Good morning! Here’s what you need to know on Friday.
Britain faces a “dreadful” lost decade of real earnings growth unprecedented in the last 70 years, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said on Thursday. In its traditional post-Autumn Statement briefing, the IFS said that the latest forecasts provided by the Office for Budget Responsibility show that by 2021 real wages in the UK will actually be lower than they were in 2008, the year the impacts of the global financial crisis started to really bite.
Forecasts for British growth over the coming five years from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) are “overoptimistic,” according to a note from economists at Morgan Stanley circulated on Thursday. “OBR growth and therefore fiscal forecasts look optimistic, for three reasons,” the bank’s UK economics team wrote in its “Borrowing for Brexit” note.
Japan’s Nikkei share average rose for a seventh straight session on Friday after the dollar jumped further against the yen, boosting prospects for better corporate earnings. The Nikkei rose 0.3 per cent to 18,381.22, extending its longest winning streak since November 2015.
There’s tentative evidence that Japan is winning its battle against deflation. According to figures released by Japan’s Statistics Bureau on Friday, consumer price inflation (CPI) rose by 0.1% in the 12 months to October, reversing the 0.5% decline seen in September. Excluding fresh food prices, core CPI — the key rate targeted by the Bank of Japan — fell 0.4% from a year earlier, a slight deceleration on the 0.5% drop reported previously.
Gold is being treated with disdain again in Asian trade on Friday, continuing the unwind seen since Donald Trump prevailed in the US election. The spot gold price currently sits at $1,1769 an ounce, down 0.81% for the session as of 6.40 a.m. GMT (1.40 a.m. ET). It’s now fallen 12.4% from the high of $US1,337.40 an ounce it struck on November 9, extending the decline from July 7 to nearly 15%.
French presidential hopeful Francois Fillon was the winner of a debate against his Republican rival Alain Juppe on Thursday night. Fillon was seen as the winner of a final debate with Juppe before a vote on Sunday to determine who becomes the conservatives’ candidate for next year’s presidential election. The flash survey by Elabe pollsters after Thursday’s debate found that 71% of conservative and center-right voters considered Fillon more convincing than Juppe.
“Europe’s security is in danger,”
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, as 15 European countries push for an arms control deal with Russia. The nations say more dialogue is needed to prevent an arms race in Europe after Russia’s actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, a German newspaper said. “As difficult as ties to Russia may currently be, we need more dialogue, not less” Steinmeier said.
Prime Minister Theresa May faces criticisms for proposed new reforms to executive pay. Senior finance and corporate figures, including the BoE’s Andy Haldane and GlaxoSmithKline’s chief executive Sir Andrew Witty, have rejected two of the prime minister’s main corporate governance proposals, the Financial Times reports.
Former chancellor George Osborne was paid over £320,000 for giving just five speeches in the space of a month, according to the latest register of parliamentary interests. The register records 13.5 hours’ speech work in the USA from September 27 to October 27, for which he received — or is due to receive — the sum of £320,438. That is equivalent to an hourly rate of over £23,700.
A woman has been found dead after an armed man entered a retirement home for former missionaries near Montpellier, according to French media reports. Police responded to the incident late on Thursday evening in Montferrier-sur-Lez in the south of the country. The home for former missionaries to Africa has been evacuated, but the suspect remains at large.