UK economic recovery speeds up in June; Delta variant hits oil demand – business live

Bonus harian di Keluaran SGP 2020 – 2021.

[unable to retrieve full-text content]

GP visits, advertising spending and reopening of hospitality venues all helped economy grow for fifth month running in June

  • IEA: Rising demand for oil “abruptly reversed course in July”
  • BREAKING: UK economy returned to growth in Q2
  • GDP surged by 4.8% in April-June, after 1.6% contraction in Q1
  • Household spending jumped 7.3% in Q2
  • Growth faster than expected in June, up 1%
  • ONS: Economy is rebounding strongly
  • But…economy still 2.2% smaller in June than in February 2020

1.06pm BST

The surge of UK takeover offers continued today, with London-listed Stock Spirits accepting a £767 million takeover bid from private equity player CVC Advisers.

“Stock Spirits is a high quality business with strong brands, established market positions and significant growth potential and we are delighted that our proposal has been recommended by the Stock Spirits Directors.

CVC Funds are a long-standing investor in Central and Eastern Europe and we look forward to working with Stock Spirits management team to help drive its continued development, both by supporting the existing strategy and by investing in inorganic growth opportunities.”

12.33pm BST

Tech news: The UK competition regulator has warned that Facebook could be forced to sell online image platform Giphy, due to concerns that the tie-up could damage social media choice and the display advertising market.

In 2020, Facebook paid $400m for Giphy, whose database of short GIF video clips and animations is very popular with users on platforms such as Snapchat, TikTok and Twitter.

Related: UK watchdog to investigate Facebook takeover of Giphy

The CMA wants Facebook to unwind its tie-up with Giphy — this is the first time it’s ever moved to unwind a Big Tech deal, and maybe not the last…all eyes on its final decision in October

“Millions of people share GIFs every day with friends, family and colleagues, and this number continues to grow. Giphy’s takeover could see Facebook withdrawing GIFs from competing platforms or requiring more user data in order to access them. It also removes a potential challenger to Facebook in the £5.5 billion display advertising market. None of this would be good news for customers.

“While our investigation has shown serious competition concerns, these are provisional. We will now consult on our findings before completing our review. Should we conclude that the merger is detrimental to the market and social media users, we will take the necessary actions to make sure people are protected.”

Facebook may have to sell Giphy on Britain’s competition concerns

12.15pm BST

Back in the UK, the battle for qualified workers continues, with the owner of Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse offering a £1,500 retention bonus to its lorry drivers and the same cash incentive to new recruits.

Dixons Carphone is also offering staff who work elsewhere in the business who refer a friend for a driver vacancy a £1,000 reward and promising £1,500 to those willing to retrain to drive lorries.

Related: Dixons Carphone offers £1,500 bonus to drivers amid battle for workers

12.08pm BST

Factories across the eurozone had a lacklustre June, new data shows, as supply chain problems continued to hit manufacturing.

Eurozone industrial output fell by 0.3% during the month, after a 1.1% slide in May, data from eurostat shows.

Euro area #IndustrialProduction -0.3% in June over May 2021, +9.7% over June 2020

“The ongoing supply chain disruptions in the eurozone cast a shadow over a successful consumer recovery. Improved consumer confidence amid the easing of lockdown restrictions and a shortage of many key commodities is causing demand to outstrip supply, which may add to inflationary pressures in the eurozone.

In light of the continued disruption to manufacturers, consumers are likely to drive growth in the currency union. Cebr forecasts GDP growth of 4.9% across 2021 as a whole.”

11.58am BST

In other energy news, the UK government’s plan to replace fossil gas with “blue” hydrogen to help meet its climate targets could backfire, after US academics found that it may lead to more emissions than using gas.

In some cases blue hydrogen, which is made from fossil gas, could be up to 20% worse for the climate than using gas in homes and heavy industry, owing to the emissions that escape when gas is extracted from the ground and split to produce hydrogen.

Related: UK plan to replace fossil gas with blue hydrogen ‘may backfire’

11.36am BST

The spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 will hit oil demand for the rest of the year, the International Energy Agency warned this morning.

Global oil demand surged by 3.8 mb/d [barrels per day] month-on-month in June, led by increased mobility in North America and Europe.

However, demand growth abruptly reversed course in July and the outlook for the remainder of 2021 has been downgraded due to the worsening progression of the pandemic and revisions to historical data.

The 2Q21 crude price rally lost steam in July on fears that new Covid-19 Delta cases and weaker economic indicators could slow the oil demand recovery just as more supply hit the market. Despite big swings, North Sea Dated still rose $2.03/bbl to $74.99/bbl but fell to $70.73/bbl in early August

The scale could tilt back to surplus in 2022 if OPEC+ continues to undo its cuts and producers not taking part in the deal ramp up in response to higher prices….

OPEC+ can still pause, continue or even reverse its curbs as required by the market and it looks unlikely that the unwinding of cuts will continue on a linear trajectory in 2022.

Our August Oil Market Report is out:

• Demand growth abruptly reversed course in July & the outlook for the remainder of 2021 has been downgraded

• OPEC+ supply increase goes a long way to plug expected supply deficit for remainder of the year


The @IEA cuts forecast global #oil demand “sharply” for the rest of 2021 as the delta variant spreads. It goes against what many analysts are saying. Eg, Goldman reckons delta will be a two-month demand hit & this month’s drop in crude prices is overdone.

11.09am BST

The travel company Tui Group has cut back its summer schedule amid the continued impact of British coronavirus restrictions, despite receiving 1.5m bookings for summer holidays since early May.

Related: Tui slashes summer holiday schedule despite bookings surge

10.55am BST

We also have more up-to-date info on the UK economy – showing that the number of firms suffering falling turnover has dropped, and that fewer workers are on furlough.

There are also more flights at UK airports, following the easing of travel restrictions, but the number of online job adverts has fallen.

The percentage of businesses currently trading in early August 2021 was 89% – following an increase from 71% in January 2021

The proportion of businesses’ workforce reported to be on full or partial furlough leave is estimated to have fallen from 19.9% in late January 2021 to 3.7% (an approximate range of between 2.8% to 4.6%) in late July 2021

The percentage of currently trading businesses experiencing a decrease in turnover has steadily declined from 65% in June 2020 to 29% in late July 2021.

This is the lowest percentage recorded since comparable estimates began in June 2020

The 7-day average number of UK daily flights in the week to 8 August 2021 increased by 6% from the previous week, according to @Eurocontrol.

This was the first time that the 7-day average surpassed 3,000 daily flights since the week ending 22 March 2020

Online job adverts on 6 August 2021 fell by 5% compared with a week ago to 129% of its February 2020 average level, according to @Adzuna data.

The volume of online job adverts fell across all UK countries and English regions

10.29am BST

The latest trade data shows that UK exports to the European Union continued to pick up.

Exports of goods to the EU, excluding precious metals, were above Brexit levels in May and June 2021, the ONS says, after plunging at the start of 2021.

The disappointment could be down to persisting travel restrictions which impede trade in services.

The underlying data show that goods exports rose by 9.6% qoq whereas services dropped by 4.7%. The pattern was similar in imports, with goods rising by 10.0% qoq and services declining by 3.8%.

10.11am BST

How does the UK’s economic performance stack up against major rivals?

As Rishi Sunak pointed out this morning, the UK has recorded the fastest quarterly growth among the G7 so far in April-June.

The U.K. economy still was the laggard in the G7 in Q2, despite a 4.8% q/q jump in GDP. Quarterly GDP still was 4.4% below its Q4 2019 level, whereas it was 0.8% above its pre-Covid peak in the U.S. and only 3.3% below in France, 3.6% below in Germany and 3.8% below in Italy:

On GDP @BenChu_ rightly points out:
– @hmtreasury cautioned against international comparisons, but is now doing so for the latest figure.
– either way the most relevant comparison is with pre-pandemic.
In fact fall of 4.4% puts UK 15th of 18 OECD countries so far reported.

9.23am BST

Britain’s economy grew for a fifth month in June as the reopening of indoor hospitality and visits by patients to their GPs helped boost national output by 1%, official data has shown.

Despite the government’s decision to delay the full lifting of restriction by four weeks to 19 July, the Office for National Statistics said growth in June was almost twice as rapid as the 0.6% in May.

UK economy grows for a fifth month as diners rush to cafes and bars

9.08am BST

Although the economy is recovering, unions fear that there will be more job losses if the government ends its wage subsidy scheme this autumn, as planned.

The TUC is urging ministers to create a permanent furlough scheme, so that firms can temporarily put staff on short-time when needed.

“The economy is still fragile, with nearly two million people still on furlough.

“A premature end to furlough will needlessly cost jobs and harm our economic recovery.

Related: TUC calls on Treasury to create permanent furlough scheme

8.57am BST

James Sproule, Chief Economist of Handelsbanken in the UK, has plucked out some more key points from today’s GDP report:

“Accommodation and food service activities increased by 87.8% in the second quarter, while wholesale and retail trade increased by 12.8%, in response to the re-opening of indoor hospitality, Euro 2020 and the reopening of non-essential retail. The challenge for many businesses is going to be finding the people to deliver the services.

“Accommodation will be receiving a further boost in the coming months as international travel remains harder than it was pre-pandemic and with many people opting to “staycation” in the UK this summer.

8.48am BST

The unexpectedly strong 1.0% growth in June was a welcome surprise, suggesting that the recovery has maintained more momentum at the end of Q2 than expected, says Ruth Gregory of Capital Economics.

The upside surprise came from services output, which jumped by 1.5% m/m (consensus 0.9% m/m), leaving it just 2.1% below its pre-crisis level.

Healthcare contributed the most to services output, but food and beverage service activities also rose by 10.1% m/m in June. Meanwhile, the 0.2% m/m gain in manufacturing, left output in that sector 2.3% below its pre-crisis level. Unfortunately, there was little progress elsewhere in June. Industrial production fell by back by 0.7% m/m as planned closures of oil field production sites once again hit activity.

CapEco on UK GDP:

Overall, we are comfortable with our view that monthly GDP will return to its February 2020 pre-pandemic size by October and that the economy may yet surprise most forecasters by emerging from the pandemic without much scarring

8.43am BST

Today’s GDP report also shows that company investment picked up a little in April-June, but remains sharply below pre-crisis levels.

Business investment rose by 2.4% in Q2, which left it over 15% below its levels in Q4 2019.

Consumers rushed back to newly reopened shops, pubs and restaurants in Q2, driving consumer spending higher by 7.3 per cent q/q and the Government’s continued support for the economy meant that government spending rose by 6.1 per cent q/q.

However, business investment only rose by a relatively meagre 2.4 per cent q/q.

8.14am BST

Here’s a handy chart showing how the UK recovery sped up in June after slowing in May.

7.58am BST

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, says the economy is ‘on the mend’ after returning to growth in the second quarter of this year, with a 4.8% rise in GDP.

“Today’s figures show that our economy is on the mend showing strong signs of recovery, thanks to our Plan for Jobs and successful vaccine programme.

“I know there are still challenges to overcome, but I feel confident in the strength of the UK economy and the resilience of the British people.

7.53am BST

4.4% UK GDP growth in Q2 2021 is exceptionally strong growth from a historical perspective.

But, of course, its the LEVELS of activity that matter most in the wake of the unprecedented Covid collapse, not rates of change.

And UK GDP still 4.4% below its peak…

7.46am BST

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician, says the UK “continued to rebound strongly” in June.

Commenting on today’s GDP figures, @jathers_ONS said: (1/4)

[email protected]_ONS continued: (2/4)

Commenting further, @jathers_ONS said: (3/4)

7.41am BST

Health, advertising, and restaurants and bars all helped drive growth in June.

Health contributed strongly to GDP, because visits to local doctors increased in June compared with recent months, the ONS says.

Continued strong growth means that the industry is now only 1.5% below its pre-pandemic level (February 2020), and 9.0% above its August 2020 peak when the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme boosted consumer demand for bars and restaurants.

7.30am BST

The UK’s service sector led the recovery in June, expanding by 1.5%, as the return of indoor dining and the reopening of leisure venues in May boosted growth.

But manufacturing grew by a modest 0.2% during the month, and construction output shrank by 1.3%.

7.19am BST

7.17am BST

In June alone, the UK economy grew by 1.0%, as the reopening of hospitality and leisure venues spurred growth….and more people visited their doctors again.

This is the fifth month of growth in a row, since the economy fell back in January’s lockdowns, and is stronger than expected.

UK GDP beat: +1% mom for June vs +0.8% expectations , higher services output main driver

7.10am BST

7.06am BST

The UK economy returned to growth in the second quarter of the year, expanding by 4.8%, as the lockdown measures introduced to fight the Covid-19 pandemic were relaxed.

The Office for National Statistics reports that in April-June:

6.55am BST

As we wait for the GDP report… here’s Adam Cole of RBC Capital Markets, who reckons the UK’s post-pandemic recovery has already peaked.

After m/m growth of 2.4% in March and 2.0% in April, there was a marked slowdown in GDP growth in May to 0.8%, which suggested that the initial pace of the recovery was coming off quickly.

With the gains from what we would describe as the ‘low-hanging fruit’ of the recovery (the initial gain generated just by opening the sectors of the economy that had been shuttered) now largely exhausted, we would expect the pace of growth to moderate in coming months.

6.45am BST

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

Today we discover how quickly the UK economy bounced back from its contraction at the start of the year, as lockdowns measures were eased.

In the months after March, we’ve seen strong PMIs of over 60 across the board for manufacturing, construction, and services for all of the second quarter.

Retail sales growth has also been decent, helped by falling unemployment as businesses reopen, and while rising prices have been a headwind, the comparatives from last year will also add a boost.

UK Q2 GDP and US PPI in focus #gbp @CMCMarkets

Markets are, again, not really doing much this morning; treading water has been the order of the overnight session.

Looking ahead, Q2 UK GDP & US jobless claims are on the calendar.

Continue reading…