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ECONOMIC DATA THIS WEEK

Bank of England Inflation Report, November 2012:  The latest inflation report from the Bank of England was issued this week, the day after an unexpected increase in inflation which was largely due to higher University tuition fees and food prices increasing because of the bad weather.

The report suggested, not unsurprisingly, that the future path of GDP depends critically on development in the global economy and, in particular, the future of the euro-zone.  The general conclusion is that rapid growth is very unlikely and they foresee only a very slow recovery with GDP growth likely to be below its historical average rate (around +2.5%) throughout the next couple of years.

On inflation, they expect it to be higher than at the time of their August report, mainly because of the impact of increases in energy prices which will feed through in to the data over the next couple of months, before falling back in the 2nd half of 2013 as external price pressures ease.  You can get a copy of the report and/or the summary from the Bank’s web-site at http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Pages/inflationreport/defaul....

European GDP, 3rd Quarter 2012:  Eurostat has just issued its flash estimate of GDP in Europe which shows a fall of -0.1% for the euro-zone (compared to the 2nd quarter), while for the EU27 as a whole it increased by +0.1%; this puts euro-zone GDP -0.6% lower than it was a year ago, with a reduction of -0.4% for the EU27.  Data is available for 19 of the individual member states;  of these, 8 saw GDP lower than in the 2nd period of this year, led by the fall of -1.1% in the Netherlands and -0.8% in Portugal, while 10 saw an increase (Belgium had no change) of which the fastest growth was in Estonia and Latvia (both +1.7%).  More details are in the Eurostat news Release which is available on request from MTA.

European Industrial Production, September 2012:  The latest industrial data from Eurostat shows a fall in total output for the euro-zone of -2.5% (compared to August), with a reduction of -2.3% for the EU27 as a whole.  Compared to September 2011, total industrial production fell by -2.3% for the euro-zone and by -2.7% in the EU27 as a whole.

This very sharp drop, one of the largest monthly changes apart from the early stages of the recession, appears to be spread across a range of industries, with capital goods output falling by -3.0% for the euro-zone and by -2.6% in the EU27.  This is somewhere in the middle of the range of trends, with output of consumer durables falling more rapidly while there was a smaller reduction in the output of energy in the euro-zone and non-durable consumer goods had the smallest reduction in the EU27 as a whole.

Among the member states for whom the data is available, compared to a year ago, total industrial production fell in 17 and increased in only 6;  Ireland (-12.8%) had the largest fall in output, while Slovakia (+13.0%) had the strongest growth.  The Eurostat News Release is available on request from MTA.

USMTO, September 2012:  The US Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) programme tracks order intake in the US market - similar in some ways to our own monthly UK market survey in which many members participate.  The latest figures show that orders are running +5.6% above the level for the same period (January to September) in 2011;  the regional breakdown shows that growth is led by the South region where orders were +15% ahead of last year, with only the North-East area having lower orders (by -8%).  The USMTO News Release is available from the AMT web-site at www.amtonline.org or if you prefer, we can send you a copy (and we will send it to you each month as soon as it is available if you wish).

Investment Grants in Scotland and the Regional Growth Find for England:  The Scottish Government still uses a grant based system for supporting investment - Regional Selective Assistance (RSA); details of this scheme are available at http://www.scottishbusinessgrants.gov.uk/rsa/208.html.  They produce a list of both accepted offers and payments made - copies of the Scottish report for the 3rd quarter of 2012 are available on request from MTA (we can also add you to a mailing list to receive these reports as they become available) or via the above link under “reports”.

There is a different system in England with companies and local authorities able to apply for funding from the Regional Growth Fund.  This is works by releasing a block of funds from time to time rather than being a fund that can be applied for continuously.  On 19th October, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) announced the list of organisations that had been successful in obtaining grants from phase 3 of this scheme - more details of this scheme and a full list of who received grants under the latest phase can be obtained from the BIS web-site at http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/economic-development/regional-growth-fund.

BEAMA Contract Price Adjustment Service:  The November 2012 circular has been sent to the regular mailing list.  If you would like a copy and to be added to the mailing list (by post or email), please let us know