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City A.M. – London commuters spend £153 a week shopping – here’s what they spend it on

January 21, 2019

Commuter spending sprees contribute £22.8bn to the UK economy every year, with London commuters splashing out almost twice the national average, according to new data.   Commuters in the capital fork out on average £153 a week while on the move, nearly double the UK average of £89, research by the Centre for Business and Economics Research, Exterion Media and Kinetic found.   The rush-hour splurges amount to 14 per…

Why the ‘Beast from the North’ should have only a minimal effect on the economy and on energy supplies this year despite Hitachi’s suspension of work on its Anglesey nuclear plant

January 21, 2019

Forecasting Eye   In mid-February last year we issued a “Buy Candles” warning in the office: a large high pressure system building over Scandinavia might drift south and becalm UK and northern Europe’s wind farms for days on end while bringing ferociously cold weather.  Gas and electricity demand would soar, there would be little UK or European wind energy, gas-fired generation would be curtailed due to domestic heating demand for…

City A.M. – Retail sales fall as ‘suffocating’ Brexit uncertainty envelopes UK high streets

January 18, 2019

Retailers suffered a weak end to 2018 as Brexit uncertainty saw shoppers spending less in the face of Brexit uncertainty, the latest data shows today.   Sales fell 0.9 per cent month on month in December as shoppers kept their purses closed, the Office for National Statistics data revealed.   Trading fell in all retail sectors save food stores and petrol stations. Excluding those, sales fell a dramatic 1.3 per…

The Rotterdam Effect: myth or £18 billion false boost to UK-EU trade?

January 14, 2019

Forecasting Eye    The Port of Rotterdam is one of the busiest in the world, servicing 13.7 million containers in 2017 [1], and facilitating a significant proportion of the UK’s total EU and non-EU trade.   The Rotterdam Effect refers to the inflation of trade statistics due to the inclusion of quasi-transit goods. Goods in pure transit leave a non-EU source country as exports heading for a final EU destination…

Evening Standard – Economic growth halves as confidence ebbs away amid Brexit uncertainty

January 11, 2019

Access the full article here.   Britain’s economic growth has halved since the summer against a backdrop of Brexit chaos and the threat of global trade wars, official figures have shown.   GDP moved ahead 0.2 per cent in November, bringing the quarterly rolling average growth rate down from 0.4 per cent to 0.3 per cent.   It had been as high as 0.7 per cent in the three months…

China Daily – Asian economies poised to take huge strides

January 8, 2019

Asian economies will witness significant growth in the next 15 years, according to a new analysis.   China is set to overtake the United States to become the world's largest economy by 2032, according to the World Economic League Table, published annually by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, or CEBR, in London.   The table tracks the size of economies over the next 15 years.   It predicts…

China Daily – Nation to step closer to prosperity goal

January 8, 2019

"Some observers expect US growth, which hit 4.2 percent in the middle of last year, to slow this year as the boost delivered by Trump's tax cuts begins to wear off.   Douglas McWilliams, deputy chairman and founder of the Centre for Economics and Business Research, a consultancy in London, said the apparent row over interest rate policy is at odds with reality.   "Whatever Trump's intervention, the Fed is…

Many happy returns of Christmas – £4.8 billion worth of online sales may be making their way back to retailers, distorting the official retail sales data for November upwards by about 0.5%

January 7, 2019

Forecasting Eye   According to the ONS, online spending as a share of all retail sales exceeded 20% for the first time in November 2018, accounting for 21.5% of total retail sales on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. On the other hand, traditional retail is in decline - total UK retail footfall dropped by 2.3% in the three months to November.   As the rise of online retail has accelerated, it…

Cebr’s Top Ten for 2019

January 1, 2019

Forecasting Eye   It’s time for our annual look ahead to see what the New Year will bring.   First – how did we do last year? WHAT WE GOT RIGHT – Chinese growth and the world economy slowing, an Italian election bringing in a more confrontational government, the Bitcoin collapse, UK growth at the upper end of the 1-2% range, volatile stock markets, Theresa May remaining Prime Minister till…