Archive forOctober, 2015

Consumer confidence in UK falls to four-month low: GfK

As per a GfK survey, the UK’s consumer confidence index slipped to +2 in October from +3 in September, the lowest in four months. Slowdown in construction and manufacturing led to the decrease in confidence.

Eurozone’s leading index remains unchanged in September

As per a survey by the Conference Board, the Eurozone leading economic index remained flat in September, after a 0.2% rise in August. The index has shown no major movements in the past six months indicating weak possibility of improvement in economic activity.

UK Economic Growth Eases in Third Quarter

As per the Office for National Statistics, UK’s GDP grew 0.5% q-o-q in Q3 2015, after increasing 0.7% in Q2 2015. On y-o-y basis, the economy expanded at 2.3% as compared to 2.4% in the previous quarter. The slowdown was mainly due to sluggish performance in the construction and manufacturing sectors.

UK Industrial Order Book Balance at Three-year Low

According to the Confederation of British Industry, the industrial order book balance in the UK declined to -8 in the three months to October, the lowest since October 2012, from +9 in the previous quarter. Additionally, the export orders balance for the past three months dropped to -17, the weakest since October 2012.

China reduces interest rate and bank reserve ratio

The PBOC cut its one-year benchmark bank lending rate by 25 basis points to 4.35%, the sixth reduction in less than a year. The bank also lowered the one-year benchmark deposit rate by 0.25% to 1.50%. Furthermore, the PBOC cut the reserve requirement ratio by 0.5% to 17.5%. The rate cuts were primarily carried out to boost China’s slowing economy.

UK retail sales grow in September

As per data from the Office for National Statistics, retail sales in the UK rose 6.5% y-o-y in September, the fastest since December 2013, following a 3.5% increase in August. The improvement in sales was mainly led by a fall in store prices and the Rugby World Cup.

UK public finances improve in September

As per data from the Office for National Statistics, UK’s public borrowing fell to £9.4bn in September 2015 from £11bn in September 2014, below economists’ expectations of £10.1bn. For the six months between April and September, public sector net borrowing stood at £46.3bn, 13.6% lower than a year ago. The decrease in borrowing was mainly due to an increase in tax receipts.

Lending conditions for businesses improve in Q3 2015: ECB

According to a survey conducted by the European Central Bank (ECB), lending conditions for businesses eased in Q3 2015, whereas those for house purchases tightened. Furthermore, credit conditions on consumer credit and other lending to households improved.

Eurozone construction output slips in August

As per data from the Eurostat, the Eurozone’s construction output fell 0.2% m-o-m in August, after a 0.4% increase in July. On y-o-y basis, construction output dropped 6.0%, following a 0.3% fall in July. Slovakia, the UK and Slovenia reported the largest monthly dip in output.

UK asking house prices improve in September: Rightmove

As per property tracking website Rightmove, the asking price per home in the UK rose 0.6% to £296,549 in October 2015, following a 0.9% increase in September. On y-o-y basis, house prices rose 5.6%, after jumping 6.4% in the previous month.

US inflation falls in September

As per the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, consumer price index in the US fell 0.2% m-o-m in September, the biggest drop in the last eight months. This followed a 0.1% decline in August. On y-o-y basis, prices remained flat in September, after a 0.2% rise in August.

Unemployment rate in UK reaches seven-year low

As per the Office for National Statistics, the unemployment rate in the UK fell to 5.4% in the three months ended August 2015, the lowest since Q2 2008, from 5.5% in the three months ended July 2015. Furthermore, the number of employed people increased 140,000, resulting in the employment rate rising to 73.6%, the highest since 1971.

Inflation in the UK falls below zero in September

As per the Office for National Statistics, the UK’s CPI declined 0.1% m-o-m in September, dropping below zero for the second time this year after April, following a 0.2% rise in August. On a y-o-y basis, the prices fell 0.1% after a flat reading in the previous month. The inflation ended in the negative territory due to low fuel and clothing prices.

Retail sales in UK increase in September: BRC

As per the British Retail Consortium (BRC), like-for-like sales grew 2.6% y-o-y in September, after a 1.0% decline in August. The upside was supported by a holiday weekend and the Rugby World Cup in September. Retail sales grew 2.2% y-o-y in the third quarter, following a 1.1% rise in the second quarter.

UK construction output falls in August

As per the Office for National Statistics, construction output in the UK fell 4.3% m-o-m in August, marking the sharpest drop since late 2012. The output had declined 1.0% in July. Meanwhile, the trade deficit narrowed to £3.3bn in August from £4.4bn in July.

BoE maintains interest rate

The Monetary Policy Committee of BoE retained its benchmark interest rate at 0.5%, voting 8-1 in favour of maintaining the rates. The rates have remained unchanged since March 2009 and matched market expectations.

UK house price balance eases in September

As per the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the monthly house price balance in the UK fell to +44 in September from +53 in August, below the market expectation of +55. The drop was largely due to a decline in the sale of properties despite a large number of properties being available in the market.

Shop prices in UK fall in September

As per the British Retail Consortium (BRC), shop prices in the UK declined 1.9% y-o-y in September after a 1.4% drop in August. Food prices fell 0.5%, while non-food prices dropped 2.9% in September.

UK’s services PMI falls lowest in two and a half years

According to survey results from Markit, the UK’s services PMI slipped for the third consecutive month to 53.3 in September from 55.6 in August, its lowest in two and a half years. Furthermore, the all-sector PMI fell to 53.9 in September from 55.4 in August, recording its lowest since April 2013.

World Bank lowers Asia’s growth forecast

The World Bank trimmed its 2015, 2016 and 2017 growth forecast for East Asia-Pacific to 6.5%, 6.4% and 6.3%, respectively. This is below the previously estimated growth of 6.7% in 2015 and 2016 and 6.6% in 2017. The agency informed that slower growth in China, falling commodity prices and uncertainty over interest rate hike by the Fed are some key reasons for the downgradation.

UK labour costs rise in second quarter

As per the data from Office for National Statistics, unit labour costs in the UK rose 2.2% y-o-y in Q2 2015, fastest rise since Q4 2012, from 0.5% in Q1 2015. Further, productivity output per hour grew 0.9% q-o-q in Q2 2015, the fastest rise since 2011.

UK’s current account deficit contracts in second quarter

As per data from the Office for National Statistics, the UK’s current account deficit narrowed to £16.8bn in Q2 2015 from £24bn in Q1 2015, mainly due to a £4.5bn rise in exports. The deficit in Q2 2015 was 3.6% of GDP vis-à-vis 5.2% in Q1 2015.