The Monday Briefing

Climate setbacks, climate progress

Climate-banner

In 2015 the Paris Agreement set a goal to limit the increase in global temperatures to well below 2°C, ideally 1.5°C, above pre-industrial levels. In January, for the first time, the average global temperature breached this 1.5°C benchmark over a 12-month period. The Paris accord is based on average temperatures over a much longer period, so the January record does not break the target. Nevertheless, it is a stark warning of the challenges ahead in seeking to meet it.

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Posted on 15/04/2024

Turning the corner

The second energy transition

Optimism among the Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) of the UK’s largest businesses is on a rising trend. The latest Deloitte CFO survey, conducted between 12–25 March, shows sentiment among the CFOs of large UK businesses rising for the third consecutive quarter. Sentiment is well above the average since the survey started 16 years ago and at levels that preceded periods of good growth in 2010, 2014 and 2021.

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Posted on 08/04/2024

Deloitte Monday Briefing (on a Tuesday): Spring in the economy

Spring

The last couple of years have been hard for the UK economy. Growth has ground to a halt and consumer spending power has come under heavy pressure. The economy dipped into recession in the second half of last year. The general narrative about the UK remains downbeat, with a focus on weak growth and poor productivity. We think this underplays some of the more recent developments.

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Posted on 02/04/2024

Lost: 700,000 workers

A recession radar

Alone among rich countries, the UK has seen an exodus of people from the labour market, since the pandemic. In the last four years the proportion of the population of working age who are not working has risen by 1.4 percentage points to 21.9%. Roughly 700,000 people have been lost to the UK job market.

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Posted on 25/03/2024

Asset returns, a ten-year view

Assets

Earlier this year a reader suggested we look at how assets have performed over the last decade. We have taken the idea up and examined the gains and losses an investor would have made on a range of assets.

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Posted on 18/03/2024

Growth optimism, fiscal hangover

Getting back to low inflation

Britain’s recession is over, inflation is beaten and interest rates are heading down. That, in a nutshell, was the upbeat message from last week’s UK Budget. But delve into the Budget numbers and a more daunting picture emerges.

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Posted on 11/03/2024

Spring arrives for the housing market

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The UK economy has shown unexpected resilience in the face of rising interest rates and inflation. Agreed, the economy fell into a recession in the second half of last year, but so far, a very mild one. The high unemployment, financial stress and big company corporate failures that looked possible a couple of years ago have not materialised. The housing market has also held up, confounding expectations of sharply lower house prices.

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Posted on 04/03/2024

The ups and downs of cross-border investment

Ups-and-downs

Investment flows between regions and nations date back to the ancient empires and civilisations. But it was not until the nineteenth century, during a period of rapid globalisation and industrialisation, that modern foreign direct investment (FDI) took shape, with major western companies building factories overseas to serve national and regional market.

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Posted on 26/02/2024

UK in recession, don’t panic

Equity-jitters

Invitation to a Deloitte Academy webinar this week:  AI and the Future of Employment – Assessing the Impact on Jobs. This Wednesday, 21 February, Professor Carl-Benedikt Frey, Associate Professor of AL & Work at the Oxford Internet Institute, will join me to share his thinking on the impact of Gen AI on the nature and future of work. This session will take place  from 09.00–10.30 GMT. To register, for what I think will be a fascinating session, please visit: https://deloitte.zoom.us/webinar/register/7317071434521/WN_aO47Lj7ZSmutCzrwpuFhGQ#/registration

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Posted on 19/02/2024

The returns to education

Back-to-education

Education is an obvious route to higher-skilled and higher-paid work. Graduates tend to earn more than non-graduates and post-graduates more still. In the US students who fail to graduate from high school earn significantly less than those who do.

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Posted on 12/02/2024

UK business failures – not quite as bad as they look

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A recurring theme in the Monday Briefing over the last year has been the unexpected resilience of western economies, including the UK. Employment has held up surprisingly well, housing markets have softened, not collapsed, and there is little obvious distress in financial markets.

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Posted on 05/02/2024