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|HOUSEHOLD CONFIDENCE Household confidence has reached its highest level for 11 years in another sign that the economy has benefited from a post - election bounce, a survey shows. IHS Markits household finance index has risen to 47.6 in February from 44.6 in January, with improvement driven by greater expectations of house price growth, easing concerns about job security and low inflation.
GROWING ECONOMY Britain had the third fastest growing economy in the G7 group of advanced nations last year, even though it stagnated in the final quarter. The economy beat expectations to grow 1.4% last year, outperforming France, Germany and Italy.
HOUSE PRICES RISE House rices have risen to near record levels as momentum builds in the property market according to Rightmove A surge in demand from new buyers since the general election lifted property prices by 0.8% last month.The £2,589 increase in property values last month was £40 shy of the fastest level on record. Rightmove had experienced a 7.2% increase in website traffic last month compared with a year earlier.
FACTORY ORDERS RISE The manufacturing sector emerged from its longest decline since the financial crisis last month, buoyed by a rise in political certainty after the general election. The purchasing managers index rose to the 50 mark...denoting no change from 47.5 in December and a flash reading for January of 49.8. Manufacturing makes up about 10% of the economy and the index had been below 50 since May, the longest run since 2009.The improvement was down to mild recoveries in new orders and business confidence, according to the survey by IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.
LATE PAYMENT Small and medium sized companies were owed a total of £23.4 billion in overdue bills at the end of 2019, an increase of £10.4 billion on 2018, recent research from BACS, the payment clearing organisation, found.
RECRUITMENT CONFIDENCE Companies have grown more confident about taking on workers since the election because the lingering political uncertainty of last year has cleared, a survey of recruiters has found. The outlook for economic conditions improved from -33 to -31 and for hiring and investment form -7 to -3. Before the referendum, the levels were 25 and 30 respectively.
CHEERS AT YOUR LOCAL It may be too early to call it a revival of the local, but the number of small pubs and bars in the UK has increased for the first time since 2002, driven by sales of food and craft ale. The number of small ventures, defined as those with fewer than ten employees, rose by 85 to 22,925 last year, figures from the Office of National Statistics show.
BUSINESS OPTIMISM Optimism soared among Britains larger companies after last months election, with many now increasing investment and preparing to hire more workers. The latest Deloitte CFO survey for January , shows that business sentiment among finance chiefs rose at its fastest rate in 11 years after the election. It was based on response from 119 chief financial officers from UK listed companies It showed that 53% of respondents were more optimistic than three months earlier. This was up from 9% in the previous quarter and the highest since the survey began 11 years ago.
SERVICES SECTOR BOOST The IHS Markit/CIP purchasing managers index rose to 50, an improvement on 49.3 in November and above economists forecast of 49.1. The survey which is based on responses from 650 services sector companies, was conducted between 5 and 19.of December. Output, new orders and employment all increased, while the business expectations sub index climbed to its highest level since September 2018.
CASH FALLS BEHIND CREDIT CARDS Credit card payments have overtaken cash in British shops for the first time.Notes and coins were only the third most popular form of payment last year, the British Retail Consortium has said. Only £1 in every £5 spent over the counter was made in cash. Debit cards have remained the most popular payment method, amounting to more than half of all payments.