Unemployment Rises, Interests Rates Expected to Hold at 5.25%

New figures (based on a new methodology) from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show unemployment rose to 4.2% in three months to August. That’s up from 4% in the previous quarter. Suggesting the Bank’s repeated interest rate rises are slowing the economy…

Revised figures now indicate a reduced estimate for economic inactivity compared to previous data, with 20.9% of working-age adults reported as neither employed nor actively seeking employment during the most recent period. The government claims this simply demonstrates a reduction in economic inactivity by 250,000+ individuals since the peak of the pandemic, along with a decline in long-term unemployment. The Bank will meet next Thursday, the word in the City is that it will keep interest rates at 5.25%..

mdi-timer 24 October 2023 @ 10:35 24 Oct 2023 @ 10:35 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Headline Inflation Back Below Double Figures, Falling to 8.7%, Core Inflation Rises

Whilst Rishi Sunak faces a rough ride from his backbenchers over Suella’s future and the latest instalment of the Partygate saga, new inflation figures will provide him some welcome relief ahead of PMQs. Today’s release from the ONS puts inflation in the year to April at 8.7%. It’s the first time inflation has been in the single digits since August of last year.

With yesterday’s improved IMF forecasts, Rishi will no doubt be keen to reference the improved economic outlook. However, it’s not all good news for the Prime Minister. Despite April’s fall, inflation was above the Bank of England’s expectations – suggesting further interest rates rises could be on the cards. Food inflation also remained high, at 19.1%. Meanwhile core inflation, excluding food, alcohol, tobacco and energy, actually rose, from 6.2% to 6.8%, underlining the persistence of price rises. We’ve now got the highest rate of core inflation since March 1992.

Jeremy Hunt responded to the figures, saying:

“The IMF said yesterday we’ve acted decisively to tackle inflation but although it is positive that it is now in the single digits, food prices are still rising too fast… we must stick resolutely to the plan to get inflation down”.

If the IMF forecasts, for once, turn out to be correct, and inflation does keep falling, Rishi could be on course to deliver at least two of his pledges…


mdi-timer 24 May 2023 @ 08:35 24 May 2023 @ 08:35 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Inflation Defies Expectations to Remain in Double-Digits

Despite an expectation that it would fall into the single digits, inflation in the year to March has come in at 10.1%. This marks a dip of 0.3% since February. The unexpectedly low decrease was driven, in part, food inflation – which rose from 18.2% to 19.2% in March 2023 compared to February. Sticky inflation presents another challenge for Rishi and his promise to half inflation by year end. This is one number problem he expected to solve easily

mdi-timer 19 April 2023 @ 08:09 19 Apr 2023 @ 08:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Jolyon’s Transparency Victory and Legal Hyperactivity Boosts GDP

Stop the presses – Jolyon has won. Last night, the Kimono King’s Good Law Project announced they’d succeeded in getting the government to publish £248m missing Covid contracts in an apparent breach of its own transparency policy. The contracts relate to the ventilator procurement programme; the GLP say there are currently 29 missing in action. Now, after Jolyon once again threatened a judicial review, the Cabinet Office has admitted to a “regrettable oversight”, and vowed to publish the contracts by the end of this month:

“Our client is currently reviewing its compliance with the Transparency Policy in relation to the Contracts. As a result of this ongoing review, it has become apparent that information was not published in accordance with the Transparency Policy, which our client notes is a regrettable oversight. Consequently, our client will publish any outstanding information (subject to any redactions/exemptions that may apply) by 28 February 2023.”

He didn’t actually win in court, the government was reminded to do what it was supposed to do. Incidentally Guido is with Jolyon on these transparency initiatives – sunlight is the best disinfectant. By coincidence this morning’s news that Britain avoided recession was accompanied by analysis from the ONS who say the fall in output during December was “partially offset by a strong month for lawyers.” 

In many ways, Jolyon’s constant politicking via the courts has kept Britain out of recession. As a Treasury source joked to Guido:

“Joylon’s lost cause judicial reviews are swiftly becoming a key strategic industry. At this rate they’ll be eligible for investment reliefs.”

Another added:

“Separating gullible lefties from their money is a booming industry. See Steve Bray – he hasn’t had to work a day since 2016.”

For boosting the economy he’s a Joly-on good fellow…

mdi-timer 10 February 2023 @ 14:15 10 Feb 2023 @ 14:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Reeves’ Holiday from Economic Reality

Today’s GDP figures provided the smallest imaginable crumb of comfort to Jeremy Hunt, with the UK economy seeing an unexpected uptick in November of 0.1%, mainly thanks to Brits getting smashed during the world cup. We could drink ourselves into prosperity if we each put in the effort…

Naturally Labour honed in on the more negative picture from the quarter as a whole, with a 0.3% shrink in the three months to November. Rachel Reeves put out a statement shortly after the figures were published, slamming “another page in the book of failure that is the Tory record on growth.”

What Reeves didn’t mention is that the 0.3% fall in GDP was, as Reuters write, “driven by a 0.6% fall in output in September when many businesses closed to mark Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.”

Not only can the death of the sovereign and subsequent mourning period hardly be laid at the door of the current government, Rachel Reeves – indeed every sitting Labour MP – stood on a 2019 manifesto promising not one, not two but four extra bank holidays every year. Something Guido notes the cost of which were not included in Labour’s costings document that year…

mdi-timer 13 January 2023 @ 10:32 13 Jan 2023 @ 10:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Keir Facing Extinction

This morning the ONS 2021 baby names data was published. Guido’s been enjoying the annual tradition of seeing whether any politicians have inspired parents so much as to influence their birth certificate decisions. The main bad news comes for Sir Keir, whose name is now facing extinction levels. In 2019, there were 15 baby Keirs; in 2020 that fell to nine; in 2021, a year into his leadership of The Labour Party, that figure now stands at just six – a 60% drop. Will Labour’s poll lead this year do anything to improve the only statistic dropping quicker than the pound?

Meanwhile, Boris managed to cling onto popularity, with the number of babies named after the then-PM sticking to its 2019 figure of 39 – the 815th most popular boys’ name out of over 4,600. Rishi’s numbers, improved by forcing everyone to stay at home for three months while paying their wages, are remarkable. They leaped by 77% between 2019 and 2020, and now hold steady at 41 uses in 2021. It seems many Britons, if not Tory members, were #Ready4Rishi…

mdi-timer 6 October 2022 @ 16:00 6 Oct 2022 @ 16:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Previous Page Next Page