7. Weekly Newsletter
UK Jobs data unreliable
The UK statistics ‘Watchdog’ claims that labour market data is very unreliable, which has led to a long period of uncertainty for UK ministers and businesses, and senior members of the Office for Statistics Regulation that the stats are far away from where they need to be before they can be trusted. An extension of the UK statistics authority, OSR, is set to complete a review this week to look at how the Office for National Statistics can improve by encouraging a higher volume of researchers in the field.
The data schism is a problem for Bank of England policymakers as they see strains on the labour market as one of the main factors influencing inflation. This has been exemplified by a BoE deputy governor, Ben Broadbent, who raised concerns about uncertainty in the labour market and its implications of lack of conviction in concluding inflation is falling.
Over the last seven days, the UK’s front page news cycle has covered many topics. BoE’s Bailey sees signs of stronger UK growth, UK pension funds lost £425 billion in years of bond market crisis, and Labour will ditch £28 billion green investment goal. Some of the newspaper headlines from this week were:
- Financial Times- UK jobs market slows in sign inflation pressures are easing
- Financial Times-UK house prices rise for fourth consecutive month, says Halifax
- Financial Times-HS2 offers ‘very poor value’ for money, MPs warn
- The Guardian- Ex-Post Office boss ‘gave Fujitsu bonus contract despite warnings
- Sunday Telegraph- Lord Cameron says Donald Trump’s Russian invasion comments are ‘not sensible’
UK in talks with Japanese conglomerate
The UK government is planning to seize control of a large site in Anglesey as part of plans to proliferate nuclear technology in the country. The land is owned by Japanese conglomerate Hitachi, which specialises in power and renewable energy solutions. The land has not been used to full effect as Hitachi tried to strike a deal with the UK government in 2019 to build a new reactor there, but the deal fell through. Subsequently, Hitachi wrote off £2.1 billion on the project and is keen to abandon it altogether.
Approximately 14% of the UK’s power is supplied by nuclear plants, and the goal is to raise this number as fast as possible to the levels of other countries, such as the US, whose nuclear energy usage is at 30%.