The Islamic panic, the McCartney-Mills divorce, and the BAFTAs, have crowded out a lot of bad economic news.
Here’s just one day of stories:
The big business lobby group, the CBI, reports that small and medium enterprises are expecting domestic orders to fall. They predicts that
firms expect rising costs to eat into their profits.
A growing number of companies said they would have to increase prices, to counter the effect of falling sales.
The report follows others, which say UK business confidence is at a low, and that more firms plan redundancies.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) says that business confidence has plummeted but that the economy will decelerate in an “orderly manner”.
Meanwhile, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) says the number of firms expecting to make redundancies among their staff in the next few months has risen “sharply”.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics show the UK’s trade deficit with the rest of the world was worse than expected in December:
The shortfall on trade in goods was £7.574bn in December, down from £7.910bn in November but more than analysts’ expected figure of £7.35bn.
The total deficit on trade in goods and services narrowed from £4.801bn in November to £4.723bn in December.
For 2007, the UK’s deficit on goods and services rose to £51bn from £46.4bn.
And about those inflationary pressures, which the government claims are mainly the wage demands of public sector workers…
Price inflation of goods leaving UK factories has reached its highest rate in 16 years, driven higher by petrol and food costs, official figures show.
Annual output price inflation reached 5.7% in January, up from 5% the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Prices paid by factories for their raw materials surged by 18.7% in the 12 months to the end of January.
Core output price inflation, which strips out the effects of food and petrol, also rose much faster than expected, up 0.8% on the month, the fastest since records began in 1986, and was up 3.2% year-on-year. […]
As well as higher oil and wheat prices, the fall in the value of the pound in recent months pushed up the cost of other raw materials.
The Bank of England had been hoping that the rise in oil prices would be a one-off shock whose effects would gradually wear off during 2008.
So this was bad news? But no that bad?
“Terrible”, “horrific” and “shocking” were among analysts’ immediate reactions to the figures, which Paul Dales at Capital Economics said would “deepen the inflation worries that are preventing the MPC from cutting interest rates sharply.”
Fuck. That means all those people coming off fixed-rate mortgage deals will won’t be helped by swingeing interest rate cuts – and will have to give up their homes?
Hey but don’t worry! To take your mind off it all there’s lots of news stories about the Jews – sorry, wrong scapegoat! That’s so last century* – I mean the Muslims. And if you’re tired of hearing about their legal or marital arrangements, don’t worry, there’s plenty of lies about Gypsies to get you going…
* The Daily Express’ front page today was about migrants committing crime. Inside it listed the nationalities, and I was interested to see that the second highest number of offenders supposedly came from Ireland. What chance of Irish-bashing? Again – so last century…