George Osborne

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Sterling surged as the exit polls were released last night, will the unexpected forecast that the Conservative Party would gain an even larger share of seats. The opinion polls prior to the election had the Labour and Conservative Party tied, however the Tory’s support has come through at the ballot box. The number of seats required to have an outright majority is 326, the initial exit polls estimated 316, with the latest view being around the number for a clear majority. T…

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The Office of National Statistics (ONS) preliminary reading for UK Q1 GDP data disappoints markets and misses expectations; +0.3% compared to a median estimate of +0.5%. In the fourth quarter of 2014, GDP was estimated to have expanded at +0.6%. The UK economy is the fastest growing in the G-10, with improving employment and record low inflation. The economy is at a pivotal point, as we exit a multi-year recession, though the headline reading is the weakest QoQ growth since Q4 2012.…

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The UK is headed towards its closest general election in modern history, with voters going to the polls on Thursday 7 May 2015. The first past the post political system didn’t produce the expected majority government in 2010, with the same outcome expected next month. Parliament has been dissolved by the current PM, David Cameron, and the official campaigning period has begun. In reality the preparations for the election started 18 months ago, with the leaking of policies and pol…

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Bank of England Minutes 9:30am At 9:30am London the Bank of England minutes for the MPC meeting held on the 4 and 5 March will be released. The expectation is that the members voted unanimously (9 - 0) to leave interest rates and asset purchases unchanged. Traders will be checking through the minutes of the meeting for any signals of the timing of the tightening of policy. This month is six years that the base interest rate has been held at the record low of 0.50%. Employment da…

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At 12:30pm (London) Chancellor George Osborne will unveil his Autumn Statement at the House of Commons. This is one of the current coalition government’s few major announcements prior to next year’s general election, and an attempt to sway voters. This is a fiscal announcement rather than a monetary policy; which is overseen by the Bank of England. Osborne is under pressure as the current government announced a range of austerity measures during its term in parliament, on t…

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The Office for National Statics (ONS) released their second estimate for the first quarter of the year’s economic growth in the UK at 9:30 this morning. The estimate was in-line with their first estimate at 0.8%, and was the fifth consecutive increase. This is a positive release for the UK economy following yesterdays, impressive retail sales figures. According to the ONS: "This is the longest period of continuous growth since the 2008-09 downturn and GDP now stands at 0.6%…

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On Wednesday morning the Office for National Statistics released the UK quarterly GDP growth release that remains unchanged at 0.7%. The release highlighted a positive that the construction industry output increased by 0.2% in the final quarter of 2013, compared to a previous estimate of a 0.3% decrease. The 2013 full year growth estimate is 1.8%, which though significantly below the pre-crisis levels this is a positive economy and something to build upon. The UK economy has begun to s…

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The Markit/CIPS UK Services PMI, came out at a six-month low for December at 58.8, dipping from Novembers buoyant 60.0. Analysts had expected the release to be between 60.0 and 60.3, above 50 is expansion. The figure though below forecasts is a positive release, though the concern is that this is part of a larger trend. Last week both manufacturing and construction PMIs fell from the previous months. Full Markit/CIPS UK Services PMI Release George Osborne Chancellor George…

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Chancellor George Osborne is part of a UK trade delegation to China, attempting to increase the business and investment links between the two countries. The China has growth figures that western countries could only dream of at the moment, and the UK is attempting to benefit from this in different areas: -Chinese students coming to the UK for education -Shopping and leisure -Large-scale investment projects -Export of UK luxury items -Relaxation of UK visa rules…

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This morning the Ex-Bank of Canada Governor begins his role as the new Bank of England Governor, taking over from Sir Mervyn King. Carney is the first foreign national to hold the senior post on Threadneedle Street, and many are hoping he will be able to work miracles. The UK economy is just beginning to show the green shoots of a recovery following a deeper recession than previously thought according to the ONS. The BoE has attempted to reignited growth with ultra-loose monetary polic…

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The FOMC met on Tuesday and Wednesday with the head of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke announcing as expected to leave rates unchanged at 0.25% and current policy unchanged. Trading throughout the European session on Wednesday had been subdued as traders awaited Bernanke’s speech and Q&A session to see when tapering of the current quantitative easing programme would occur. Speculation, as to when “tapering” would occur, has been the topic for analysts and market commen…

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Dijsselbloem, the Chair of the Eurogroup set the markets into free-fall, after stating that the Cypriot bailout was a “template for other Euro-area bailouts.” This comment of the Cypriot agreement being a precedent for future bailouts sent European bank shares crashing. However over the last 48 hours, hindsight has led to considerable backtracking by EU officials that in fact the Cypriot programme isn’t a template (Bloomberg). The losses the haircut on deposits could…

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is to announce the UK’s budget to Parliament at 12:30 GMT. This is a key date for the markets as rating agencies have identified its importance for the credit rating and outlook for the UK. Sterling has been under considerable pressure since the start of the year with credit rating agency Moody’s downgrading the UK for the first time since 1978 from the top level of AAA to Aa1. Osborne had continually cited the importance of th…

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There has been speculation for some time that the UK, would lose its coveted AAA credit rating, as the coalition struggles to meet its fiscal targets and growth continues in a “zig zag” fashion as coined by Mervyn King. The downgrade is an embarrassment to the Chancellor George Osborne, as he had said that keeping the top credit rating would be a measure of his and the coalition’s term. This is the first downgrade in the 25 years that Moody’s has been rating debt. Ana…

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On Wednesday George Osborne admitted that the UK government had failed to meet both its growth and debt forecasts that it had set. This was an embarrassing moment for the Chancellor , as previous austerity measures laid out in “plan A,” were set in order to gain control over the spiralling UK national debt. Further austerity measures were introduce as Osborne attempts to balance the books, which notably have been considerably impacted by global crisis in the US and Europe. During…

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