Consumer spending slowed to recession levels before EU referendum

Retail sales growth weakest in seven years, monthly survey suggests, but bad weather blamed rather than vote

Consumer spending grew at its slowest rate since the depths of the 2008-09 recession in the three months leading to the EU referendum, but retailers have blamed bad weather for the tough trading conditions.

The monthly survey of high street and online sales from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG found that sales in the second quarter of 2016 were up 0.5% on the first quarter and 1.2% up on an annual basis. The BRC said this was the weakest performance since May 2009, when the economy was contracting during its longest and deepest postwar recessions.

Related: Spending growth slows as shoppers delay big purchases

Continue reading…

IMF warns Italy of two-decade-long recession

Eurozone’s third biggest economy may not recover from 2008 financial crash until mid-2020s, according the fund’s annual report

The fragile state of Italian banks in the fraught post-Brexit financial climate has been highlighted by the International Monetary Fund, in a stark warning that the eurozone’s third biggest economy will have suffered for almost two decades before it starts to recover the ground lost since the 2008 financial crash.

Italian banks suffered fresh heavy losses on Monday as the European Union insisted that Matteo Renzi’s centre-left government abide by state-aid rules that limit Rome’s scope to provide help to banks burdened by the non-performing loans (NPLs) caused by economic stagnation.

Continue reading…

FTSE enters bull market as May rival quits and Wall Street surges

Theresa May’s coronation as PM-elect lifts 100 index 20% above February low and adds to hopes of base rate cut

The FTSE 100 index burst into bull market territory after Theresa May emerged as successor to David Cameron, providing a further boost to surging stocks on both sides of the Atlantic.

Related: Bank of England considers interest rate cut to tackle Brexit crisis

Continue reading…

George Osborne reassures Wall Street: UK won’t become ‘Little Britain’

Chancellor of the exchequer talks to US bank bosses at start of tour aimed at ‘selling Britain to the world’ in the wake of EU referendum decision

George Osborne has promised American bank bosses that a post-Brexit Britain will “do everything we can to make the UK the most attractive place in the world to do business”.

The chancellor toured Wall Street banks on Monday as he began a mission of “selling Britain to the world” in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

Am in New York to speak to Wall Street chiefs about how UK is open for business + need for closer economic & trade links with US.

Related: Who will be in Theresa May’s cabinet?

We should begin conversation now with US & NAFTA about trading ties.Spoke to Speaker Ryan this weekend & Secretary Lew coming to London soon

Continue reading…

The prospect of Brexit Britain turning into a post-global disaster zone is real

There is no situation in economics that can’t be made worse by the uncontrolled antics of politicians. And antics are what we are getting

If you haven’t bought dollars since the EU referendum, be prepared for a lighter wallet. Over the airport counter, £100 will today buy you just $128 (on 22 June, it was $146). If you’re heading to the Eurozone, it’s €114 (€130 in June). That’s because, ever since they saw Sunderland vote to leave the EU, currency traders have been dumping sterling.

Although some forex traders believe the pound will bottom out at $1.20, the pessimists are predicting parity: one pound buys you one dollar. And I think the pessimists are right. Because there is no situation in economics incapable of being made worse by the uncontrolled antics of politicians. And antics are what we’re getting.

Continue reading…

The case for a more independent, post-Brexit London is gaining strength

The capital is far from becoming a separate city-state, but debate about giving it increased autonomy is gathering intensity

Communities secretary Greg Clark has told the Financial Times he is “very keen” to devolve further powers to London and spoken highly of new London mayor Sadiq Khan, who he thinks “has shown himself to be a pragmatist that wants to work well with central government, to the advantage of London and the country”. That’s quite an endorsement, given that Clark’s fellow Conservative Zac Goldsmith spent the first four months of the year claiming that Khan is a dangerous, Corbynite ideologue and apologist for Islamist extremists.

If Clark is surprised by Khan’s approach, he shouldn’t be. The mayor has always been on Labour’s practical rather than its doctrinaire left. As he demonstrated throughout the mayoral campaign, he has long understood that unless London mayors work constructively with London boroughs, London employers and national government they get nowhere. Khan was never going to be Jeremy Corbyn’s creature in City Hall, as Goldsmith’s dire campaign falsely and fruitlessly alleged.

Continue reading…

The promise of Regrexit

George Soros: After Brexit there has been a swing in sentiment in favour of the EU. Europe’s leaders should seize the opportunity

Until the people of the UK voted to leave the European Union, the refugee crisis was the greatest problem Europe faced. Indeed, that crisis played a critical role in bringing about the greater calamity of Brexit.

The vote for Brexit was a great shock; the morning after the vote, the disintegration of the European Union seemed practically inevitable. Brewing crises in other EU countries, especially Italy, deepened the dark forecast for the EU’s survival.

Continue reading…