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In the fourth quarter of 2015 the UK economy grew 0.6%, which is higher than the previous estimate of 0.5%.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the economy grew by 2.3% for the whole of 2015. This is higher than the 2.2% previously thought. Analysts forecast that the figure would remain unchanged.

The figures for the UK’s current account deficit were at a record high in the final quarter of last year. In the three months to December it was £32.7 billion, which is the equivalent of 7% of GDP.

Considering the whole of 2015, the deficit was £96.2 billion or 5.2% of GDP. Since records began in 1948, both figures were the highest since. As a result, the deficit means that the UK imported more goods and services than it exported.

The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee stated that uncertainty over the UK’s membership of the EU could put financial stability at risk. This includes the current account deficit.

Check out this article from Real Business with their list of the most popular British products worldwide by annual export value.export car

Read the full article here

Oil prices fell to $32.62 per barrel on Thursday due to rising US energy stockpiles and a weakening currency in China.

US oil was at its lowest point since December 2008 when it reached $32.40 per barrel during the financial crisis.

Brent crude fell 4.7%, which is a new low in 11-years as the last time it was this low was during April 2004.

Oil prices have been affected by a huge oversupply and near-record outputs, which are currently 70% lower in value than in June 2014 when the downturn first started.

This is not good news for companies and governments who rely on oil revenues and they have suffered as a result of the falling prices. It was also affected by China, who depreciated the yuan on Thursday as this sent regional currencies and stock markets plummeting.

Countries are running out of storage for the amount of oil because it is so heavily oversupplied and the demand for crude usually falls when the US dollar is stronger against currencies of purchasing countries.

The US Department of Energy’s weekly reported showed that US commercial crude inventories dropped from 5.1 million barrels to 482.3 million. However, government data showed a fourth consecutive week of increases as US crude production gained 17,000 barrels a day, taking it to 9.22 million barrels each day.

 

 

 

 

The UK manufacturing growth had a 26-month low in June but has now picked up in July according to a survey.

In July, the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 51.9 in July, from 51.4 in June. This shows good improvement as any figure above 50 indicated expansion.

Despite this result, it is still below the average of 54.3, which the sector has had since April 2013.

In addition, manufacturing has been at its lowest since September 2014 when it comes to the pace of growth of new orders, as this slowed to 52.2. Product expansion continues to be dependent on consumer goods manufacturing, which offset a contraction in investment goods. This includes goods such as plant and machinery, according to Markit.

The sterling-euro exchange rate sapped the demand for exports and new export orders contracted for the fourth consecutive month in July.

 

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has stated that the UK should hold its EU referendum soon.

Businesses may delay making investments while there is uncertainty over the future of Britain in the EU, analysts fear. David Cameron has promised to vote on whether the UK stays in the EU by 2017. He also said that it was in everybody’s interest to resolve the uncertainty.

Investment in technology may be on the down low as companies may not be investing as much as they otherwise would do because of the wide pool of available workers.

Mr Carney said that older people willing to work and workers seeking more hours added 500,000 to the labour force over the past two years. Adding to this, migrant labour expanded the workforce but its impact was only a tenth of the size, according to the governor. He also told the BBC’s Today programme that he would reduce the argument that foreign workers were to blame for lower productivity and as the number of jobseekers falls, attention will flip to productivity.

During the global economic crisis, the UK’s level of productivity per worker fell and from this, productivity levels have taken longer to recover than expected. Inflation was 0% in March for a second month in a row, which is well below the Bank’s 2% target.

The UK might fall into deflation next month, said Carney, but inflation is expected to pick up towards the end of the year.

Hi-Vac Engineering is an established manufacturer of scientific equipment in the East Sussex area, with full ISO 9001:2008 accreditation and clients both around the UK and in Europe. The company is continuing to increase its international presence, and have recently added clients in China, Hong Kong and the Middle East to their customer base.

hi-vac

This expansion has led to investment in two brand new machines; an XYZ 1510 large 4-axis Vertical Machining Centre, which has 1.5 meters of travel and a 32 station auto tool changer and is complete with the 2015 version of the Siemens 828Dshopmill controls. To meet increased demand for manufacturing UHV seals, an additional M701 Cold Welder is now on site. This continued investment will ensure that the exceptional level of quality expected by customers is maintained.

At the start of the year, the company welcomed three new staff members to the team; experienced CNC machinist Dave Clement, Paul McGarvie, who is responsible for the logistics side of the business, and Dr Marcus Hughes, who is working closely with synchrotron customers and will be taking a leading role in forthcoming development projects.

Following the success enjoyed by Hivac Engineering at last year’s Vacuum Expo Exhibition and Conference at the Ricoh Area in Coventry, Managing Director Paul Lennard is pleased to confirm that a team from the company will be in attendance at this year’s event on both the 14th and 15th October at stand W01.