Russia's central bank has hiked interest rates again in order to appreciate (or at least slow down depreciation) of the rouble and reduce inflationary pressures. Relatively high interest rates serve to encourage hot money inflows - increasing the demand and value of the rouble. In addition, high rates act as an incentive for Russians to keep their money in Russian banks, reducing hot money outflows. High interest rates help to curb inflation by increasing the cost of borrowing and the reward for saving. This may lead to a decrease in consumer expenditure and investment, a reduction in aggregate demand, and reduced demand-pull inflation. However, borrowers suffer as the cost of servicing their debt increases. Furthermore, a decrease in AD can lead to a recession and cyclical unemployment.
Chancellor George Osborne will present his latest spending and saving plans alongside new forecasts for the economy on Wednesday. Here are six key graphs to see before he delivers his autumn statement
Adam Dean's insight:
The Autumn Statement is published tomorrow. Given 2015 is an election year, expect something a bit more interesting than previous statements. These charts give some context - where is the UK now, where has it come from, and where is it expected to go.
Peach and nectarine farmers to be subsidised by the EU following the Russian food import ban. Fruit bought by the EU to be distributed to schools, hospitals, etc for free. Are peaches and nectarines a merit good?
Five years ago on Wednesday, the Bank of England slashed rates to a record low of 0.5% - and it's still there. For some it's been good news, for others bad
Adam Dean's insight:
The base rate has been held at an abnormally low level (average rate since creation of B of E is about 5%) for 5 years. This article looks at the winners (borrowers, home owners, stock markets) and losers (savers) of expansionary monetary policy.
NMW to increase in real terms for first time in 6 years. Some argue that this may create real wage unemployment. Setting a price floor above the equilibrium wage will lead to an excess supply of workers = unemployment. In addition, critics warn of cost push inflation and damage to SME's who rely on low cost labour.
Others believe that NMW is a key tool to reduce the increasing income/wealth inequality, help reduce in work poverty, and boost AD (as low income earners tend to have a high MPC).
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