Recession Update: How is the Economy doing Today?

Although the UK is technically not in a recession, the effects of it can still be felt today so in this article we take a look at how things currently stand for the average Brit.

Inflation

After experiencing a period of rising inflation, the consumer prices index (CPI), as revealed by the Office for National Statistics, was unchanged in May standing at 4.5 percent as it did in April.

While this may appear to be a cause for celebration as many households struggle to accommodate the high cost of living, the particulars reveal there were significant upward and downward pressures between April and May.

The late timing of East this year is thought to have affected the impact on the April to May movement as air transport was found to be the main downward pressure to annual inflation.

While the main upward pressures came from food products, while fuel and energy costs continue to add pressure to Britsí finances.

Personal Debt

Debt still burdens many Brits across the country as latest research from R3, the insolvency body, reveals eight million people will be forced to go into their overdraft this month. 

They also found six million people are behind with some of their bills and payments which is a jump of two million over the last quarter.

However, alongside this there are some beneficial solutions to debt as the credit card industry is experiencing a boom in 0 percent balance transfer offers.  Barclaycard for example is offering a record period of 20 months interest free on balance transfers, so consumers are given the chance to get their finances in order after a difficult period perhaps of unemployment.

Interest Rates

The Bank of Englandís Monetary Committee has revealed its decision to keep the base rate at 0.5 percent for the 27th consecutive month.

This is good news for consumers in debt and those with mortgage repayments as this low base rate is keeping repayments low, so they can repay off more their debt to put them in a better position when it eventually rises.

However, for savers, there remains to be few competitive saving options available, so those looking to earn interest on their cash are finding it hard to find a savings account that provides a rate of interest that beats inflation.

Unemployment

Although unemployment has been said to be decreasing, recent analysis by the Trades Union Congress reveals if the current rate of progress continues at the same pace, it will take around five and a half years for the UK to return to pre-recession levels of employment.

Figures reveal the employment rate has increased by 0.5 percentage points in the last year however, and the total number of unemployed people fell by 88,000 in the last quarter, reaching a total of 2.43 million. 

The Labour market statistics reveal this is the largest quarterly fall in unemployment since the three months to August 2000, indicating things are picking up in the job market and perhaps other areas will follow.

 

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