David Tinsley, UK economist at BNP Paribas, said: “The big picture on the trade position in the UK is that the overall nominal trade balance is proving very hard to reduce. It is not obviously getting worse in a trend sense, and with some nominal GDP growth could start to look more convincingly better in relation to the size of the economy. But this adjustment is very slow.” Scott Corfe, managing economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), said a rise in imports could add to Britain’s woes and hold back a trade-led recovery. “A challenge for the UK economy going forward will be to deliver a much-talked-about trade-led recovery. Export growth alone isn’t sufficient as trade-led expansion requires relatively controlled import growth something the UK has found hard to accomplish in recent decades. “Confidence in the economy has risen sharply since the start of 2013 and this looks set to translate into relatively robust growth in consumer spending and business investment next year. his is likely to feed through into higher import growth, making it that much harder for the UK to narrow its trade balance going forward.” A key element of the export-led recovery, according to the Treasury, is the growth of the manufacturing sector . The chancellor said in 2011 that he wanted a “march of the makers” to rebalance the economy away from the financial and property sectors to manufacturing. Rob Wood at Berenberg Bank pointed out that the manufacturing output trend remains expansionary over the last three months with output up 1.2%, the biggest rise since October 2010, but that the dip in August is cautionary for those analysts who believe a solid recovery is in place. “The disappointing trade deficit and industrial data do emphasise that Britain has not yet reached the nirvana of well balanced growth. This is at heart a consumer led recovery, driven by low interest rates and households saving less and spending more. We expect it to broaden out and move onto a more sustainable footing next year,” he said.
UK Sikhs Share Good Practice With Australian Minister
Nicholas Kotsiras MP, Dabinderjit Singh, Jagtar Singh Gill, Parminder Singh Birdi, Giani Gurbux Singh Gulshan and Baldev Singh (October 9, 2013)Recently the Sikh Council UK arranged a meeting with the Hon. Nicholas Kotsiras MP, an Australian politician for the Liberal Party and the Minister for Energy and Resources and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship for the state of Victoria. The meeting took place at Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Southall and was organised following contact by Gurdarshan Singh of the Interfaith Sikh Council of Victoria. A useful briefing was provided by Dya Singh of SEWA Network & Cultural Education, Melbourne, Victoria, and Gurmukh Singh, Member of the Board of Jathedars for the Sikh Council UK. In addition, a United Sikhs representative also provided a short briefing of some of the challenges faced by Sikhs in Victoria. The Minister first congratulated Sikhs in the UK for establishing a platform to bring Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations together to discuss common issues and a strategy to deal with them by the formation of the Sikh Council UK. He suggested this was a model Sikhs in Australia at a state and national level could learn from. He indicated around 26,000 Sikhs live in Victoria, which is Australias most densely populated state and geographically the smallest on the Australian mainland. One real plus point put across by the Minister was the existence of a Multicultural Act in Victoria. Not all other Australian states have similar legislation protecting and promoting multiculturalism. The main issues discussed were around the Sikh identity and in some areas Victoria compares favourably with the UK e.g. Amritdharia Sikhs are allowed to carry the Kirpan and are issued with police cards. The Minister pointed out turban wearing Sikh police and custom officers were now also well established. The briefing from United Sikhs suggested the wearing of the Dastaar in the workplace in certain industries remains an issue in the state of Victoria e.g. construction industry. The Minister was told about the UK legal position and promised a copy of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission guidance relating to the Sikh identity. Candidly the Minister pointed out this was the first time the issue of the wearing of the Dastaar in the workplace e.g. construction industry was being raised directly with him by Sikhs.
UK industrial production unexpectedly falls in August
Industrial output dropped 1.1 per cent from July, when it gained 0.1 per cent, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. Factories cut output by 1.2 per cent, with pharmaceuticals contributing most to the decline. While the International Monetary Fund yesterday raised its forecasts for the UK by more than any other Group of Seven economy, todays figures suggest the industrial sector is lagging behind. Bank of England policy makers are expected to maintain policy to cement the recovery when they conclude their two-day meeting today. Within manufacturing, there were declines in pharmaceuticals, computer electronics and food and beverage output, the ONS said. From a year earlier, factory output fell 0.2 per cent. On the month, there were also declines in the output of utilities including water, oil and gas and mining and quarrying, the ONS said. Overall industrial production grew 1.1 per cent in the three months through August. IMF forecast In its World Economic Outlook published yesterday, the IMF predicted UK economic growth of 1.4 per cent in 2013 and 1.9 per cent next year, about half a percentage point more in both years than previously seen. It expects the euro region to shrink 0.4 per cent in 2013, lagging behind the US for the fifth year. In a separate report today, the ONS said the goods-trade deficit narrowed to 9.63 billion (11.38 billion) from 9.94 billon. Exports rose 1.1 per cent and imports declined 0.1 per cent. The deficit with European Union nations widened, while the gap with non-EU states narrowed. Between June and August, the deficit in goods and services widened to 8.39 billion from 6.42 billion, suggesting net trade will again struggle to contribute to growth in the third quarter. While gross domestic product grew 0.7 per cent in the second quarter, there was no contribution from net trade and business investment acted as a drag on the economy.