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House price growth slows to weakest pace in 6 years due to Brexit fears.
Growth was only 0.5% in December, down from 1.9% in November and the lowest rate since February 2013, according to a Nationwide survey. Concerns about the impact of Brexit, many businesses are unsettled with many holding back on investment and expansion plans. The Bank of England's worst case scenario, a disorderly no deal Brexit, would lead to a 30% fall in house prices, 5.5% inflation rates and an economic contraction greater than the 2008 financial crisis. This sentiment is against a backdrop of employment growth, stronger wage growth and low borrowing costs, which makes the situation more disappointing
Wall Street Soars and US jobs boom at what price?
Most stock markets in the US have risen significantly in December after a turbulent year, following a sell off period in November. US Federal Reserve chairman stated that it would be 'listen sensitively to stock markets and be patient with its interest rate policy'. However, how much of this boom is driven by lower taxes and other business benefits driven by Trump at the cost of a huge increase in the $ trillions US deficit.
Jury is out for Retail high street performance.
It is expected that retail reports will show weaker trading than desired over the Christmas period following a poor year generally in the high strret. M&S for example will report a fall in underlying sales in food and clothing, in line with market expectations. Most other major retailers and in particular Debenhams, which had a poor 2017, will do well to show growth after a tough November, poor weather conditions for shopping and Brexit confusion. Several retailers have issues profit warnings, but Next and John Lewis seem to be bucking the trend and have reported better sales figures than expected
Quotes of the month
You have enemies? Good. . That means you have stood up for something, sometine in your life ( Winston Churchill) )
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored ( Aldous Huxley - author)
Leadership is one of the things you cannot delegate. You either exercise it or abdicate it( Robert Goizueta - Coca Cola))