UK house price growth slows to two-year low

July 3rd, 2015

As per Nationwide’s latest report, house prices in the UK dropped 0.2% m-o-m in June, due to which the annual growth rate decelerated to 3.3% y-o-y from 4.6% y-o-y in May. However, the chief economist at the agency maintains that house prices are likely to be firm over the second half of the year amid improving activity. The agency expects prices to rise 6% y-o-y in 2015.

Carney raises concern over impact of Greek crisis

July 2nd, 2015

In the Bank of England’s financial stability report, Mark Carney warned against the impact of Greece exiting the Eurozone despite the UK’s limited exposure to the country. He expects the contagion to spread to other countries where the UK has higher exposure and may prompt a greater market adjustment that would test the market liquidity.

UK GDP for Q1 2015 revised upwards

July 1st, 2015

According to the Office for National statistics, UK’s GDP growth for Q1 2015 was revised to 2.9% y-o-y from 2.4%. On a q-o-q basis, the GDP growth was revised to 0.4% from the previous 0.3%. The improvement was primarily led by a 4.5% rise in real household disposable income during the quarter.

Consumer confidence in UK rises to 15-year high: GfK

June 30th, 2015

According to a GfK survey, the UK’s consumer confidence index jumped to +7 in June from +1 in May, the largest gain in a year. The rise was primarily ascribed to wage growth and lowest inflation in last 50 years that boosted the disposable income in recent months.

Capital controls imposed in Greece; banks to remain closed

June 29th, 2015

After the breakdown of talks between Greece and its lenders, the ECB froze essential funding to the country’s banks. This forced Greece’s government to shut down the financial system, including banks, and impose a cash withdrawal restriction of €60 per day.

Cameron kicks off renegotiations for UK’s EU membership

June 26th, 2015

Yesterday, British Prime Minister James Cameron pitched a new deal to the European Union leaders to continue the country’s membership in the single currency bloc. However, the proposal was overshadowed by discussion over the impending Greece issue and the migration crisis.

Mortgage approvals in UK rise in May 2015: BBA

June 25th, 2015

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) stated mortgage approvals for house purchases climbed to 42,530 in May 2015, a 14-month high, vis-à-vis 42,020 in April 2015. The approvals were up 4% y-o-y. The rise in approvals indicates the housing market continues to perform well after the general election in May.

UK factory order index at two-year low: CBI

June 24th, 2015

According to the Confederation of British Industry’s survey, total order book balance fell to -7 in June, the lowest since July 2013, from -5 in May. The agency cited weak demand for export orders due to a stronger pound as the primary reason for the decline. However, the index remained above its long-run average of -15.

Greece close to signing debt deal

June 23rd, 2015

Yesterday, the Eurozone’s finance ministers in Brussels welcomed the latest reform package from Greece, which comprises cuts in the pension bill and includes raising additional money from VAT. The European leaders may sign a deal this Thursday, which could avert Greece’s exit from the Eurozone and a debt default on payments.

Emergency summit in Brussels to decide Greece’s future

June 22nd, 2015

The Eurozone leaders are expected to hold an emergency summit today after the breakdown of cash-for-reforms agreement at talks in Luxembourg on Thursday. The meeting is being held to avert a Greek default on crucial repayments to the IMF due by the end of this month.

Norway reduces interest rates

June 19th, 2015

Norges Bank, Norway’s central bank, cut its main interest rate to a record low of 1.0% from 1.25%. The move was widely expected as the country’s economic outlook deteriorated due to a decline in oil prices. The central bank plans to maintain inflation near its target of 2.5%.

BoE unanimously votes to keep interest rates unchanged

June 18th, 2015

The minutes of the Bank of England (BoE)’s Monetary Policy Committee ended 3rd June indicated policymakers voted 9-0 to keep interest rates unchanged at 0.5%. The report stated the UK’s monetary policy would be determined by inflation in the country and would not rely on the actions of other central banks.

House price growth in UK decelerates in May: ONS

June 17th, 2015

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), house price growth in the UK slowed to 5.5% y-o-y in May after a 9.6% gain in April. The average house price increased 5.8% in England and 2.2% in Scotland, whereas it declined 4.3% in London, its lowest since October 2012.

Mario Draghi advices Greece to make the first move

June 16th, 2015

European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi stated the ‘ball lies firmly with the Greek government’ to make the first move following the collapse of bailout negotiations with its international creditors. He stated that a strong and comprehensive agreement was the need of the hour. ECB has extended around €118bn to Greek banks in 2015.

UK asking house prices soar in June: Rightmove

June 15th, 2015

According to property tracking website Rightmove, the asking price per home in the UK jumped 3.0% to £294,351 in June 2015, after shedding 0.1% in May. On y-o-y basis, the house prices gained 4.5%, following a 2.5% rise in the previous month.

IMF quits Greece negotiations in Brussels

June 12th, 2015

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) abandoned the negotiations over the Greece bailout in Brussels after major differences with the country. The IMF is upset over the bundling of all four debt repayments for the month and Greece’s stance on pensions and labour market reforms. In the absence of a deal, Greece is likely to default on its over €1.5bn debt repayment to the IMF.

House price balance in UK rises in May: RICS

June 11th, 2015

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) stated that the expectations for house prices rose to +34 in May, the highest since August 2014, from +32 in April. The gain was primarily ascribed to the absence of sellers in the market, with property availability per surveyor at its lowest since 1978, the release informed.

UK trade deficit narrows in April: ONS

June 10th, 2015

According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK’s trade deficit in April narrowed to £1.2bn from an upwardly revised £3.1bn in March. Export volumes in April rose 4.8%, the largest increase since September 2014. Meanwhile, the deficit of £8.6bn in goods was somewhat offset by surplus of around £7.4bn on services.

Retail sales in UK recover in May

June 9th, 2015

The British Retail Consortium stated the value of total retail sales increased 1.1% y-o-y in May 2015 after a 1.3% decline in April. The rise reflected an expansion in the domestic housing market and an improvement in furniture sales, along with the stabilisation of food sales.

CBI trims growth outlook for UK

June 8th, 2015

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) downgraded its growth forecast for the UK to 2.4% from 2.7% for 2015 and to 2.5% from 2.6% for 2016. The agency warned against further risks to the economy in view of the Greek crisis and the ambiguity over the EU referendum that may delay investment spending.

Fed should consider raising interest rates in 2016: IMF

June 5th, 2015

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged the US Federal Reserve to wait until 2016 to raise interest rates. The agency said that despite continued growth and job creation in the US, conditions are still not suitable for a rate hike.

OECD cuts global growth forecast

June 4th, 2015

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said it expects the global economy to grow at a slower pace of 3.1% in 2015 compared with the previous forecast of 3.6%. The agency also slashed the growth estimate for 2016 to 3.8% from 3.9%. The revisions are largely ascribed to weak investments and subdued growth in the first quarter.

Creditors draft final offer for Greece

June 3rd, 2015

International creditors have presented Greece with a draft final offer to break long-winded negotiations. It is interesting to note that on Monday, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras submitted his own separate proposal to the creditors. The country is required to repay about €1.25 bn to the IMF this month.

Beaufort Smaller AIM Companies EIS Fund on – 29/05/2015

June 2nd, 2015

Taniver Malik and Jon Levinson of Beaufort Securities discuss the newly launched Beaufort Smaller AIM Companies EIS Fund with Zak Mir on – 29/05/2015

Germany, France, along with other lenders, agree to work closely on Greece’s debt

June 2nd, 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, along with the leaders of international creditor institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission, have agreed to work closely on Greece’s debt. Greece is due to make a €300m repayment to the IMF on Friday.

Greece may reach a deal this week: Oettinger

June 1st, 2015

Germany’s EU Commissioner Guenter Oettinger expects Greece and its creditors to reach a deal by the end of this week. His comments immediately followed Greece missing a self-imposed Sunday deadline for reaching an agreement to unlock aid. Meanwhile, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras blamed the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund for their absurd proposals and uncompromising approach to reach a deal.

Gfk consumer confidence in UK slips

May 29th, 2015

Gfk Consumer Confidence Index in the UK fell 3 points to +1 in May from +4 in April. In addition, the optimism over the economic situation and the personal finance prospects also lowered. The decline in the confidence stems from a lack of public faith in the economic prospects under a Conservative government, the Gfk said.

Queen delineates British PM’s EU referendum plan

May 28th, 2015

Queen Elizabeth outlined the referendum plans set by Cameron’s Conservative government, highlighting that the UK would renegotiate its relationship with the European Union for the benefit of all member states. A law facilitating a referendum, to take place by the end of 2017, is expected to be introduced in the parliament today.

UK retail sales surges in May: CBI

May 27th, 2015

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI)’s retail sales balance climbed to +51 in May, much ahead of April’s +12; the expected sales balance for June increased to +58. Meanwhile, the overall business situation reading improved to +20. The rise was ascribed to low inflation, which boosted consumer spending power.

Greece’s reform proposals inadequate: Blanchard

May 26th, 2015

IMF’s chief economist Olivier Blanchard informed that Greece’s reform plans to ensure a 3% budget surplus are insufficient as the most recent projections indicate a considerable budget deficit. He added that several structural issues need to be fixed. Greece is in negotiations with its international creditors to unlock €7.2bn in bailout cash.