UK Unemployment Remains Resilient

Wednesday, 19th October: More economic data coming from the UK today as the Office for National Statistics revealed the latest UK unemployment figures. The rate of 4.9% for the 3 months to August is the same as the previous period (and in line with expectations), indicating the UK’s decision to leave hasn’t had much affect on the labour market. Those in work rose by 106,000 (down from additions of 170,000 in each of the three previous readings) to 31.81m, resulting in the employment rate rising to 74.5%, the joint highest since comparable records began in 1971. Despite remaining resilient following Brexit, unemployment is expected to rise as uncertainty hampers firms’ plans to hire, at least till clarity is sought as the UK agrees to leave the EU.

Travis Perkins, the plumbing and home improvement retailer, and parent company of Wickes announced their third quarter results. The group confirmed 30 branch closures, with 600 jobs being put at risk, alongside a full-year profit warning, with the plumbing and heating divisions dropping 4.7% over the most recent 12-week period. The group rooted itself to the bottom of the FTSE 100, closing lower by 4.44%.

Laird had nearly half of its value wiped out today as they posted their respective Q3 trading update – warning of a full-year profit warning. The smartphone component maker’s largest customers include Apple and lower than expected iPhone sales over the last 12 weeks have hurt profits. Laird also supply components to Samsung, and we are all too aware of the issues they are currently having. Laird had previously been benefitting from the strong dollar but the operational difficulties plunged the stock lower by 48.65% at the close.

China looks set to meet growth expectations for the year as overnight Q3 GDP was released for the world’s second largest economy. The print of 6.7% was as expected, following the same readings for Q1 and Q2. The reading means the economy is on track to meet the Government’s full year target of at least 6.5% growth.

If you are planning to stay up late tonight the third and final US Presidential TV debate starts at 2am.  Current US President Barack Obama, speaking at the White House, has advised Donald Trump to “stop whining”, amid Trump’s claims the US election would be “rigged”.