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NEWS WRAP – Interest Rate Debate – Trust in Growth or Manage Risk?

Employment data from the Office for National Statistics further underlined the positive mood, with the UK unemployment rate unchanged at 3.8 per cent. The figures showed the employment rate at an all-time high of 76.3 per cent, thanks to a 208,000 increase in the number of people in employment during the quarter.**

Interest rates may be approaching an all-time low but, given the overall economic picture, many argued that it was hard to see how the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) could justify interest rate cuts at a time of such unfettered growth.

However, others speculated that an interest rate cut would be a sound strategy to manage economic risks in the short to medium term, rather than delaying a rate cut until the economic picture had deteriorated. Furthermore, as the deadline neared for the Bank of England’s decision, other factors came into play, not least the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak in China as well as the situation at telecommunications giant BT, which saw a 3% drop in revenues in the last quarter, and a 4% fall in core profits which they largely attribute to the impact of the Huawei ruling.***

Furthermore, it was also reported that the number of personal insolvencies in the UK reached its highest level since 2010, with the Insolvency Service reporting 122,181 personal insolvencies in 2019 – up 6% on 2018.

In the end Mark Carney, in his last major act as governor of the Bank of England, announced the MPC’s decision to opt against an interest rate cut but, as many news outlets reported, it had been a knife-edge decision.

Blacktower FM, managing risk to protect and grow your wealth

Blacktower Financial Management (International) Ltd. provides qualified and regulated advice to expats across Europe to help them prepare for a brighter financial and retirement future.

We have offices across Europe, as well as in the UK and have been providing wealth management advice for more than thirty years. Contact your local office today for independent international financial advice which takes into consideration all the local and national economic factors relevant to your personal situation.

* https://www.rightmove.co.uk/news/house-price-index/

** https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peoplenotinwork/unemployment

*** https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-bt-outlook/bt-warns-of-500-million-pounds-hit-from-british-limits-on-huawei-idUKKBN1ZT0MJ

**** https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/jan/30/personal-insolvencies-jump-to-nine-year-high-in-england-and-wales

This communication is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, investment recommendations or investment research. You should seek advice from a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in this communication is correct, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions.

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