Economy climbs back above pre-pandemic levels

Jgood morning.

There is encouraging data this morning showing that the economy recovered to above pre-pandemic levels in November.

Gross domestic product grew by 0.9 percent over the month, which means it is now 0.7 percent higher than its pre-Covid peak. Growth was largely driven by service sector activity.

However, the ONS numbers cover the period before the variable Omicron outbreak of riots across the country, which means that growth may have slowed before the end of the year.

5 things to start your day

1) Google buys London HQ in $1 billion vote of confidence for office A previous attempt to buy the building failed during the pandemic

2) The International Energy Agency warns of increased spending on renewable energy sources or continued high energy prices The agency calls for “structural change” to meet rising energy demand

3) US stocks fall again as interest rate hikes approach Investors were offloading stocks more sensitive to rising interest rates, like money-losing growth companies

4) Asos moves to main market in London after 20 years from Aim The proposed LSE step for an online fashion retailer would make it eligible to enter the FTSE 250

5) Investors attack ‘confusing’ EU takeover rules that still apply to the city Corporate giants say mergers still weigh on EU regulations despite Brexit

What happened overnight

Asian stocks were battered on Friday after a fresh wave of hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials reinforced expectations that US interest rates could rise as soon as March, leaving markets bracing for tighter monetary conditions.

Stock markets turned sharply red, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan losing 0.9% in mid-afternoon trading, while Australia lost 1.1% and Japan’s Nikkei lost 1.3%.

Shares in South Korea fell 1.4 percent after the country’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.25 percent on Friday, as expected, bringing it back to where it was before the pandemic as it seeks to curb rising consumer prices.

China’s blue-chip index fell 0.5 percent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.9 percent.

Coming today

  • major company: Curry, Experian (trading update)
  • Economics: GDP, Manufacturing and Production (United kingdom); Industrial production (UK US); Retail Sales, Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (we)


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