Archive for January, 2010

UK economy turns around

So finally, the news we’ve been waiting for – the UK economy has come out of the longest recession since records began. In the 3 months to the end of December, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the UK grew by 0.1%. This is only a very small growth, but it’s growth nonetheless – for the previous 6 quarters UK GDP had been shrinking.

This is a very encouraging sign, especially since the UK was one of the last major economies to still be in recession, others having returned to growth some months earlier. However – before we break open the champagne we should note that these are only preliminary figures – often GDP figures are corrected up or down at a later date, as explained here. Also, 0.1% is only a low growth rate and most analysts are predicting slow growth for the rest of 2010.

Still, after the recent turmoil a few quarters of good, solid, sustainable growth should stabilise the economy and see the job market (and mortgages and loans) pick up as confidence increases. A stronger national economy should also help the Pound make back some of its recent weakness against other currencies – although, again, this is likely to be a slow process.

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Thursday, January 28th, 2010 Economy No Comments

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I’ve previously mentioned the book Freakonomics as an interesting read which explains how economic thought can be applied to many different (and unusual) areas of the world around us. Well, the same authors (Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner) have recently released a follow-up book, Superfreakonomics.

This book covers in quite some depth topics such as finding solutions to global warming, using statistical analysis to find terrorists (particularly relevant at the moment) and why the solutions to big problems are often simple. I personally found that a few of these chapters strayed further from the economics-based descriptions that defined the first book – concentrating more on the details of possible solutions to global warming than the economic forces working on those solutions, for example.

Having said that, the chapter about the economics of prostitution is very much like the previous book’s chapter on drug dealing – because the relevant studies the authors were reporting on were done by the same researcher. It offers some of the detailed analysis that I felt made the first book accessible – explaining why the data gathered (and the methods used to gather the data) can tell you things you wouldn’t otherwise find out.

A very entertaining read which unfortunately is over too quickly – but the epilogue is my favourite part of the whole book, where they explain briefly the impact of explaining to monkeys the concept of money!

Click on the link to the right to buy the book from Amazon, and you’ll be doing your bit to support this site!

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Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 Economy No Comments

Time to make some changes

2010 beckons and the start of a new year is for many people the time to sort out their career or their finances. The Salary Calculator is here to help you if you want to make some changes to your financial situation.

It might be time to look for a new job – the Christmas break gives one time to consider career plans, and you might think that in January you’ll start looking for new employment, or talk to your employer about a promotion. Use The Salary Calculator when comparing salaries so you know how much extra it would make to you each month if you got that pay rise.

If you need some extra money each month, to save up for a holiday or a new car say, then use the Required Salary Calculator to work out what salary you need to look for to get that extra take-home. There’s hope that early in 2010 we’ll hear that the UK has finally left recession and things will start to pick up – including the job market.

If you’re not interested in a new job, you can consider sorting out your finances. Use the Mortgage Repayment Calculator to get an idea of the effects of remortgaging in 2010, or the Debt Consolidation Calculator to see what you could save by taking control of all of your loans. Why not try to get debt free in 2010?

Here’s to a great new year for everyone, I hope that The Salary Calculator will help you with your money in 2010!

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