Impact of introduction of the National Living Wage on UK equities

One of the major shocks of the last Budget was the proposed introduction of the Living Wage, which will be phased in, over employees over 25, from April 2016. By 2020 all employers will be required to pay a minimum of £9 an hour, some 34% higher than the current minimum level. In an environment of near zero inflation this is potentially a significant issue for many companies. This note examines the likely economic implications, the impact on pay differentials and how this will effect quoted stocks. Please contact us for a copy of the note.

Unit Labour Costs- who’s up and who’s down?

We look predominantly at unit labour costs to try and ascertain where future competitive advantage might lie. Productivity is part of the mix, and there are signs that it is now improving however trends in unit labour costs can also have a major impact on competitiveness and the attraction of individual markets. We look at major global developed markets to see who is gaining ground and we also examine core European nations to ascertain if convergence is occurring, or not. We also outline the trends in peripheral European markets and ask are they re-gaining their competitive edge?

Implications of the events in Paris

While barbarism does not have a price the political implications of the tragic attack in Paris are potentially significant. The economic and capital market ones are much less profound. The note looks at the threat, the likely implications for Merkel, Hollande, Cameron and the EU and economic impacts. Please contact us for a copy

Walbrook delivers IEA schools lecture at Loretto School, Edinburgh

Holbrook Economics was delighted to speak, at the Institute of Economic Affairs Conference, to over 100 pupils at Loretto School, in Edinburgh, on the topic of 'austerity and the state of the UK economy.' The economic future looks bright judging by the quality of questions proffered. A copy of the presentation is available of request.

UK Trade – just as well the FTSE is a global index

Trade deficits are seldom a major focus for investors however the UK's position continues to deteriorate. Indeed it is, as a proportion of GDP, the worst since records began in 1948 and the worst in the G7. This note looks at the UK's trading strengths and weaknesses and while it concludes that while, in the short term, the investment implications are fairly limited longer term in does risk both the level of sterling and UK prosperity. It is another example of domestic and global imbalances that seem to be growing and not abating.