Global economics in The Monday Briefing

Investment is the focus


Deloitte’s latest survey of UK Chief Financial Officers, released overnight, shines light on the plans of Britain’s largest corporates. The full report is available at:

The labour shortages and supply disruptions British businesses are experiencing are likely to persist for a year, with no meaningful easing until late 2022 or 2023, according to CFOs of the UK’s largest companies. CFOs are particularly concerned about labour supply, with three-quarters reporting that their businesses have experienced some, significant or severe recruitment difficulties in the three months preceding the survey. They expect only limited improvement in the situation in a year’s time.

CFOs rate labour shortages, the pandemic and inflation as the top risks facing their businesses. Amid growing wage and price pressures, CFO expectations for a rise in operating costs have hit a record high, with a majority of respondents also expecting a margin squeeze over the next 12 months. CFOs expect inflation to run higher for longer, with a narrow majority expecting it to exceed 2.5% in two years’ time, well above the Bank of England’s 2.0% target rate.

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Posted on 18/10/2021

Pandemic update


Join me tomorrow, Tuesday, 5 October, at 08:30 BST when I will be in conversation with George Magnus, veteran City economist and China watcher, on the topic of “The inevitable rise of China - and why it may not happen”. We'll be discussing whether China is destined to eclipse the US as the world's economic and geopolitical superpower – and what obstacles it needs to overcome to get there. George, formerly chief economist at UBS and a research fellow at the China Centre, University of Oxford, is author of “Red Flags: Why Xi’s China is in Jeopardy”. To join please register at:

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Posted on 04/10/2021

Gas crunch – higher prices, lower growth


The economic dislocations caused by the pandemic show no sign of abating. After a summer of eye-watering used car prices, milkshake and chicken shortages, now come soaring gas and electricity costs.

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Posted on 27/09/2021

Inflation: Please, not back to the 1970s


In the wake of a blisteringly fast economic recovery have come bottlenecks, supply shortages and inflation. Over the summer the US Federal Reserve’s favoured measure of inflation hit the highest levels in almost 30 years. Unexpected though it is, today’s inflation surge is widely seen as temporary.

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Posted on 20/09/2021

Where next for the recovery?


Please join me and Deloitte’s CEO, Richard Houston, for our annual ‘Back to school’ webinar on the global economic outlook on Tuesday, 14 September, 13:00–14:00 BST. To register please visit:

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Posted on 13/09/2021

Rising inflation – don’t panic


The V-shaped recovery from the pandemic has brought with it supply shortages and rising prices. From semiconductors to McDonalds milkshakes, stories of shortages abound.

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Posted on 31/08/2021

Whatever happened to the antiques market


There may still be a few readers of the Monday Briefing who were early adopters, back in 2008. If so they may recall my enthusiasm for antique furniture as, “a functional, proven asset at a low price”. Prices may have looked low then, but in the ensuing 13 years they have, by and large, fallen still further. In a world where the value of equities, bonds, commodities and houses have soared the value of antique furniture has slumped. This week’s briefing looks at what’s behind this decline.

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Posted on 23/08/2021

The rise and rise of house prices


Economic shocks tend to hold back house prices. But one of this pandemic’s peculiarities has been how it has supported housing markets. Despite bringing about the sharpest downturn in almost a century, the pandemic has fuelled a housing boom in the developed world.

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Posted on 09/08/2021

Summer quiz


Our summer quiz offers an eclectic test of knowledge, of pandemic-related developments, many in economics and business. The answers and a brief explanation of the factors at work are at the end of the quiz.

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Posted on 02/08/2021

Summer reading list


You may not have been able to get to your preferred holiday haunt this year, but we hope that our summer reading list will offer a distraction wherever you spend your summer break. The eight articles are available free online, although some websites restrict the number of articles that can be accessed without charge each month.

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Posted on 26/07/2021