Routine 1 – The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee meet and then at 12noon announce they have raised interest rates.
Except, this time they didn’t. The committee narrowly voted 5-4 to keep interest rates at 5.25% bringing an end to the 14 consecutive rises since November 2021. This decision probably changed at the last minute following The Office for National Statistics releasing its latest inflation figures which showed a surprise fall to 6.7% (from 6.8%). The forecasts had predicted a rise back to 7% and we have all seen the rise at the pumps again as evidence of why this prediction was made.
Market research company GfK have a survey which tracks consumer confidence in the economy and have done so since 1970. The latest data from the survey shows a rise of four points to minus 21. Admittedly this does sound low but this is the highest level since January 2022 and far higher than the record low of minus 49 this time last year following the Liz Truss and (former newsroom favourite) Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget, which will no doubt be making its way onto A-Level politics and economics syllabuses very soon.
The GfK survey of 2,001 people (did someone extra fill out a form!?) also shows a rise of one point in the confidence in future personal finances (to minus 1) while the major purchase index (which measures demand for items such as homes and cars) also increased by four points (this time to minus 20).
Mr Staton, client strategy director for GfK and holder of another management speak job title, said “The view on our personal financial situation for the past year and the next is registering marginal but welcome growth, while expectations for the UK’s wider economy in the coming year show a more robust six-point increase”. By contrast, the Chancellor has this morning told LBC radio that he sees the possibility of tax-cuts in his Autumn statement as “virtually impossible” given the UK debt currently stands at 98.8% of GDP, a level not seen since the 1960s.
Routine 2 – The weather is hot. The British complain it is too hot. Then it rains. The British moan about the rain.
As well as moaning about the rain, it appears we also stay at home and don’t go shopping. July, when it never stopped raining (look at me moan) saw a drop of 1.1% in retail sales although the sun in August saw a rise of 0.4%
Heather Bovill, deputy director for surveys at the ONS (much more sensible job title), said: “Retail recovered a little from the large fall seen in July, driven by a partial bounce back in food and a strong month for clothing, though sales overall remain subdued. She continued there had been a fall in online shopping sale values “as some people returned to shopping in person following a very wet July”.
Retail sales are a good measure of the level of demand for goods from shoppers and have become a closely watched indicator as the economy slows under the weight of interest rate rises.
Routine 3 – NTI lectures will be done face-to-face in an actual classroom!
At NTI, we believe that learning is far better when done in a classroom. Evidence of this was on full display in London on the Administration, CVAs and Receivership day for this November’s CPI exam. As well as discussing the syllabus we also spent time chatting about how to study and establishing a useful routine of when to study.
So, CPI students, did you establish a new routine today?