Archive forJanuary, 2015

UK consumer confidence bounces back in January

Gfk Survey’s headline index, indicating UK consumer morale, increased to +1 in January from a reading of -4 in December. The major purchases index also climbed to +5, suggesting that Britons were more optimistic about their personal financial outlook.

Mark Carney endorses fiscal union in Eurozone

The Bank of England’s Governor Mark Carney called for the formation of a fiscal union in the Eurozone to support a comprehensive, coherent plan for the region’s economic recovery. He further added that the bold monetary policy actions may not be sufficient for a revival.

UK banks sanction fewer mortgages in December

The British Bankers’ Association revealed mortgages for house purchase in the UK fell to 35,667 in December compared with 36,657 in November. The December reading was the lowest since 2013.

UK interest rates may rise earlier than expected

According to the Bank of England’s rate setter Kristin Forbes, there is a high probability of inflation rising ahead of expectations, leading to an earlier-than-anticipated hike in interest rates. Falling oil prices and robust growth in the US may drive consumption in the UK.

Leftist party Syriza sweeps Greece elections

Today, the left-leaning Syriza Party won the Greek national elections through a decisive mandate. The victory could put Greece in a possible collision with the European troika (EU, ECB and IMF) over the renegotiation of repayment of the US$325bn bailout funds. The election results are likely to add uncertainty to the Eurozone.

CBI expects weaker exports in the next three months

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) industrial trends survey showed a balance decline to +1 in January from +9 in the previous survey in August. The total book balance fell to +4 in January compared with +5 in December.

U.S., U.K. Drive Late 2015 Rate Hikes: Michael Franklin on Bloomberg’s “On the Move”, 21st September 2015

Michael Franklin, chief investment strategist at Beaufront Securities, talks with Manus Cranny about expectations for global rate moves in 2015 and his concerns for equity markets. He speaks on “On The Move.” (Source: Bloomberg) – 21/01/2015

UK households optimistic over financial prospects

The Markit household finance survey, a measure of financial well-being for the next one year, revealed the index rose to 45.6 in January from 43.2 in December, inching closer to the 50 mark that separates pessimism from optimism.

Former BOE governor doubts effectiveness of QE programme

Mervyn King, former Bank of England governor, raised concerns that further monetary stimulus programmes by the ECB may not be of much help to the struggling Eurozone. He indicated the huge trade surpluses in China and Germany as well as the low saving rate in the UK may curb the effectiveness of the QE programme.

IMF downgrades global growth forecast for 2015-16

Yesterday, the IMF released the World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update that projected an economic expansion of 3.5% in 2015 and 3.7% in 2016. The organisation warned that poor growth prospects in prominent economies may offset the positive impact of the lower oil prices. The October forecast for 2015 and 2016 stood at 3.8% and 4.0% respectively.

UK house prices improve in January

Rightmove, a property tracking website, revealed the average asking price in the UK increased 1.4% m-o-m in January after an upwardly revised 2.2% contraction in December. The house prices rose 8.2% y-o-y compared with a 7.0% y-o-y gain in the previous month.

IMF chief warns of lacklustre economic growth

Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, stated that a stronger US economy and cheaper energy are not sufficient to accelerate the global growth. Majority of the countries suffer from high debt and unemployment, whereas many companies are cutting back investments, she added. However, the chief praised the UK economy, calling it one of the global growth drivers.

UK house price growth eases in December

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors stated the monthly house price balance fell to +11 in December from +13 in November. The agency ascribed the slowdown to tighter lending rules, taxation and the upcoming national election.

World Bank trims global GDP growth outlook

In view of the discouraging economic prospects in the Eurozone, Japan and other emerging economies, the World Bank lowered its global growth forecast to 3.0% for 2015 from 3.4%, as estimated in June 2014. The bank also cut its global GDP growth estimate for 2016 to 3.3% from 3.5% predicted earlier.

UK retail sales decline in December

According to data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), retail spending increased 1.0% y-o-y in December vis-à-vis a 2.2% gain in November. The consortium ascribed the lower growth in sales to the Black Friday discount offered in November. Considering the lower prices, retail sales volume grew 2.6% y-o-y in December, the BRC mentioned.

UK’s Q4 GDP growth eases to 0.6%: NIESR

National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) estimated the UK’s GDP growth slowed to 0.6% from October-December, following a reading of 0.7% for the three months to September. As per the release, the economy grew 2.6% in 2014 compared with 1.7% in 2013.

UK house price growth eases in December

As per mortgage lender Halifax, annual growth in house prices in the UK slowed to 7.8%y-o-y at the end of December from 8.1% in November. The average house price stood at £188,858 in December 2014 vis-à-vis £ 187,197 in November 2014. For 2015, the growth in house prices is estimated at 3%-5%.

Merkel confident of Greece’s position in Eurozone

Yesterday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her certainty about Greece upholding its commitments. Merkel backed Greece for abiding by the bailout terms of other Eurozone governments.

Fall in UK shop prices decelerates in December

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), UK shop prices declined 1.7% y-o-y in December compared with a 1.9% fall in November. Food prices inched up 0.1% after dropping 0.2% in the previous month. The survey reflects price changes in over 500 products.

Eurozone investor confidence rises in January

According to a survey by Sentix, the Eurozone investor confidence index improved to 0.9 in January from negative 2.5 in December. Meanwhile the expectations index climbed to 13.5 from 12 and the current situation index climbed to -11 from -16.

Euro hits nine-year low as ECB prepares stimulus scheme

The euro fell to its weakest since 2006 against dollar, amid speculations the ECB is moving towards a large-scale bond buying programme. Heightened concerns over Greece’s political situation also impacted the currency.