The Q4 2014 ICAEW/Grant Thornton UK Business Confidence Monitor, published today, shows that business confidence in the UK cooled further in the fourth quarter and currently stands at +28.6. Although lower than the +32.3 level of the past three months, the Confidence Index remains high compared with most of the past 10 years. Three areas of concern highlighted by the index, which is a leading indictor for growth, are slowing export increases, skills shortages, and levels of staff turnover.
Considering increasing global economic uncertainty and low inflation, Thursday’s Bank of England rate decision is expected to leave the base rate unchanged at the current 0.5% level. Also out on Thursday is the November rate decision from the ECB, which is expected to keep the currency area’s benchmark interest rate at 0.05%.
Consensus expectations regarding US non-farm payroll is that 235,000 new jobs were created in October. While this is below the 248,000 jobs created in September, with non-farm payrolls averaging 227,000 in the first nine months of this year, the US is set for the highest annual job creation figure since 1999.