committee of backbench Tory MPs. Cameron is Toast.
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36266178 UK industry fell back into recession as it shrank for the second quarter in a row, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It is the third time UK industry has been in recession in eight years. Although industrial production rose 0.3% from February to March, it fell 0.4% both in the first three months of 2016 and in the last three of 2015. Compared with a year ago, manufacturing production in the first quarter fell 1.9%, the biggest fall since 2013. The biggest fall in output came from the basic iron and steel sector which saw production drop in March by 37.3% percent compared with a year earlier. However, the oil and gas industries saw sharp gains, increasing production 17% in February, and 10.9% in March from the same months a year earlier. Manufacturing and construction is proving to be a drag on the whole economy, helping slow UK economic growth from 0.6% in the last three months of 2015 to 0.4% between January and March, according to the ONS. Weaker growthEarlier this month a survey by Markit/CIPS also showed manufacturing contracting. Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit said: "The goods-producing sector therefore looks to be on course to act as a drag on the economy again in the second quarter, contributing to a slowing in economic growth to near-stagnation. "Growth could be even weaker if the surveys disappoint in coming month, which seems probable given the intensifying uncertainty over the outcome of the EU referendum." Despite this, economist Ruth Miller from Capital Economics is optimistic for the rest of the year. She said: "We still expect things to look up as the year progresses. Sterling's recent depreciation and our expectations that global growth will pick up slightly in 2016 should allow the sector to return to modest growth later this year."
  3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-36093072 A dilapidated beach hut on a north Wales beach has sold at auction for an eye-watering £153,000. The wooden building is at Abersoch on the Llŷn Peninsula in Gwynedd. Measuring just 13ft by 9ft, it has no electricity or water - and you are banned from sleeping in it overnight. For the same price just a few miles away you could snap-up a two-bedroom house in the village of Llanbedrog - or even a seven-bedroom terraced house at Tywyn across Cardigan Bay. "It's certainly the highest price ever achieved for a beach hut in Abersoch," remarked Tony Webber, auction surveyor at Beresford Adams Countrywide Auctions. "It's quite incredible. We had two very determined bidders, both from the Cheshire area, who were bidding separately. They were very determined to buy it." The auctioneers said the hut is "in need of some TLC" - but does include part of the beach in front of the hut into the sea. The previous record for the beach huts on the Abersoch sands was £70,000 in 2008.
  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36070761 The chancellor said "it would be the poorest" who would be most affected by an EU exit, citing people whose jobs "depend" on the car plants and steel making factories. "They are the people whose incomes would go down, whose house prices would fall, whose job prospects would weaken, they are the people who always suffer when the country takes an economic wrong turn," he said. I say bring it on.
  5. Bloomberg 27/ 8/ 14 'Rallies from Brazil to Japan and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s first trip above 2,000 sent the value of global equities to a record $66 trillion. Shares worldwide added more than $2.2 trillion in value since Aug. 7, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Optimism that central banks will support economic growth sent the MSCI All-Country World Index up 3.8 percent from its low this month. It was little changed at 9:40 a.m. in New York today. The S&P 500 has risen for 10 of the last 13 days and the Nasdaq Composite Index is about 10 percent from an all-time high. Global markets are surmounting crises in Ukraine, the Gaza Strip and Iraq as investors renew bets that stimulus will revive growth. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index posted its biggest two-day gain since April after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled policy makers may consider introducing an asset-buying plan. Japan’s Topix index is near its highest level since January, rebounding from losses earlier this year. “Geopolitical events are significant and major new attacks are tragic, but they’re not enough to unsettle the global economic forces in play, especially in America,” said Patrick Spencer, head of U.S. equity sales at Robert W. Baird & Co. in London. “Draghi gave clear indication that he’s standing ready with further measures to stimulate growth and that’s helping overall sentiment. The S&P 500 has climbed 0.6 percent over the past two days, closing at 2,000.02 yesterday, after data added to signs the economy is strengthening. U.S. durable-goods orders jumped by the most on record last month and consumer confidence climbed in August to the highest level in almost seven years.' Bloomberg 30/6/14 'Federal Reserve officials, concerned that selling bonds from their $4.3 trillion portfolio could crush the U.S. recovery, are preparing to keep their balance sheet close to record levels for years. Central bankers are stepping back from a three-year-old strategy for an exit from the unprecedented easing they deployed to battle the worst recession since the Great Depression. Minutes of their last meeting in April made no mention of asset sales.' It's a relief that they haven't made the mistake of measuring economic success in terms of household incomes, participation rates and debt.
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