The UK economy looks set to finally record robust growth this week, after numerous positive indicators from consumers and firms this morning all pointing to an expanding economy. All five of the latest surveys are positive, continuing a run of steadily strengthening data over the past few months and bolstering hopes that Thursday’s second quarter GDP release will entrench the recovery. Most City forecasters are expecting growth of 0.6%, similar to a prediction from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. Some of the more optimistic economists are hoping for up to 0.8%; even the pessimists anticipate economic growth to be higher than the 0.3% seen in the first quarter of this year (cover of City A.M. and p.83 of The Daily Telegraph).
David Cameron has warned that he could not give a “blanket assurance” that a future Conservative Government would not raise taxes as he tied the changes of a future giveaway to the recovery of the economy. The Prime Minister said that he wanted to “give people back some of their hard-earned money” as ministers wait for the publication of the latest GDP figures this Thursday. (p.2 of The Times and p.2 of the Daily Express)
Those born in the 1980s to noughties should give up on any dreams they had of being homeowners – as they are set to face an uphill struggle to buy or rent a home over the next seven years. Rents in 2020 are expected to be 46% higher than they are today, according to Research by the National Housing Federation (NHF). It estimates that the average first-time buyer’s home will cost £245,165 in 2020 (vs. the current average of £239,000). The study goes on to warn that the shortage of affordable housing will mean 3.7million young people will be living with their parents by 2020, an increase of 700,000. (p.5 of the Metro, p.6 of the Daily Telegraph, p.28 of Daily Mirror, p.30 of Daily Mail and p.17 of The Guardian)
The era of cheap food is coming to an end, the boss of Tesco warned yesterday. Philip Clarke, chief executive of Britain’s biggest supermarket chain, said rising global demand meant the low prices could not continue for much longer. He spoke as a new poll indicated that consumers would be willing to pay more for their groceries if they thought it would benefit British farmers. (p.20 of Daily Mail)
During the past three years, British firms have defied the odds by hiring far more workers than the anaemic GDP growth figures would suggest. However the proportion of young people aged between 16 and 24 in employment has barely budged. Nora Senior looks into how to best prepare young people for work. The British Chambers of Commerce say that the breaking down of barriers between business and young people will be one of the top priorities. (p.60 of Daily Mail)