George hint at slowdown offers hope on rates rise
Friday 23 January 1998
His remarks came as an industrial survey claimed to show the economy was about to slow down - although the signs were inconclusive.
The British Chambers of Commerce survey showed both manufacturing and services reporting an increase in the balance of companies reporting higher deliveries and domestic orders.
Both sectors reported an increase in the difficulty of recruiting skilled labour, with 74 per cent of manufacturers and 64 per cent of service companies complaining about skill shortages.
On the other hand, the 100 companies surveyed had become more pessimistic, with expectations about sales and profitability during the next 12 months declining further. In services planned employment and investment also fell back sharply.
Ian Peters, deputy director general of the BCC, said: "This survey suggests the economy may now be at a turning point, and the Bank of England must take care to apply due weight to the economic expectations of the business community when making future decisions on interest rates."
However, the gloomier camp of City economists reckoned there was still not enough evidence to rule out a further increase in interest rates from the current level of 7.25 per cent, either next month or in March.
Mark Wall at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell said manufacturing was showing no sign of undue stress from sterling's strength and services were continuing to power ahead. "There is no sign of a sharp slowdown."
Richard Iley at ABN Amro said the forward-looking indicators suggested the economy would slow, but recruitment difficulties and pay pressures formed an inflationary "black cloud".
Analysts will look for more clues in today's official figures for GDP in the final quarter of last year.
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 It's not just the savagery of Isis that is shocking – its weaponry is too
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
Sir Paul McCartney makes his stance on Scottish independence known
PM sets out tough new anti-terror measures in response to heightened threat
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...
£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...
£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...