Last week we focused on labour market statistics – here is a summary:
- unemployment was back at 4% in November;
- employment moved up slightly;
- wages are running quite fast with regular up 3.3% compared to the period between September and November a year ago – however, those in manufacturing are running not as fast as inflation (2% vs 2.2%);
Let’s see what the current week is going to offer us is.
Consumer confidence and PMI
After a start of the week characterised by another Brexit vote on “plan B” on Tuesday, the week will conclude with two crucial releases which will help us to understand how 2019 has started for the UK economy.
On Thursday, it will be the turn of consumer confidence. 2018 has ended with a not too positive picture with the index at -14 in December which was the lowest point registered in 2018 and a five-year low. Consumers continue to be extremely worried about the UK economic situation and not ready to spend big ticket money.
The last day of the week will also be the first day of the new month and, as always, the first working day of the month is characterised by the release of manufacturing PMI.
After last month’s pick-up at 54.2, achieved partially thanks to stockpile production, expectations for this month are for a weaker but still over-50 reading.
Manufacturing has experienced five months of decline as a reflection of a “natural” slowdown after a long expansion. The Sterling devaluation effect has faded almost entirely away coupled with uncertainties around the Brexit situation are putting a brake to exports and are affecting some super-integrated sector such as the automotive one.