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Apr 16, 2014
via MacroScope

Deconstructing UK job numbers

On the face of it, the good news for the British government keeps on coming. Britain’s economy grew surprisingly fast last year and inflation fell below the Bank of England’s target for the first time in over four years in January. The government this month even got a nod from the International Monetary Fund which only last year criticized its austerity programme.

The latest confidence boost came from jobless figures on Wednesday. Not only did the unemployment rate fall to a five-year low of 6.9 percent but pay growth caught up with  inflation for the first time in nearly four years. That provides Prime Minister David Cameron’s government with another lift ahead of the 2015 elections, after it has come  under fire from the Labour opposition for overseeing a fall in living standards.

Apr 16, 2014

British unemployment plunges to five-year low, pay grows

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped in the three months to February, reviving speculation the Bank of England will start raising interest rates earlier than it has signaled.

Wages also caught up with inflation for the first time in nearly four years, helping the government to ward off charges of a cost-of-living crisis before next year’s national election.

Apr 16, 2014

British unemployment hits five-year low, pay growth matches inflation

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s unemployment rate fell more than expected and pay growth caught up with inflation for the first time in nearly four years.

Sterling jumped and government debt prices fell after official statistics showed the unemployment rate sank to a five-year low of 6.9 percent in the three months to February, down from 7.2 percent in the three months to January.

Apr 16, 2014

Unemployment hits five-year low, pay growth matches inflation

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s unemployment rate fell more than expected and pay growth caught up with inflation for the first time in nearly four years.

Sterling jumped and government debt prices fell after official statistics showed the unemployment rate sank to a five-year low of 6.9 percent in the three months to February, down from 7.2 percent in the three months to January.

Apr 15, 2014

UK inflation hits new four-year low, house prices continue rise

LONDON (Reuters) – British inflation fell to its lowest in over four years in March, easing pressure on living standards and raising the prospect that prices may now be rising by less than wages for the first time in years.

The sharp decline in Britons’ living standards since the financial crisis – due to a mix of tax rises, high inflation and meager wage growth – has become a key political battle ground, a year before national elections.

Apr 10, 2014

British house prices boom, Bank of England holds fire

LONDON (Reuters) – House prices and sales took off again in Britain last month, reflecting the economy’s surprisingly fast recovery, but the Bank of England stuck to its course and left interest rates unchanged at record lows.

A closely watched survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed British house prices ratcheting up in March and sales reaching a six-year high.

Apr 8, 2014

UK economy basks in factory growth, IMF upgrade

LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) – Britain got a double boost on
Tuesday as its recovery from recession gathered more momentum
and the International Monetary Fund raised the country’s growth
forecasts by more than for any other major economy.

Factories expanded production far more quickly than expected
in February, UK statistics office data showed. Separate surveys
showed a strong first quarter for companies and a long-awaited
pick-up in wages.

Apr 8, 2014

UK economy extends recovery as factories boost output, wages rise

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy extended its strong recovery into this year, data showed on Tuesday, with manufacturing jumping by much more than expected, companies reporting a buoyant first quarter and signs of a pick-up in wages.

The pound surged as the Office for National Statistics said manufacturing output expanded by 1.0 percent in February from January – its biggest increase since September last year.

Apr 3, 2014

Changes in Britain’s manufacturing model could mute risk from rise in sterling

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy is likely to weather the year-long rise in the pound even if some policymakers are worried that a further strengthening of the currency could hurt exports and frustrate a more sustainable recovery.

Sterling has jumped by about 10 percent against a basket of currencies since a trough in early March last year, pushed up by Britain’s economy staging a much faster-than-expected recovery in 2013.

Mar 31, 2014

Britain signs yuan clearing deal as battle for China FX heats up

LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) – Britain and China signed an
agreement to set up a clearing service for renminbi trading in
London on Monday, days after Germany clinched a similar deal in
the race to capture a share of the fast-growing Chinese foreign
exchange market.

Britain said last week it was on course to be the first
country outside Asia to set up a clearing service with China.
But that was before a deal on Friday which made Frankfurt the
first centre of such payments in Europe.

    • About Ana

      "Ana Nicolaci da Costa is UK Economics Correspondent, covering monetary and fiscal policy in London. Ana previously worked as Reuters' Economics Correspondent in Brasilia and covered European markets, including the euro zone debt crisis. She began working for Reuters in 2004 in London, after an internship at the Financial Times. Ana has a Master's degree from the University of London and studied political science as an undergraduate at the University of Nottingham and Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris."
      Joined Reuters:
      2004
      Languages:
      English, Portuguese, French, German, Spanish
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