The City

Tracking the UK’s economic recovery through the lens of six indicators

The UK economy suffered one of its worst economic declines on record in the second quarter, as the government announced a countrywide lockdown on 23rd March 2020 that shuttered businesses and schools across the country. A few days before lockdown began, the Bank of England convened an emergency meeting where the committee unanimously voted to

St Paul's Cathedral

UK employment remains weak as figures show record decline in total hours worked

Total number of weekly hours worked in Q2 2020 was 849.3m, down a record 203.3m on the previous year and down 191.3m hours on Q1 2020. The employment rate is 76.4%, 0.3% higher than last year, but 0.2% lower than Q1 2020. The unemployment rate is 3.9%, little changed on previous quarter and prior year

A view of the Gurkin from the ground.

UK Flash PMIs better-than-expected as all sectors return to growth although hiring remains weak

Flash estimates released this morning by IHS Markit revealed forecast-beating results across both manufacturing and services in the UK. The Manufacturing PMI rose to 53.6 in July from 50.1 in June, beating expectations for 52. The Services PMI rose to 56.6 in July from 47.1 in June, beating expectations for 51.1, and marking the first

Newly built terraced-housing.

Homebuilder heaven: Persimmon rises 6.4% on robust results

UK homebuilders were on a high today following Rishi Sunak’s announcement that he would raise the threshold on paying stamp study from £125,000 to £500,000, as well as a strong trading update from Persimmon. Whilst the FTSE 100 declined by 1.73% today, Persimmon advanced 6.41% higher to £25.89 a share, as the company announced construction

European Commission headquarters

Gloomy European Commission drives European benchmarks lower

European Commission research published today warned of a ‘deep recession’ this year as a result of the pandemic, which led to impositions of movement restrictions across the continent beginning in February/March stifling economic activity. The FTSE 100 fell by 1.53% as investors digested a more dire assessment of growth prospects than initially predicted in the

UK services PMI rises but activity remains in contraction

Figures released this morning from IHS Markit’s UK Services PMI showed that whilst this month’s report posted a significantly higher reading than May’s report of 29, it remained below the no-change in activity threshold of 50. This latest release is the highest that the UK Services PMI has been in four months at 47.1, although

UK GDP falls as data shows household consumption weakest since 1979

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released Q1 GDP figures for the UK this morning showing a 2.2% decline on the prior quarter and 1.7% on the prior year, as coronavirus began to wreak havoc on the economy. The UK’s current account balance missed consensus expectations for -£15bn instead coming in at -£21.1bn. The decline

UK Manufacturing PMI returns to growth

IHS Markit’s manufacturing PMI released yesterday showed growth in manufacturing activity on the prior month for the first time since the pandemic began. The reading came in at 50.1 indicating a very slight expansion, but nevertheless marked improvement on May’s dire reading of 40.7. The manufacturing output index came in even higher at 50.8, which

FTSE 100 slightly down as Bank of England boosts its bond-buying by £100m

The FTSE 100 fell 0.47% to 6,224.07 as news out of the Bank of England underwhelmed investors as expectations were for the central bank to be more aggressive. Risk sentiment is hardly being helped by a second wave of infections in Beijing, which has led city authorities to reimpose strict lockdown restrictions. The new cluster

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