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14 December 2012
There’s a debate swirling around in the blogosphere about robots, and whether they’re stealing our jobs.
12 December 2012
It’s Christmas time – and it turns out that the season has a big effect on today’s labour market statistics, but probably not in the way you expect.
06 December 2012
At face value, the OBR forecast may not seem very interesting - but behind the scenes, debate is raging about what the future of the UK economy looks like.
23 November 2012
David Willetts today (23 Nov) launched an update of the government’s “technology foresight” exercise, which aims to identify the key technologies that will drive economic growth in the 2020s. The paper makes exciting reading for futurologists, covering 53 technologies from tissue engineering to nuclear fusion, and it gives government something to think about. This type of exercise – one which looks ahead at future sources of economic growth – is welcome, and is something governments should take seriously.
15 November 2012
Some of the UK’s economic commentators have become afflicted by a very strange idea recently: that consumer spending is going to rescue the UK economy. At the end of September, the front page of The Economist had the British economy “Heading out of the storm”; the leader inside contained the sub-heading “Consumers to the rescue”. The argument was that job creation, rising real incomes, falling inflation and “pent-up demand” was soon to release a burst of consumption-fuelled growth.
14 November 2012
Mervyn King said this morning that he does not expect GDP growth to have much effect on inflation for the foreseeable future. That may sound mundane, but the ramifications are immense, for several reasons. For a start, as Chris Giles was quick to point out, it suggests that the Bank is unlikely to do any more QE. Taking it a step further, Duncan Weldon suggests that King has “thrown in the towel” on supporting the economy. If King is right, the government’s “monetary radicalism” approach is shot, and the fate of the UK economy now largely depends on the volatile tides of the global economy.
16 October 2012
Allister Heath, editor of City AM, discussed our report on 3D printing in his letter this morning. He labels 3D printing – along with self-driving cars – as the “big ideas to watch over the next decade”.
03 October 2012
In an era of seemingly un-ending economic crisis, it has become fashionable to suggest that the West’s stagnation is not just a blip but a permanent phenomenon.
27 September 2012
The headline from today’s GDP statistics – that the contraction in Q2 has been revised from 0.5% to 0.4% - is about the least interesting statistic in there. Today’s release, the Quarterly National Accounts, is packed full of numbers that give us a clue about how and why the UK economy is shrinking. Whereas the first estimate of GDP (which attracts most of the media coverage) is accompanied with so little data that most economists are left to make up explanations for why the economy performed as it did, the second release comes with enough figures to make your head spin.
16 May 2012
Today’s job market figures contain plenty of good news. But for all these positive signs, there are a couple of doubts hanging over these numbers.
21 March 2012
The Chancellor told us that today’s Budget was aimed at “working families”. His Budget speech focused on tax changes to help those on middle and lower incomes, but in doing so he paid less attention to the real issues: growth and jobs.
20 March 2012
Will George Osborne deliver another Budget for Growth tomorrow? If the usual trail of pre-Budget trails and leaks is anything to go by, those looking to government to take a lead on growth are likely to be disappointed. Of course, Osborne may have kept a suite of blockbuster growth policies up his sleeve for tomorrow to blow away such doubts, but the early signs don’t look good.
07 February 2012
British manufacturing is in a very delicate place at the moment. The last three months of 2011 saw a contraction in the sector, dashing hopes that manufacturing would lead the UK out of recession. Part of this gloom is a direct product of the Eurozone crisis, because manufacturing depends on exports, and Europe is our biggest trading partner.
02 February 2012
Facebook’s stock market flotation is a big deal. The social network is one of the world’s most iconic companies, and it plays a prominent role in many of our lives, but up until now we’ve known precious little about how successful Facebook is as a business. Last night’s announcement changed all that.
24 January 2012
You can safely expect to hear a lot about the economy tomorrow, as we get a first estimate of whether the economy grew or shrunk during the last three months of 2011.