Brexit worries dominate latest CFO Survey

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The third quarter Deloitte survey of UK Chief Financial Officers released today shows concerns about Brexit weighing heavily on business sentiment.

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Posted on 08/10/2018

Oil at $80

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In May we wrote that geopolitical factors posed an upside risk to oil prices. Those risks have materialised. Last week the oil price reached $82 a barrel, up 40% over the last 12 months and the highest level in almost four years. Some analysts are warning of a spike above $100.

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Posted on 01/10/2018

The squeeze on Middle America

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Last week the team came across some remarkable data. The Oxford economist Max Roser estimates that in 1820 more than 90% of the world’s population lived in extreme, absolute poverty, defined as living on less than $2 per day in today’s money. By 1981 this had fallen to 44% of the world’s population. Today it stands at less than 10% of the world’s population.

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Posted on 24/09/2018

Why we shouldn’t tax robots

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Economists of all stripes would agree that investment and the application of technology drive economic activity. For decades governments around the world have made strenuous efforts to encourage investment and new technologies. Last year this orthodoxy came under fire from an unexpected source.

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Posted on 17/09/2018

Consumer debt, how worried should we be?

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It would be hard to imagine life without mortgage and consumer credit.

Mortgages have extended home-ownership beyond the ranks of those on high incomes or with large amounts of capital. Credit has helped bring other major purchases, such as a new car or a kitchen, within the reach of most households. For the wider economy there are benefits too, since access to credit helps keep households going when incomes are under pressure.

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Posted on 10/09/2018

What happened over the summer?

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The summer months tend to be pretty thin for media coverage of economics and finance. Like the rest of us, journalists take their holidays in July and August. Yet economics is no respecter of holidays and events and data have continued to pile up.

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Posted on 03/09/2018

Turkish lessons

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Emerging market economies have been the main losers from US protectionism and higher US interest rates.

 

Capital has flooded out of emerging economies to the US to benefit from rising interest rates. This has meant less liquidity and has sent some emerging economy currencies through the floor. Emerging market governments or businesses which borrowed in dollars, and many have, are having to cope with rising financing costs and a heavier local currency debt burden.

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Posted on 28/08/2018

Tariffs and global growth, a brief update

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The imposition of tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium by the Trump administration in March has sparked a cycle of retaliatory tariffs. This is a serious outbreak of protectionism, one that is already acting as a drag on growth. Yet the global trading system is in rather better shape than it looks. This week’s Briefing explains why.

 

First, the bad news.

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Posted on 20/08/2018

Which are the most and least expensive cities for expats?

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Holidays often prompt ideas of a new life in some idyllic part of the world. But money matters and liveable, pleasant places are often pricey. Exchange rates are obviously key and the ups and downs of foreign exchange markets can deliver odd outcomes (at a village market in Provence yesterday I paid around 50% more for a week’s shopping than I would at a Waitrose in London).

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Posted on 13/08/2018

Deloitte Monday Briefing: Holiday Quiz

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Our summer quiz offers a test of your knowledge of holiday-related trivia through an economics lens. The answers along with a brief explanation are at the end of this note.

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Posted on 06/08/2018