State of the UK economy
Judging from the responses to the post below, there seems to be at least one individual in Wales who doubts the facts surrounding the current state of the UK economy.
However, if any further evidence is needed, this is what has been reported in the last 24 hours alone.
- The UK economy will shrink next year for the first time since 1991, it has been predicted. Capital Economics forecasts that the nation's GDP will contract by 0.2 per cent over the course of the year.
- A report on UK retail sales has posted its worst monthly reading since it was first compiled 25 years ago. A balance of 46% of retailers reported a fall in sales in the first half of August compared with a year earlier, said the CBI business organisation.
- U.K. house prices declined at the fastest annual pace in almost two decades in August after lower mortgage lending and the prospect of a recession discouraged home buyers, Nationwide Building Society said. The average value of a home plunged 10.5 percent to £164,654 pounds, the biggest drop since the final quarter of 1990, Britain's fourth-biggest mortgage lender said today. Prices fell 1.9 percent from July, the 10th monthly decline
- International credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's warned yesterday that the UK was "more exposed to a true recession than the Eurozone considered as a whole".
- New research claims over 3.3 million employed Brits fear they will lose their jobs in a year’s time, as a result of the economic slowdown. Workers in Wales are the least confident. According to a YouGov survey, commissioned by the TUC, more than 13 percent of workers in the UK believe they could lose their jobs over the next 12 months. The study blames the slowing UK economy for the rise of insecure workers across Britain.
- Sterling fell to a 12-year low on a trade-weighted basis on Thursday as weak UK house price and retail sales data intensified fears of a recession, pushing the UK currency close to a record low versus the euro.
- For the second year running UK personal debt stands at a higher level than UK GDP meaning the country would have to dip into the proceeds from next year's GDP to pay off all its outstanding personal debt, scratching out what's owed on 8 January 2009. Grant Thornton research shows that the total outstanding UK consumer debt amassed through mortgages, loans and credit cards has increased by 7.3% to £1,444 billion over the past year up from £1,346 billion in June 2007.
- Business confidence in Wales has fallen to a record low, a survey of senior business professionals has revealed. The latest UK Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), showed a fall in the confidence index in Wales to -27.8 in the third quarter of 2008 from -24.8 in the previous quarter. Confidence in Wales now stands a little below the UK average of -25.7.
More worryingly for him and his Labour colleagues, the economy is now the number one issue that people say they will take into consideration when deciding how to vote, and the verdict is grim - nearly three quarters of people say the economy is on the way down.
How's that for a 'reasoned argument'?