UK retail Sales June – slow death on the high street

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Household goods store volumes were down by 3.7% but non store retail sales particularly on line internet sales were up by 24%. Retail is facing a “disruptive” challenge from the swing to more “clicks than bricks” in consumer buying patterns. Internet retail sales volumes accounted 9.9% of all transactions compared to 6.8% in June last year.
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Public Sector Borrowing in June – are we heading back to the brink of bankruptcy?

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Next week the GDP estimates for the second quarter will be released. They will make dismal reading with growth year on year likely to be less than 1%. The economy is slowing, the public finances are not recovering as planned, essential imports continue, there is no net export growth, no march of the makers, no rebalancing of the economy, we are a few steps further away from the brink of bankruptcy but the precipice is still in sight.
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UK Trade deficit : Jabberwocks, Jormungands and J Curves – but no march of the makers

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Florence Nightingale would say of hospitals, the first requirement is they should do the sick no harm. The same should be demanded of economists in relation to the economy. The trade situation is not getting any better. This May trade figures are a further blow to lovers of devaluation and the J curve everywhere.
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UK manufacturing in May – March of the Makers – getting out of step

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The May figures are not that bad but we have to be realistic. There is no real march of the makers set to rebalance the economy. Manufacturing has recovered by just 7.7% from the low in August 2009. It is still down by 9% from the peak in February 2008. It is more of a regrouping than a march, a recovery of sorts but still a long way off the top. Like falling off a cliff and waking from a coma. There is still much to be done to get back to where we were.
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UK trade figures – the J curve is down the U bend ..

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The trade (in goods) figures this week dashed the hopes of analysts and policy makers hoping for a rebalancing of the economy to export growth. Exports surged by 17% in the final quarter of the year but so did imports up by 18.5%. As a result the trade deficit ballooned to over £26 billion compared to just £21 billion in the final quarter of 2009. Rebalancing the economy, “waiting for the day the boats no longer come in” will be as probable as Miss Haversham’s trip to the registry office. It is time for the Old Lady to take off the cobwebbed wedding dress, dust off the cake and get out more.
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UK Consumer confidence slumps … were they all in Newcastle on Tuesday

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According to the latest GfK NOP survey, consumer confidence slumped in January as households worried about economic prospects for the year ahead. Household spending will be under pressure in 2011 as real incomes fall and discretionary income will be further squeezed by the January VAT increase.
The Bank of England still believes inflation will fall to target as the soup kitchens undermine retail food prices. And the Governor, still believes the economy is rebalancing towards net exports and away from consumption.
As a result of inflation and low earnings, real wages will be no higher than in 2005 and “one has to go back to the 1920’s when real wages fell over a period of six years.” said the Governor. As Tolstoy or Macmillan may have said “you’ve never had it so bad”. It certainly didn’t sound good.
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UK Consumer confidence slumps as they hear from the Governor …

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According to the latest GfK NOP survey, consumer confidence slumped in January as households worried about economic prospects for the year ahead. Household spending will be under pressure in 2011 as real incomes fall and discretionary income will be further squeezed by the January VAT increase.
The Bank of England still believes inflation will fall to target as the soup kitchens undermine retail food prices. And the Governor, still believes the economy is rebalancing towards net exports and away from consumption.
As a result of inflation and low earnings, real wages will be no higher than in 2005 and “one has to go back to the 1920’s when real wages fell over a period of six years.” said the Governor. As Tolstoy or Macmillan may have said “you’ve never had it so bad”. It certainly didn’t sound good.
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UK GDP up 2.8% in the third quarter, at last a recovery worth killing?

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UK GDP grew by a 2.8% in the third quarter year on year following 1.6% growth in the second quarter. The economy is on track to post growth in the full year of over 1.6%. For the spending review, the economy will recover despite government policy. Cerdic the Saxon king said of King Arthur “finally, a man worth killing”. The Chancellor appears to have discovered a recovery of similar ilk. JKA.
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