Monthly Archives: December 2013

On Wednesday, the Office for National Statistics for the first time published regional growth figures for the UK. The obvious question that popped into my mind was to compare the Scottish growth with that published by the Scottish government.

I produced the following chart and wrote what looked like a cracking story because the ONS measure showed little over half the growth of the Scottish Government data, raising questions over the strength of Scotland’s economy. Read more

Robin Harding

A quick update as the hoopla builds ahead of today’s Fed decision.

Will they taper?

Based on reporting ahead of the blackout period I put the odds of a taper at roughly 50 per cent for December and 50 per cent for January. We’ve been reporting since October that a December taper was still on the agenda so this shouldn’t be regarded as a sudden or unconsidered development.

Since the blackout started there has been a succession of strong data on retail sales, industrial production and homebuilder confidence. We have also had a budget deal. Therefore, I think the chances of a taper today are more than 50 per cent.

It is hard to call this too confidently, however, because the case for waiting is so easy. Read more

A wealth of data was published by the Office for National Statistics today, as officials try to clear the decks before Christmas. In chart form, here is a condensed version of the inflation statistics, producer price figures and house price statistics for November.

1. Inflation is getting close to the 2 per cent target Read more

John Aglionby

Rouble or ruble? From now on currency pedants won’t have to worry so much about how to spell the Russian currency because it has been given a symbol.

Some two decades after first touting the idea, the Russian central bank has announced its rival to the £, $, € and ¥. And the winner, after a public vote, is: Read more

Understanding the significance of George Osborne’s Autumn Statement is complicated by political posturing. These eight charts will enable you to cut through the spin and surprise people with knowledge of what really matters.

1. Forget the announcements Read more

Emily Cadman

Mario Draghi

ECB president Mario Draghi began his monthly press conference shortly after 1.30 GMT. Earlier, as expected, the ECB left rates on hold.

Follow the questions and reaction live here with capital markets editor Ralph Atkins and Emily Cadman


Claire Jones

European Central Bank presidents, current and former, are renowned for their fondness to “never pre-commit”. Even when the ECB opted to jump on the forward guidance bandwagon, it did so in a much more halfhearted way than its counterparts.

However, a few months ago Mario Draghi made quite a firm pledge to tell us by the end of the autumn how the ECB intended to go about producing an “account” of the governing council’s policy deliberations. Will Mr Draghi end up breaking his promise? Read more

The British economy is stuttering back into life, with GDP growth beginning to pick up pace and a shrinking deficit giving George Osborne reason to smile ahead of Thursday’s Autumn Statement.

FT economics editor Chris Giles explains the economic backdrop to the Autumn Statement and the options open to the chancellor. Read more