UK factory output growth soars; Job openings in the United States are increasing; Record unemployment rate in the eurozone – as it happened
Hello and welcome to our ongoing coverage of the global economy, financial markets, eurozone and business.
UK house prices started 2022 with strong gains as robust demand and a shortage of properties for sale continue to support the market.
Average house prices jumped 0.8% in January, lender Nationwide reported this morning, bringing the annual rate of house price inflation to 11.2% from 10.4% in December.
It is the best start to the year since 2005 and brings the average house price according to the Nationwide survey to £255,556.
This is the sixth consecutive monthly increase in house prices, says Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist:
“The demand for housing has remained robust. Mortgage approvals for the purchase of a home continued to be slightly above pre-pandemic levels, despite the sharp increase in activity in 2021 following the stamp duty exemption, which encouraged buyers to advance their transactions to avoid additional tax.
“Indeed, the total number of real estate transactions in 2021 was the highest since 2007 and about 25% higher than in 2019, before the pandemic hit.
“At the same time, the stock of homes on real estate agents’ books has remained extremely low, contributing to the continued strong pace of house price growth.
Higher borrowing costs could slow the market this year, however, as the cost of living crisis also squeezes household budgets.
The Bank of England is expected to raise UK interest rates on Thursday, from 0.25% to 0.5%, after inflation hit its highest level in nearly 30 years.
Also coming today
Surveys of purchasing managers in the UK, US and Eurozone will show how factories were affected by omicron and ongoing supply chain issues in January.
European stock markets are on track to open higher as investors seek to put January behind them.
As we wrote last night, the pan-European Stoxx 600 fell almost 5% last month, the worst month since October 2020.
On Wall Street, the US S&P 500 lost 5.3% in January, its weakest performance since March 2020, as concerns over rising US interest rates hit tech stocks hard.
2022 has certainly been a volatile year, with booming energy stocks and remarkably weak tech:
Markets are adjusting to the Federal Reserve’s phasing out of massive stimulus provided over the past two years, according to Naeem Aslam of Avatrade.
Going forward, the US economy is expected to expand further and companies should report strong earnings supported by strong demand and a global economic recovery. Furthermore, the Federal Reserve should continue to shrink with extreme caution so as not to scare off investors and avoid a tantrum.
This perspective was evident in comments by Kansas City Fed President Esther George that it is “in no one’s interest to try to upend the economy with unexpected adjustments” and that officials of the Fed are working hard to maintain the changes in its monetary policy “gradually”. and less “disruptive”.
- 7am GMT: National House Price Index for January
- 8:55 GMT: German unemployment report for January
- 9am GMT: Eurozone manufacturing report for January (final reading)
- 9.30am GMT: UK manufacturing report for January (final reading)
- 9.30am GMT: US mortgage approvals for January
- 10am GMT: Eurozone unemployment report for December
- 13:30 GMT: Canadian GDP report for November
- 2.45pm GMT: UK manufacturing report for January (final reading)
- 15:00 GMT: JOLTs Job Opening (DEC)