Economic trends

Insight / Business confidence wilts under Brexit pressure

UK economic confidence improved a little at the start of the year, but remains lower than many other countries worldwide, according to research from ACCA and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)

Insight / Economic trends: policymakers start to grasp gloomier outlook

The UK economic outlook has darkened with risks shifting increasingly to the downside. Importantly, Brexit uncertainty plays an important part in this, but is by no means the only factor, says Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit

Insight / Economic trends: Brexit burn dampens investment

Ongoing uncertainty about a post-Brexit business landscape is creating a subdued market with less willingness to invest in listed companies with a UK focus, despite the FTSE All Share currently offering a dividend yield of around 4.5%, says Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown

Insight / Economic trends: legacy costs, care bill and public spending

Ben Zaranko, research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), argues that the spiralling costs of health, pensions and long-term care mean that future tax hikes are inevitable

Insight / Economic trends: impact of US-China trade war on UK exports

Martin Beck, senior economist at Oxford Economics, considers how a slowdown in US and Chinese economic growth caused by a trade war would affect the UK, and whether the current trade deficit means the domestic market is insulated from the risks

Insight / Economic trends: wages, unemployment and monetary policy

The short-term gains in wage growth may be limited by weak productivity and a low unemployment rate, suggests George Buckley, chief UK economist at Nomura

Insight / Economic trends: risky decision to raise interest rates

Raising interest rates amidst a climate of trade wars and stalling global trade is a high risk policy, particularly since the pace of economic growth is set to slow in the second half of 2018, argues Chris Williamson

Insight / Economic trends: Brexit jitters could change political status quo

Martin Beck, senior economist at Oxford Economics, considers the economic impact of a potential change of government, even under the scenario of a Labour-led coalition

Insight / Economic trends: it is time to transfer defined benefit pensions?

Nathan Long, senior pension analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, considers the pros and cons of defined benefit transfers for pension holders

Accounting / Economic trends: council funding system faces overhaul

David Phillips and Neil Amin-Smith, economists at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) examine the plans for radical overhaul of the council funding system, the impact of the funding pilot on local authoritiy spending and question whether it is creating fairer distribution of funds for local authorities

Insight / Economic trends: inflation and the disappearing Phillips Curve

The lack of inflationary pressure is something of a puzzle for economists as conventional patterns based on the accepted theory of the Phillips Curve are not playing out as expected, explains George Buckley, chief UK economist at Nomura

Insight / Economic trends: juggling global growth and long-term issues

The jobs-rich growth pattern is masking underlying risks for higher inflation and longer term issues, warns Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit

Insight / Economic trends: productivity levels shows signs of improvement

Although the UK’s productivity is showing signs of improvement, over-optimism can lead to errors in forecasts, warns Martin Beck, senior economist at Oxford Economics

Insight / Economic trends: investors are too cautious

Despite a strong stock market, investors are increasingly pessimistic, but is this really just a defence mechanism, asks Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown

Insight / Economic trends: long-term wage stagnation

The downgrade to the growth forecast will hit productivity and keep average earnings at pre-2008 levels, worse than could have been predicted even back in 2010, warns Thomas Pope, research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies
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