First revision keeps UK Q3 GDP growth at 1.0%
The BBC has been under attack for another cover-up, this one relating to the accuracy of its depiction of ancient peoples in Andrew Marr's History of the World Series. It seems that the corporation prudishly dressed actors in animal skins and textiles, even though it is historically inaccurate to show them in anything more than their birthday suits. The accusation was levelled at the BBC by British Naturism, a leading anti-apparel organisation with no axe to grind whatsoever.
It is a pity the EU did not call upon the BBC's costume consultants to clothe its latest agreement with Greece. The deal seems to be that Greece is going to get an extra €40bn but it isn't really going to get it but it will eventually. The arrangement would look better if it had been dressed up a bit. Investors demonstrated their disappointment by selling the euro yesterday. In the 24 hours since the deal was announced the euro has fallen by three quarters of a US cent and by half a cent against the pound.
Suffering even more than the euro was the Swedish krona. It fell -1.4% against the pound after consumer and business confidence readings suggested the Swedish economy was not in such good shape as expected. The halo effect meant referred pain for the Norwegian krone too; it is down by -0.7% on the day.
The leaders on Tuesday were the Japanese yen and US dollar, in that order. It is a fortnight since the yen was the best daily performer because investors fear that a change of government next month will bring a tsunami of quantitative easing. Yesterday however, the greater concern was the US fiscal cliff after Harry Reid, the senate majority leader, said he was disappointed at the lack of progress towards a deal.
Although it lost ground to the yen and the US dollar, the pound had an otherwise comfortable day. It is unchanged against the three colonial commodity dollars and fractionally ahead against the euro and Swiss franc. What really made sterling's day was the first revision to UK third quarter gross domestic product (GDP). It was unchanged at 1.0%. The news surprised the pessimists who had been expecting a downward revision and the pound jumped a swift couple of dozen ticks higher against the euro. Even though popular opinion has it that fourth quarter GDP will be negative, there will be no evidence to prove it until January. In financial market terms anything the other side of Christmas is an aeon away.
The rest of yesterday's economic data came from the States. Consumer confidence looked pretty good, rising by a point and a half to 73.7. The Case-Shiller house price index was also upbeat. It rose by 3% in the year to September; the fourth increase in four months.
There are no heavyweight statistics on today's agenda and nothing at all from Britain. In Europe Spanish retail sales will almost certainly have been horrible in October because households brought forward their purchases to earlier months to avoid a sales tax increase. German inflation should be a touch lower at 1.9% but will not make a lot of difference to the euro. The US reports on new home sales and the Federal Reserve publishes it Beige Book survey of the economy but there, too, there is little scope for surprise. It could be another quiet day.