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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.
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: https://bit.ly/2Y5tDs1
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: https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1488656&tp_key=c8a8828cba
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.
The pandemic triggered a vast experiment in remote working. Just as the industrial revolution moved workers from the countryside to urban centres, and the automobile era moved residential life to the suburbs, the pandemic has the capacity to remake the nature of work, and where it is done.
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.
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.
So far 2021 has been a year of improving global economic prospects, particularly in advanced economies. The rollout of vaccines and an easing of restrictions across the West have underpinned a strong recovery in activity – albeit one marked, increasingly, by surging cases of the Delta variant.
Deloitte’s latest survey of UK chief financial officers, released overnight, shines light on the plans of Britain’s largest corporates as the economy reopens. The full report is available at: https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/finance/articles/deloitte-cfo-survey.html
The S&P 500 closed on Friday at a new all-time high. Since last year’s pandemic-induced crash, the index has almost doubled in value, reflecting a surprising feature of the COVID-hit global economy – buoyant equities. Indeed, stocks have rallied since last March, when the global economy was on the verge of the deepest downturn in more than a century. So far, investors have shrugged off a deadlier second wave, further lockdowns, the more transmissible Alpha and Delta variants and, most recently, concerns over rising inflation.