Sarah Arnott: All the signs point to another big slowdown
Friday 09 July 2010
As the IMF revised downwards its growth forecasts for the British economy, a slew of domestic data did little to dispel the sense of foreboding yesterday. House prices fell by 0.6 per cent between May and June, which was the fourth decline in five months, according to the Halifax. And it is not just the property market showing signs of strain. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research, in its monthly estimate for gross domestic product (GDP), said that growth had slowed to 0.7 per cent over the three months to June, compared with 0.9 per cent in the three months to May. The rate was dragged down by month-on-month declines in both April and June. The Bank of England's decision to hold interest rates at 0.5 per cent also added to the uncertainty. While the Bank's decision came as no surprise in the City, it nonetheless confirmed that policymakers remain more concerned about growth than inflation.
However, it was not all bad news. Latest industrial production data showed growth of 0.7 per cent in May, with manufacturing expanding by 0.3 per cent. Industrial production may account for only 17 per cent of Britain's GDP, but a strong rebound in manufacturing can only be good for an economy trying to rebalance itself away from financial services and its reliance on state spending.
Sadly, such sprightly industrial output may simply be a laggard, rather than a contradiction of other gloomier indices. Forward-looking surveys of purchasing managers already hint that the growth spurt is tailing off, and new orders are slowing as the export-led recovery gets the cold shoulder from the enfeebled eurozone.
Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'
Top conservatoire offers ‘groundbreaking’ arts degree
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
Islamic State: Pope is 'being targeted by Isis', Iraqi ambassador to the Holy See warns
Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton nude pictures exhibition cancelled after artist concedes photos were 'stolen property'
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time: 'That was the lowest I'd ever felt'
Richard III: Two years after his body was found scientists discover how he died
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000 first year: SThree: The SThree group i...
£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...
£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...
£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...