UK Economics Correspondent, London
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Jun 30, 2015

UK economic growth revised up, buoyed by consumer spending

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy enjoyed a stronger start to the year than previously thought, buoyed by big-spending consumers and an upturn in business investment, but weak exports continued to act as a drag on growth.

New official data on Tuesday showed that over the past year, British households have seen a bigger boost to disposable income than at any time since 2001, as wages started to pick up and inflation fell toward its lowest in more than 50 years.

Jun 24, 2015

UK debt agency head sees higher chance of failed bond auction

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is at increased risk of failing to find enough buyers at a government bond auction due to big day-to-day swings in market prices, the man responsible for selling the country’s debt said on Wednesday.

Robert Stheeman, chief executive of the UK Debt Management Office, told Reuters’ online Global Markets Forum that underlying demand for gilts remained strong. But the chances of a significant mismatch between buyers and sellers on a given day had risen as low liquidity was now a genuine problem.

Jun 2, 2015

Britain leans on consumers as mortgage approvals, loans surge

LONDON, June 2 (Reuters) – British mortgage approvals surged
by the most in six years in April and lending to individuals
also rose sharply, underlining the clout of the country’s
consumers but also its reliance on them to drive the economy.

Tuesday’s data from the Bank of England supported
expectations that the pace of the broader economic recovery will
pick up again by mid-year after slowing at the start of 2015,
giving a nudge to a long-running debate about when interest
rates might rise.

May 31, 2015

Crunch time for Greece; U.S. and Chinese data in focus

LONDON (Reuters) – Years of uncertainty and economic pain spent keeping Greece in the euro zone boils down in June to a handful of make-or-break debt repayments, while a raft of key data in the next few days will point to the progress of the global economy.

The threat posed to the wider world by an eventual Greek exit from the euro may have diminished over the last few years, but last week the United States warned of an “accident” for the world economy if Greece and its creditors miss deadlines this coming month to avert a debt default.

May 20, 2015

UK inflation negative for first time since 1960; BoE says temporary

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s annual rate of consumer price inflation fell below zero for the first time in more than half a century, official figures showed on Tuesday, though Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the dip was likely to be brief.

British finance minister George Osborne also said the drop did not amount to “damaging deflation”, referring to a spiral of falling prices that hurt the economy.

May 19, 2015

UK inflation negative for first time since 1960, seen temporary

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s annual rate of consumer price inflation fell below zero for the first time since the 1960s, official figures showed on Tuesday, though economists said the dip into deflationary territory was likely to be brief.

British finance minister George Osborne also uickly said the drop did not amount to “damaging deflation,” referring to a scenario in which falling prices become entrenched and hurt the economy.

May 19, 2015

UK inflation negative for first time since 1960

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s annual rate of consumer price inflation fell below zero for the first time since the 1960s, official figures showed on Tuesday, though economists said the dip into deflationary territory was likely to be brief.

British finance minister George Osborne also uickly said the drop did not amount to “damaging deflation,” referring to a scenario in which falling prices become entrenched and hurt the economy.

May 8, 2015
via MacroScope

From 1992 … Why the UK pollsters got it wrong

Photo

Pollsters failed dismally to predict the strength of support for Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives in this week’s national election — just as happened in 1992 when John Major scored an unexpectedly decisive victory. Here’s Reuters’ take on why the polling industry got it so wrong, 23 years ago.

Why the pollsters got it wrong

By Maggie Fox

10 April 1992

LONDON, April 10, Reuter – Pollsters, egg dripping from their faces on Friday after failing to predict the Conservative Party’s election victory, blamed a last-minute change of heart by voters for the surprise.

May 8, 2015

Scottish nationalists crush opponents, setting stage for new indepedence bid

GLASGOW/ABERDEEN (Reuters) – Scottish nationalists rampaged to victory north of the border in Britain’s national election, obliterating their opponents and setting the stage for a new battle over independence.

In an epic performance, the Scottish National Party (SNP) ousted the leader of the Labour party in Scotland, defeated a senior Labour figure in Paisley, and took former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s onetime stronghold in Kirkcaldy.

May 1, 2015

British manufacturing cools before closely fought election

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) – British manufacturing growth
slowed sharply in April, a survey showed on Friday, underlining
the uneven nature of an economic recovery that is at the heart
of a national election just six days away.

Separate data showed consumer lending rising sharply,
suggesting that the recovery is being driven by spending.