S&P: For the first time in decades US Treasury secretary Mnuchin ‘has today determined that China is a Currency Manipulator..” Chart/Levels from Analyst, Nicole Elliott – Investors Chronicle.


UK retail sales worst on record Even online growth slows

Data published late yesterday by the British Retail Consortium showed that in July total retail sales grew by just 0.3 per cent, versus a 1.6 per cent increase this time last year, and the weakest reading since the series began in 1995. In the 3 months to July nominal retail sales fell by 1.3 per cent, again a record low figure. Non-food sales fell by 4.1 per cent, and department store sales by 3.9 per cent using Barclaycard data. Online non-food sales grew by just 3.7 per cent as against a 7.5 per cent gain in July 2018. What did manage to attract increased spending were restaurants (up 10.1 per cent) and cinemas (up 14.8 per cent).

A study published yesterday by the UK’s Institute for Fiscal Studies spelt out clearly exactly what it takes to be in the top 10 and top 1 per cent in this country. To get into the top 10 one needs an income of just over £50K; in the top 1 per cent: £162K, and the tip-top 0.1 per cent £650K – before tax. The individuals are overwhelmingly male, pale, aged 45-55, and live in London or the South East. Because many have income in the shape of dividends, company profits, or interest their tax rates tend to be lower than taxes levied on salaries. The median UK taxpayer earns £22K.

Financial Markets and Political Commentary


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