LONDON (Reuters) – British labour costs rose during the second quarter at their fastest pace in more than two years, official data showed on Thursday, reinforcing the view that the Bank of England is edging closer to raising interest rates.
The BoE has said it is monitoring unit labour costs – which balance pay against productivity – closely as it considers its first increase in borrowing costs in over seven years.
LONDON (Reuters) – The “People’s Quantitative Easing” plan set out by the new leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party is too radical for most economists, but some say the idea of central banks printing money for government spending is not unthinkable.
Most economists in a Reuters poll rejected the proposal but six out of 20 analysts said it would be an effective tool to revive the economy in the event of a new downturn.
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s hefty current account deficit with the rest of the world narrowed much more sharply than expected after a surge in exports in the three months to June, but a slowing global economy may make this hard to sustain.
Living standards also picked up, as companies’ spending on wages rose at the fastest rate since before the financial crisis, suggesting that the benefits of faster growth may be starting to be felt more widely.
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s public finances deteriorated unexpectedly last month, recording their worst August in three years, and a decline in industrial orders signalled that a global slowdown is hitting the country’s economy.
Chancellor George Osborne will now have a tougher job meeting his target of reducing borrowing this year. His goal of a budget surplus in less than five years also looks increasingly hard, some economists said, as uncertainty grows about the world economy.
LONDON, Sept 18 (Reuters) – The Bank of England’s next move
may be to cut interest rates rather than raise them, because of
the risk of persistent low inflation and an emerging market
crisis that could hurt world growth, its chief economist Andy
Haldane said on Friday.
Recent data suggested Britain’s economy would slow in the
second half of the year and inflation might remain too low,
while emerging market troubles could drag on growth, he said.
LONDON (Reuters) – British retail sales edged up in August but their still sluggish pace added to signs that overall economic growth slowed in the third quarter, leaving the Bank of England under no pressure to speed up its debate on when to raise interest rates.
Retail sales volumes rose 0.2 percent on the month, as expected, after stalling in July and dipping in June. Sales of school uniforms before the return to school helped offset a fall in food sales.
LONDON, Sept 17 (Reuters) – British retail sales edged up in
August but their still sluggish pace added to signs that overall
economic growth slowed in the third quarter, leaving the Bank of
England under no pressure to speed up its debate on when to
raise interest rates.
Retail sales volumes rose 0.2 percent on the month, as
expected, after stalling in July and dipping in June. Sales of
school uniforms before the return to school helped offset a fall
in food sales.
LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Bank of England Governor Mark
Carney on Wednesday stuck to his view that a decision on whether
to start raising interest rates will become clearer around the
end of the year, but two other rate-setters at the BoE sounded
closer to voting for a move.
Carney, in an annual report to parliament, repeated a
comment he made in July and again in August that strength in
Britain’s economy probably meant a decision on rates will come
into “sharper relief around the turn of this year”.
LONDON (Reuters) – British wages grew at their fastest rate in more than six years in the three months to July, adding to signs that a first interest rate hike by the Bank of England is approaching.
Growth in average weekly earnings, not including bonuses, rose by 2.9 percent in the May-July period, the fastest since the three months to February 2009.
LONDON (Reuters) – British inflation fell back to zero in August after oil prices dropped at the fastest rate since the start of the year, keeping annual price growth far below the Bank of England’s target and an interest rate rise off the table for now.
Headline consumer price inflation (CPI) dipped into negative territory for the first time in more than 50 years in April, and has been 0.1 percent or lower over the past six months, despite solid economic growth and rising wages.