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Richmond Events' Business Panel Report - Economic Outlook


The latest Richmond Events' business panel report on the economic outlook is now available. Please read on for headline findings and to download the free report.

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Richmond Events’ Business Panel Report - Economic Outlook


The annual economic outlook survey from the Richmond Events’ Business Panel is now available.

Headline findings include:-

  • Government’s handling of the economy: 3% rate the government’s handling of the economy as very good, 44% as acceptable, 41% could have been better and 8% as shocking.
  • Interest rates: the panel predicts interest rates will be at (average) 0.8% in 1 year’s time and 1.65% in 3 years’ time.
  • Growth: Not a single respondent expects the economy to grow significantly over the coming year, whilst 30% expect it to grow marginally. A further 52% expect it to stay much the same as it is now, whilst 16% expect it to shrink a little and 2% shrink a lot.
  • Headcount: 25% of organisations have increased headcount over the last year. The number who have reduced headcount, and may do so again, has fallen slightly: 34% to 31%.
  • Turnover: just under half expect their turnover to increase, with a further third expecting it to remain the same. As a result, those who feel their turnover will probably reduce comprise only 13% of the panel.
  • Profit: Less than half the panel feel their organisation’s profit will increase in 2013, slightly down from last year. 14% feel their profits will fall this year - 5% less than last year. 4% are undecided.

For a full copy of this free report, please contact David Clark.
 


Richmond Events’ Business Panel Report – Economic Outlook


Our latest Business Panel report on the UK economic outlook is now available. Headline findings include:-

  • Only 8% rate the government’s handling of the economy as very good, 52% as acceptable, 28% could have been better and 8% as shocking. 
  • The panel predicts interest rates will be at (average) 0.8% in 1 year’s time and 1.88% in 3 years’ time.
  • Not a single respondent expects the economy to grow significantly over the coming year, whilst 24% expect it to grow marginally.  A further 45% expect it to stay much the same as it is now, whilst 29% expect it to shrink a little and 2% shrink a lot.  These figures are down versus last year.
  • The Retail sector is the most pessimistic, with 92% predicting things are going to get a little or a lot tougher (transport & travel are the only ones who predict ‘carnage’!)  
  • Less than half the panel feel their organisation’s profit will increase in 2012, though up from 41% last year.  19% feel their profits will fall this year, 6% more than last year.  3% are undecided.
  • Budgets – mixed news. The proportion expecting an increase has remained similar to last year, 23% down from 24%. However this figure is still dwarfed by the 33% expecting a decrease (though also down from 37% last year). The remaining 44% don’t expect to see a change.   

Download the full report.

For further information please contact David Clark.


Still cutting those costs - David Smith, Economics Editor, The Sunday Times


Of all the developments since the global financial crisis, perhaps the most unwelcome has been the return of inflation. We knew that there would be a banking hangover, with weak credit growth, as in the aftermath of every previous financial crisis.

We also knew there would have to be some tough fiscal decisions, with both tax hikes and an end to the carefree days of significant increases in government spending. People can debate the size of the cuts, and their pace, but few can dispute the need for them.

Less predictable was the rise in costs. Recessions and crises are supposed to destroy inflation. Many recessions, or at least slowdowns, are engineered by policymakers precisely for that purpose.

In that respect, one source of inflationary pressure has behaved in a textbook way. Pay settlements have remained subdued, averaging 2% or so in Britain, in spite of a strong rise in employment. People are grateful to be in work and sense that their bargaining power is limited.

The picture is similar across most advanced economies, though wage pressures have increased in the emerging world, perhaps unsurprisingly. That is where growth is far stronger and it is where the impact of rising energy and commodity prices is biggest.

The return of inflation is simply explained. In the worst phase of the crisis, in the autumn of 2008, the commodities’ bubble burst spectacularly. The oil price, which reached an all-time high of $147 a barrel in the summer of 2008, slumped all the way to the mid-$30s. Many commodity prices followed a similar pattern.

Then came the bounce, as a result of a global recovery led by commodity-hungry emerging economies, pushing some prices above their previous peaks. It is not yet true for oil, and may not be for some time as a result of an International Energy Agency decision to release some strategic shocks. But other commodities have raced ahead.

David Smith writes a column for Richmond Events News, our monthly newsletter with updates across the whole forum portfolio and the wider business community. To subscribe please contact us.



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