Weekly Digest – 20 March 2024

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

Inflation forecast hit two-year low

Inflation in the UK is projected to have decelerated to a two-year low in February, with economists cautioning that the Bank of England’s 2 per cent target may not be met in the upcoming months.

Bank of England forecasts in the dock as Bernanke verdict looms

The BoE has called upon a Nobel Prize winner, former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, to review its methods. His report is expected in April and heralds what Pill said this month was a “once in a lifetime” chance to shake-up the central bank’s forecasting and communication methods

UK economy returns to growth after volatile fourth quarter

A rebound in retail activity helped the UK economy bounce back in January, and the combination of falling gas prices and the anticipation of rate cuts suggests we should see an improvement in growth through 2024.

UK wage growth slowest since 2022, offering relief to Bank of England

British wages excluding bonuses grew at their slowest pace since October 2022 while the unemployment rate edged up unexpectedly, according to data which may slightly ease the Bank of England’s inflation worries.

Bank of England set to play for time before first rate cut

The Bank of England will probably keep investors guessing next week about when it is likely to start cutting interest rates as it waits for clearer signs that inflation pressures still in the economy really are being quashed.

Recession may be over, but the UK economy is moving at a sloth-like pace

Officially, the UK entered the shallowest of recessions in the last six months of last year as gross domestic product (GDP) – a measure of the value of all the goods and services we produce – contracted. Unofficially, that recession appears to have already ended.

IoD press release signs of economic green shoots, but still a strong case for an interest rate cut.

Commenting on ONS data that showed monthly GDP rising by 0.2% in January 2024, following a fall of 0.1% in December 2023., Dr. Roger Barker, Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors, said: “It is encouraging to see the UK economy returning to growth at the start of 2024 – after having been technically in recession at the end of 2023.

Spring Budget 2024 – What does it mean for small business?

In his last Budget before the General Election, which is expected to take place in the autumn, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt focused on growth through lower taxes and more investment. Coining the Spring Budget, which was announced on Wednesday 6th March, “a budget for long-term growth”, Mr Hunt announced personal tax cuts, as well as tax breaks and investment for small businesses.

Cross-sector report calls for bold policy reform to fix UK economy

Cross-sector report calls for bold policy reform to fix UK economy. As the recession-hit economy and imminent General Election pile pressure on this year’s Spring Budget, a cross-sector report launched last week in Parliament by the Future Economy Alliance calls for a dedicated UK Government Minister to overhaul economic policy.

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