Initial reflections on the US Mid-term elections
Last Tuesday the US went to the polls in a set of major elections. Voters were choosing a new House of Representatives, a third of the Senators and many state-level offices. Despite the President not being on the ballot, these elections received worldwide attention because their outcome could have a major impact on US policy. […]
Who actually sets interest rates around the world?
Given the ongoing economic crises in various countries around the world, attention at the moment is rightly more focused on interest rate decisions than in normal times. The process for raising or lowering interest rates varies from country to country. For some, it’s a pretty simple decision made by the Finance Minister, for others, it […]
How did the US Dollar become King?
When it comes to currency, the US Dollar dominates all the others. No currency comes even close to having a similar power. The dollar accounts for nearly 60% of world foreign currency reserves and trillions of dollars of daily FX transactions. When this currency moves, the rest of the world takes notice. The Dollar’s reign […]
August was officially Sterling’s worst month since Brexit
As September began yesterday, we saw the official conclusion that August had been the worst month for Sterling since the aftermath of the Brexit referendum. August started with Sterling sitting at £1.21 to the US Dollar but over the course of month saw a slow and steady decline, ending down at £1.16. Not a good […]
GDP falls for the second quarter in a row.
This week has been considerably quieter economic data front, perhaps a relief given the volume of negative news recently. US inflation figures were released on Wednesday with consumer prices rising 8.5% in July, the rate of increase has been calmed slightly as fuel prices fell. No increase was recorded in CPI between June and July, […]
Fears of recession loom as inflation spirals and confidence declines
This week has been dominated by the fears of a looming recession following the release of key GDP and confidence data. Significant news was released on Thursday when it emerged that the US economy shrank for a second consecutive quarter. This technical recession is due to a 0.9% GDP contraction for Q2 following a 1.6% […]
Euro hits parity with USD for first time since 2002
Unsurprisingly, inflation continues to be the topic of the moment with figures announced Wednesday showing US prices rising 9.1% in June compared to a year ago, the highest rate in 40 years. Wednesday’s result was surprisingly higher than consensus estimates of 8.8%. Inflation continued to be led by large food and fuel price increases but […]
A turbulent week for the UK economy
It’s been another difficult week for the UK economy. Figures released this week showed that in April, the UK economy shrank by 0.3%, following on from the 0.1% contraction in March. This has led to a number of influential figures including a former Chancellor suggesting the UK was almost certainly headed for a recession. We […]
Westminster wrangling distracts from ongoing economic woes
The ongoing cost of living crisis and domestic politics have dominated the agenda this week in the UK. The bunting from last weekend’s spectacular Platinum Jubilee Celebrations hadn’t even been packed away before the news was out that the Prime Minister would face a vote of no confidence on Monday. We discussed this in an […]
The world’s newest and oldest currencies
(Public Domain Image, University of Birmingham Library) c.800AD: Pound Sterling Pretty much for as long as there has been an England, there has been the Pound. Even before 1066 and William the Conquerer, the British Isles have been using some form of Pound. The Pound Sterling began back in the reign of King Offa of […]