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In terms of polls on the economy, this is well worth a read:

 

http://yougov.co.uk/news/2013/12/30/six-public-opinion-trends-2013/

 

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People are slowly becoming more optimistic. Most however, like Wales and others have said, are not feeling it.

Edited by scottish skier

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10529759/UK-consumer-confidence-slips-for-third-month-GfK-survey-finds.html

Well respected barometer of consumer confidence - GFK/NOP.

The index is well up on 12 months ago but has fallen slightly, 3 months in a row.

Add to this the heavily discounted high street ( see Debenhams results today, for example) and any consumer recovery is fragile indeed; manufacturing recovery on the other hand appears more robust.

IMO a much better way out of recession.

Forget the housing 'bubble' headlines; broken down by region, shows it's heavily skewed by London.

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UK Construction PMI

"Sharp rate of construction output maintained in December"

The UK construction sector saw a slight slow down in December, the PMI was at 62.1, down from 62.6 in November. However this still signals very rapid growth in the sector.

All areas of the construction sector rose. Encouragingly the Commercial Construction sub sector surged in the month, suggesting the recovery in the sector is becoming more broad-based and isn't purely driven by the resurgent housing market. 

A net +47% of respondents expect business activity to pick up further in 2014. Only 10% of construction companies expect business activity to decline. 

The sector has now been growing for 8 consecutive months. Employment also rose sharply in the sector and there has been an expansion in the construction workforce for 7 consecutive months which is the longest period of job creation in the sector in 5 1/2 years. 

Overall the construction sector posted its best quarter since Q3 2007. 

http://www.markiteconomics.com/Survey/PressRelease.mvc/e7c63705c934450187ecbb341df4e252

 

House Prices & Mortgage Approvals 

House prices rose at their fastest pace in 4 years in December according to Nationwide. House prices rose 8.4% year on year in December. 

Nationwide said that years of limited construction of new homes that pre-dated the 2008-09 financial crisis meant that even a small increase in demand was leading to price rises.Other factors behind rising prices included falling unemployment and a generally brighter economic outlook, said Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist.
Prices across the country remain 5% below their peak in 2007. 
The figures show a stark difference in price rises depending on region. In London prices rose by 14.9% year on year. Manchester saw a huge rise in house prices, up 21% year on year but the North West as whole saw prices rise by just 5%.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/01/03/uk-britain-property-nationwide-idUKLNEA0200120140103

Bank of England data shows mortgage lending hit a 5 year in November but lending to business was down. 

"Britain's economy enjoyed some of the fastest growth of any major industrialised economy in the first nine months of 2013, and a strong fourth-quarter gross domestic product reading later this month could put it on track for its best year since 2007."

Mortgage approvals hit 70,758 which is the highest since January 2008 but is well below pre-crisis levels when they often surpassed 90,000. This is boosted by around 6,000 thanks to the governments help to buy scheme. 

Lending to business was down 3.9% on a year earlier.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/01/03/uk-britain-lending-idUKBREA0208A20140103

 

Next Sales

Clothing retailer Next reported sales up 11.9% between November 1st and December 24th on the same period on a year ago. Sales in the year to December were up 5%. It's shares hit an all time high today surging by 47% in the last year. This follows strong results from Britain's other major retailers yesterday. 

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/01/03/uk-next-idUKBREA0205A20140103

 

Local article from here in South Wales. Christmas joy for retailers. £1million being spent in Cardiff City centre everyday. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-25579185

How can anyone say there is no recovery? There clearly is. 

Edited by Wales123098

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Please see the link below:-

 

http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2013/12/12/200000-workers-to-be-hit-in-agency-self-employment-purge/?goback=%2Egde_3117666_member_5817006280044224515#%21

 

The workers often only receive low pay with the agencies really raking it in. The proposals should really help stimulate the economy!

 

Kind Regards

 

Dave

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Please see the link below:-

 

http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2013/12/12/200000-workers-to-be-hit-in-agency-self-employment-purge/?goback=%2Egde_3117666_member_5817006280044224515#%21

 

The workers often only receive low pay with the agencies really raking it in. The proposals should really help stimulate the economy!

 

Kind Regards

 

Dave

The only practical way I can see around this is the widen the practice of construction workers where they form their own little groups through networking with their various colleagues.

From my experience as a customer this seems to work pretty well and the workers would retain their self employed status and at the same time cut out that monstrous middle man, thereby gaining more for themselves and for the smaller jobs this, I am sure, would continue to work quite well.

For the larger jobs, the bigger building companies would be able to contract people either on permanent or temporary staff and depending on the circumstances the temporary staff would remain on a self employed basis or become PAYE.

It would very likely reduce the ability of many of these blood sucking employment agencies to continue in the same manner to what they do today.

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Yup the housing bubble is back and as before will spread slowly out from London. Another crash in five to ten years???

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UK Business Confidence 

4 out of 5 leaders of the UK's largest companies expect their business to pick up over 2014 but they have concerns about household budgets, productivity and the fast approaching general election. 

The annual survey carried out by Ipsos Mori (since 1981) showed 93% of 105 business leaders expect the British economy to improve over the next 12 months. 

However over 50% of the leaders say they don't expect the economy to be 'growing in a significant way' for another year as household finances weigh on business. 

Questioned whether they thought the Coalition Government's Economic Policies would improve the UK economy in the long-run 83% said they will. 

Steve Varley, the head of Ernst & Young said political risks are the biggest threat over the next 2 years with worries of tension in the current government, worries about the anti-business sediment coming from Labour and also the Scottish Independence referendum. 87% of respondents said that politicians had a poor understanding of business. 

 

A Financial Times Poll of 100 leading economists also showed that economists believe the UK economy will strengthen in 2014. There was consensus among economists that the UK government was right to stick to its plans for fiscal consolidation despite criticism from the IMF and others in early 2013. 

The average of the economists forecasts was for growth of 2.4% this year but later revisions are likely to bring the actual growth rate to 3%. 

A slim majority of economists surveyed said that the recent upturn in growth vindicated the Chancellor George Osborne. 

 

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/34f1fe70-7308-11e3-8e87-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2pMKANADZ

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/440fc51a-6bfe-11e3-a216-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2pMKANADZ

Edited by Wales123098

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But, what about those who are neither robber barons nor overpaid economists? What have the other 99% got to look forward to?

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But, what about those who are neither robber barons nor overpaid economists? What have the other 99% got to look forward to?

How about the 250,000 rise in employment in the 3 months to October alone? With further large rises in employment in the pipeline. But I'm guessing all these jobs go to the 1%... How about the increased job security for hundreds of thousands of retail workers who are seeing business pick up? (see retail results from the last 2 days). How about the strong rise in housebuilding, new homes. Bit by bit the spare capacity in the economy will erode if current conditions continue and as I've said previously, WAGES will rise as a result. It's a matter of time before businesses have no choice but to raise wages as they fight to retain and recruit good staff. This is all simple economics. We've just been through a huge downturn and recession and there is a lot of spare capacity in the economy, how can wages rise when there is all that spare capacity? The fact of the matter is, we ARE moving in the right direction, jobs are being creating and that spare capacity is being eroded. Supply and demand of Labour influences the price of that Labour. Over the last 5 years there has been a lot of supply, not much demand, hence the reason wages have stagnated. That is changing. 

Edited by Wales123098

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Yup the housing bubble is back and as before will spread slowly out from London. Another crash in five to ten years???

 

I suspect the degree to which we can ride the wave (assuming the next government does little to effect supply - even the Balls plan is insufficient) will be down to the BOE and how aggressive they are when it comes to interest rates. If Carney raises interest rates before the end of 2015 then i'd take that as an aggressive signal which should allow us to ride the wave for quite a while as current evidence would suggest that spending in the economy has realigned with monetary policy (unlike 09-12 when consumers and businesses were deleveraging as much as possible) which should mean the interest rate rises are met with increased saving and slower housing demand. If of course he applies a light touch then i think 5 years is the maximum before the pop.

 

...............

 

Wales.. Largely agree with you regarding economic optimism. The litmus test for me will be whether business investment goes positive in 2014 as this will imply confidence in a sustained recovery and mean that they splash the cash and loosen pay restraint.

 

Regarding wages i think that real wages will be positive in 2014 as there is little inflationary pressure outside of food.

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I suspect the degree to which we can ride the wave (assuming the next government does little to effect supply - even the Balls plan is insufficient) will be down to the BOE and how aggressive they are when it comes to interest rates. If Carney raises interest rates before the end of 2015 then i'd take that as an aggressive signal which should allow us to ride the wave for quite a while as current evidence would suggest that spending in the economy has realigned with monetary policy (unlike 09-12 when consumers and businesses were deleveraging as much as possible) which should mean the interest rate rises are met with increased saving and slower housing demand. If of course he applies a light touch then i think 5 years is the maximum before the pop.

 

...............

 

Wales.. Largely agree with you regarding economic optimism. The litmus test for me will be whether business investment goes positive in 2014 as this will imply confidence in a sustained recovery and mean that they splash the cash and loosen pay restraint.

 

Regarding wages i think that real wages will be positive in 2014 as there is little inflationary pressure outside of food.

I'm just stating whats going on in the economy as I see it on the internet. I have to do constant research for my assignments and exams, just sharing what I find with you lot to add a bit of substance to this thread because when I looked on here before it was full of Tory bashing without any actual substance on you know the UK economy. It's not my personal optimism, although I'm becoming increasingly optimistic. I graduate next year and will obviously be looking for a job, hopefully in finance. To see increasingly encouraging news on the economy and jobs outlook is very good news for me. I've been lucky to be in education during the tough years instead of seeking work. Yes hopefully real wages will start rising in due course, inflation is pretty much bang on target at 2.1% and rising demand in the economy will eventually lead to rising wages. My guess is that real wages will start rising in late 2014 or early 2015. 

Edited by Wales123098

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I suspect the degree to which we can ride the wave (assuming the next government does little to effect supply - even the Balls plan is insufficient) will be down to the BOE and how aggressive they are when it comes to interest rates. If Carney raises interest rates before the end of 2015 then i'd take that as an aggressive signal which should allow us to ride the wave for quite a while as current evidence would suggest that spending in the economy has realigned with monetary policy (unlike 09-12 when consumers and businesses were deleveraging as much as possible) which should mean the interest rate rises are met with increased saving and slower housing demand. If of course he applies a light touch then i think 5 years is the maximum before the pop.

 

...............

 

Wales.. Largely agree with you regarding economic optimism. The litmus test for me will be whether business investment goes positive in 2014 as this will imply confidence in a sustained recovery and mean that they splash the cash and loosen pay restraint.

 

Regarding wages i think that real wages will be positive in 2014 as there is little inflationary pressure outside of food.

Interest rates is a clumsy tool for controlling house prices. The problem is that it hits lending to business. We need proper controls in place X amount deposit  x amount times your earnings. If you haven't got it either get a guarantor or tough. The big risk is the return to silly lending as banks try and capture the market share.

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Interest rates is a clumsy tool for controlling house prices. The problem is that it hits lending to business. We need proper controls in place X amount deposit  x amount times your earnings. If you haven't got it either get a guarantor or tough. The big risk is the return to silly lending as banks try and capture the market share.

 

Current evidence would suggest that banks are still reluctant to lend to sub-prime applicants, it's almost exclusively government initiatives which are fueling the residential property boom (i believe the BOE has been given control of help to buy).

 

I agree with your comment regarding interest rates to some degree but we are working in a system in which supply cannot be addressed because there are only so many houses developers can build and government will not intervene. Short of abolishing property taxes, corporation taxes and planning law the private sector won't be able to meet demand set against a growing population.

 

Fractional reserves and leverage ratios are something i considered myself, the negative being that the banks would become so safe that a bank would be unlikely to ever be able to collapse. Of course permanent power over money supply is still preferable to publicly owned banks in my opinion given the propensity for government to intervene.

 

 

I'm just stating whats going on in the economy as I see it on the internet. I have to do constant research for my assignments and exams, just sharing what I find with you lot to add a bit of substance to this thread because when I looked on here before it was full of Tory bashing without any actual substance on you know the UK economy. It's not my personal optimism, although I'm becoming increasingly optimistic. I graduate next year and will obviously be looking for a job, hopefully in finance. To see increasingly encouraging news on the economy and jobs outlook is very good news for me. I've been lucky to be in education during the tough years instead of seeking work. Yes hopefully real wages will start rising in due course, inflation is pretty much bang on target at 2.1% and rising demand in the economy will eventually lead to rising wages. My guess is that real wages will start rising in late 2014 or early 2015. 

 

I'm a second year economics undergrad myself so i'm with you. I tend to watch Bloomberg ~2 hours per day and consider being commercially aware to be of the utmost importance. I'm a definite bull when it comes to the UK economy.

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Lending and low interest rates on high risk loans is by far a big and bad idea, let's look show we got to now? a housing bubble it just peachy and waiting to burst in the UK with these current plans, lending to people that cannot afford it on way over inflated prices...

 

 

....who can that go wrong?

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Lending and low interest rates on high risk loans is by far a big and bad idea, let's look show we got to now? a housing bubble it just peachy and waiting to burst in the UK with these current plans, lending to people that cannot afford it on way over inflated prices...  ....who can that go wrong?

We don't know that the people can't afford it yet, lending levels are still historically low. All we do know is that banks lending dropped to the lowest rates in 30 years, whether that's an overreaction or a fair evaluation of risk is unknown.

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UK Services PMI

UK All Sector PMI slows in December following weaker than expected Services PMI. (Composite PMI 59.5)

All Sector PMI for Q4 suggests growth of 1.0%. That would bring growth as a whole for 2013 to 3.1% based on 0.5% in Q1, 0.8% in Q2, 0.8% in Q3 and 1.0% in Q4. 

The Services PMI was at 58.8 down from 60.0 in November and 60.0 expected. Confidence about the future PMI rose to 73.5, highest since March 2010.

Employment was rising at the second strongest rate on record  (in the PMI series). 

post-7495-0-99113200-1389014298_thumb.jp

Lloyds Business Confidence Survey

UK business confidence rose to its highest level in 20 years. Investment intentions are at their highest in 19 years. 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10552445/British-companies-the-most-optimistic-for-20-years.html

Edited by Wales123098

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Lending and low interest rates on high risk loans is by far a big and bad idea, let's look show we got to now? a housing bubble it just peachy and waiting to burst in the UK with these current plans, lending to people that cannot afford it on way over inflated prices...

 

 

....who can that go wrong?

 

Here is a good article (May 2013) from the Spectator about the interference in the markets by the government to artificially inflate house prices and the long term implications of this.

 

Explains it all quite clearly.

 

http://archive.is/DOKwk

 

George Osborne's property bubble will lead to disaster

 

...The idea that the UK housing market should in any way be driven by market forces was abandoned long ago — anyone who has bought a house in the last five years, or indeed who is paying a mortgage, has already in effect been helped to buy. If anyone other than the government manipulated a market to this extent, it would be illegal. And anyone scammed into buying a house at today’s prices — and in particular a fast-depreciating new build with a locked-in mortgage lender — would one day be able to sue for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

 

They’d probably want to sue in about five years — once they had started paying ‘loan fees’ linked to RPI inflation on the bit of the mortgage the government guaranteed. Also standing in the queue for compensation would be the many thousands who, regardless of the endless help offered, have stayed locked out of the housing market thanks to stupidly high state-manipulated prices. But because it is the government messing with the market, it doesn’t fall into the same camp as, say, Libor or oil-price fiddling. And all those people stuck and soon-to-be stuck with unnecessary debt have no comeback.
They aren’t, of course, the only losers from the ongoing policy of overstimulus. Savers, annuity purchasers and anyone on any kind of fixed income are hurting too. But homeowners are the only ones whom Osborne, in his apparent conviction that the answer to every problem is higher house prices, is quite so directly herding towards disaster.

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Here is a good article (May 2013) from the Spectator about the interference in the markets by the government to artificially inflate house prices and the long term implications of this.

 

Explains it all quite clearly.

 

http://archive.is/DOKwk

 

George Osborne's property bubble will lead to disaster

 

...The idea that the UK housing market should in any way be driven by market forces was abandoned long ago — anyone who has bought a house in the last five years, or indeed who is paying a mortgage, has already in effect been helped to buy. If anyone other than the government manipulated a market to this extent, it would be illegal. And anyone scammed into buying a house at today’s prices — and in particular a fast-depreciating new build with a locked-in mortgage lender — would one day be able to sue for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

 

They’d probably want to sue in about five years — once they had started paying ‘loan fees’ linked to RPI inflation on the bit of the mortgage the government guaranteed. Also standing in the queue for compensation would be the many thousands who, regardless of the endless help offered, have stayed locked out of the housing market thanks to stupidly high state-manipulated prices. But because it is the government messing with the market, it doesn’t fall into the same camp as, say, Libor or oil-price fiddling. And all those people stuck and soon-to-be stuck with unnecessary debt have no comeback.
They aren’t, of course, the only losers from the ongoing policy of overstimulus. Savers, annuity purchasers and anyone on any kind of fixed income are hurting too. But homeowners are the only ones whom Osborne, in his apparent conviction that the answer to every problem is higher house prices, is quite so directly herding towards disaster.

 

This gov and the last saw a massive increase in borrowing and rising debt in a mad scramble to join the home owners club, rates may be low now, but then that means they have only one way to go from here out, and at some point they will rise.  We do need more housing stock, no doubt about it, but lets look at all the brownfield that could be used as low rather than zero return sites that could be used for new build housing, much of it already in ours towns and cities, that would produce jobs, create affordable housing and stop the supply and demand bubble that has, along with these schemes and previous incentives, pushed up house prices.  A house should be a home, not a cash cow.

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British Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Survey 

A survey of 8,000 businesses show that key indicators for the economy are at their highest since before the financial crisis begun. The UK economy is expected to strengthen further in the coming months following on from 0.9% growth in Q4. 

Encouragingly in the Manufacturing sector five indicators including orders and employment are at record highs. Confidence in the sector is at its highest since 1989. This suggests the UK recovery is no longer purely based on consumer spending and that manufacturing is soaring. 

Firms from all sectors are overwhelmingly looking to invest, create jobs and export. 

Order books in the services sector jumped to a 9 year high while export sales and order were at their highest on record (survey begun in 1989). This suggests the strong pound is not hindering UK exports and the trade gap could shrink significantly in coming months. 

Worries remain about lending to business which is hindering expansion plans.

 http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/01/07/uk-britain-bcc-idUKBREA0600520140107

 

SMMT Car Sales

UK New Car sales rose to a 5 year high in December. In 2013 as a whole car sales rose by 10.5% to 2.25million. This means the UK is now a larger car market than France and the second largest in Europe after Germany.

 

Jobs Market

31% of employees are thinking of looking to find new jobs in 2013 as a rapidly improving jobs market creates opportunities. 

This is likely to lead to employees raising wages as they fight to retain staff. Companies will do this as its a very expensive process to recruit and train new employees. They also don't want to lose good employees to competitors. This goes back to what I was talking about with supply and demand of labour. As supply of labour decreases (fall in unemployment) and demand increases (growing economy), the price of labour rises. Much better wage rises are in the pipeline if current trends continue especially among professional fields. 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/10552294/More-workers-eye-the-exit-as-economy-strengthens.html

Edited by Wales123098

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Interesting about new car sales. People spending because it's not worth saving??? 

The cost of employing someone can be reduced by part time jobs and zero hour contracts. Of course this will result in a  higher employee turn over as employees look for better employers. Immigration can also help to maintain lower costs to the employer so we've probably got a long way to go before an employer is forced to improve conditions because nobody is coming through the door.

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I agree with you Pit. Wages are being kept artificially low by having cheap labour coming in from abroad. Business loves it. Gang masters, people living in outhouses this is modern Britain today.

It also seems to me that it is far more dificult for many of the youngsters born and brought up in this country to get onto the housing ladder, be it as a first time buyer or a renter of social housing. What I have noticed is that those coming in from abroad, especially locally seem to get the social housing as they are deemed homeless. Our own cannot claim this to be the case as they live with their parents as they are too compsaaionate to turf them out onto the street.

 

The austerity measures promised by Mr. O yesterday were interesting. Two in particular grabbed my attention. All good talk, but what will it mean in practice

  • No housing benefit for the under 25's. What about those people that are married at say 22, have their own place, either rented or mortgage(if they are lucky enough) and one or both of them for no fault of their own become redundant and are unable to find employment. Do they then have to live on the street? What about if they also have a child. Does it go with them or is it taken into care.If the latter where does the savings come in? Also what about youngsters who have lived in care from an early age. Are they dumped straight out onto the street once they reach 18 yeats of age?
  • It was also stated that it is intended that a household earning in excess of £60K a yeat should be persuaded to move out. I am not saying it is wrong (there are arguments for and against) but inpractical terms how will it work? Someone not interested in being "persuaded" "aint gonna budge" and how will the LA or housing association know what a families income is? Will they be getting the information from HMRC? Also does it include what children of the tenant earn? It is all very well included children's earnings, but this could only be tmeporary until they opt to leave home.

As far as I can see there were a number of soundbites spoken yesterday, with little if any chance of these two proposals in particular being implemented. I did not hear the speech, but I dare say it included "looking after those hard working families", with the implication that if you are without employment you are workthless. unforntunatly such rhetoric goes down well with the baser instincts of readers of the right wing press, until of course until they find themselves in the unfortunate position, through no fault of their own, of a lot of people who are currently on benefits and then surprise, suprise their attitudes change.

 

When I worked in Local Government I noticed that conservative supporters were all in favour in cuts inexpenditure until it directly affected their own families- leaking school roofs, draugty relocatable classrooms, library closures, cuts in grants to theatres etc.

 

These days those having a difficult time in their lives appear to be cast aside by this Government in order to ensure that their big business chums and the Witney set can prosper. Unfortunately this prosperity does not filter down to the "plebs".

 

Having seen some of the proposals from yesterday's speech I feel almost ashamed to be British if this is what the future holds for us, with dog eating dog. I had hoped as we entered a new decade we would as a country go forward and not regress to food stations and 1920's values.

 

 

Regards

 

Dave

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Must be some major massaging of inflation figures going on. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25726621 Down to 2%

Of course you're still worse off as wages are much less than that and amount of money you have to use to make up the difference has increased.

Judging by my shopping trolley food prices are still going up fuel at the moment seems to staying round the same after a brief rise and then fall back again. House prices are also rising as are rents.

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Must be some major massaging of inflation figures going on. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25726621 Down to 2%

Of course you're still worse off as wages are much less than that and amount of money you have to use to make up the difference has increased.

Judging by my shopping trolley food prices are still going up fuel at the moment seems to staying round the same after a brief rise and then fall back again. House prices are also rising as are rents.

 

Remember that inflation is just a weighted average, for the poor especially things like energy make up a larger proportion of their bill so they won't feel the same relaxation.

 

Also the ONS says..

 

 

 

The ONS said the rise in prices of both food and non-alcoholic drinks was the smallest it had been since 2006.

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Must be some major massaging of inflation figures going on. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25726621 Down to 2%

Of course you're still worse off as wages are much less than that and amount of money you have to use to make up the difference has increased.

Judging by my shopping trolley food prices are still going up fuel at the moment seems to staying round the same after a brief rise and then fall back again. House prices are also rising as are rents.

 

Fuel (petrol that is) is an interesting one, its actually pretty much the same now as it was in January 2011 going by my records.

 

Food is another matter though, constantly getting more expensive and what the headline rate doesn't show is the trend these days to shrink products but keep the price the same - inflation by 'stealth' in effect and extremely annoying.

Edited by reef

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Fuel (petrol that is) is an interesting one, its actually pretty much the same now as it was in January 2011 going by my records.

 

Food is another matter though, constantly getting more expensive and what the headline rate doesn't show is the trend these days to shrink products but keep the price the same - inflation by 'stealth' in effect and extremely annoying.

i always find petrol an interesting one..here in Canada the price of petrol hasn't really moved much up or down in the last 3 /4 years..but is still some 40% lower than when they peaked in 2008..where as in the UK they are some 30% higher than 2008...food has risen quite sharply over here to..and air travel has sky rocketed (if you pardon the pun) in the last 18 months.

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