The main topics discussed in this commentary are:
- The shape and extent of the upturn in the United States, and prospects for the world economy in the coming two years.
- Large changes in the pattern of UK external trade in recent years.
- UK inflation, where the underlying position still looks favourable despite some quickening of retail price inflation on the twelve month comparison.
- Resumed growth in retail sales; further increases in personal borrowing.
- Better profits and profitability, contributing to a marked improvement in companies' financial position: business fixed investment apparently recovering, but stocks drawn down again in the third quarter.
- A general slowing down in monetary growth in recent months, reflecting the course of government borrowing needs which are likely to exceed the Budget projection this year.