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UK February News 2017

Published: Feb 10, 2017
  • The British economy is believed to have grown by 0.5% in Q4 and 2% for the whole of 2016, early figures suggest.  Industrial production grew by 2.1% in November vs October. 
  • Lidl enjoyed its biggest ever Christmas performance in the UK during December 2016 increasing sales by 10%.  Aldi reported similar figures and their total UK sales are now 15% higher YoY to December 2016.
  • The IMF increased its growth forecast for the UK for 2017 to 1.5%.  It had originally forecast 1.1% for 2017 but revised this due to stronger than expected growth.  Their 2018 predictions however have been downgraded to 1.4% rather than the original projections of 1.7%.
  • The Bank of England have released figures showing that consumers have started to cut back on borrowing with consumer credit growing at its slowest pace in 2.5 years.  It is believed that the drop in the value of the pound which has subsequently raised the costs of imports has trickled down to households.
  • Retail sales volumes fell a sizeable 2% in December when compared to November.  Both Black Friday & Cyber Tuesday are held in November.  Overall however, consumers still spent strongly during the October, November and December period.  The December fall however, is the largest decline in nearly 5 years.  Retail prices were also shown to have increased by 0.9% in December.
  • The Irish Stock Exchange is marketing in the UK to seek British companies list on the Dublin stock exchange following Brexit.  This way, many UK companies can retain access to Europe. 
  • 806 solicitors from England and Wales were registered in the Irish roll of solicitors in 2016.  Previously, the average figure would be less than 100 per year.  However, many solicitors are seeking admittance to the Irish Law Society in order to be allowed appear at the European Courts of Justice whereby only those registered in an EU country can work.
  • Average weekly earnings for the three months to August 2016 (the latest data available) showed an increase of 2.5%.  Employment remains at an 11 year high.  There were 31.8m people in work during the same period to August, with 294,000 more people in employment than the same period in 2015.

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