Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Feeling robust?

The dismal economic numbers are piling up. Here are a few to meditate upon this morning:

  • Third quarter 2007 current account was £20 billion, which is about 5.8 percent of GDP. Due to the debt-fueled consumer binge the UK is spending beyond its means.
  • Between April and December last year, the government borrowed £28 billion, which is about £10 more than the same period the previous year. The government has caught the bug; it is now borrowing like a UK household.
  • The Northern Rock fiasco just added 6.7 percentage points to government debt.
  • Does anyone remember the last time the Bank of England met its inflation target? Currently, the retail price index is running at 4.1 percent. Producer price growth is approaching 6 percent, while input price inflation is in double digits.
  • Real wage growth is stagnant. Last year, average earnings (including bonuses) increased by 4.0 percent. Since the retail price index was 4.1 percent, real wages actually fell last year.
  • The housing market is crashing. According to the Halifax, prices started to fall last July. Since then, prices are down almost 5 percent. There is worse to come; mortgage approvals are down around 40 percent. No mortgages means no demand for housing.
  • Personal sector debt has exploded. Currently, household debt amounts to about 160 percent of disposible income.

  • True, the economy is still growing. Ever increasing amounts of credit has kept the government and households spending.

    However, that is about to come to an end. The credit crunch has called full time. The UK economy is about to begin a "correction", which is orwellian newspeak for a debt-cleansing recession.


    Anonymous said...

    Doooommmmmmed, we are all doooooommmmmmmmeeeeed!!!!!!!

    Anonymous said...

    Bring on the crash. Let's have a minimum 40% decline on London prices (I might then be able to afford to buy). I'm sick of snotty estate agents who don't return calls and talk as if you are a loser because you don;t have £1 million to spend. I hope to see lines of them at the employment office.

    Markbaldy said...

    Anonymous I know just what you mean - and the thing that pi55es me off is that estate agents give off an air of professionalism in offices that are akin to trendy wine bars.. yet they have the scruples of back-street second hand car dealers and have about as much qualifications as those who flip burgers for a living (no offence to McDonalds staff).