Hey Big Spenders! The UK economy has grown by 0.6% in the three months to September with the warm weather boosting consumer spending. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) data shows that this is the highest quarterly growth figure since the fourth quarter of 2016. In addition to consumer spending, manufacturing, energy production and construction have been key drivers of this growth, with the latter growing by 2.1% in the quarter. Despite this spike, business investment has contracted for three consecutive quarters, shrinking by 1.2%, a strong indication that Brexit is definitely on the minds of investors as they remain uncertain about a Brexit deal and the post-Brexit business environment in the UK. Does today’s ONS data mean there is some truth to some the Chancellor’s budget statement last week that “Austerity is over”? Watch this space!
All Of The Lights! We see your Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting and raise you our gloriously dazzling Oxford Street Christmas Lighting on London’s busiest shopping street. There is no greater sign that it’s Christmas! here in London than that time of the year when thousands gather on the cold Oxford Street pavements to watch the Christmas Lights switch on. If London’s call is particularly loud and our dynamic capital city is on your itinerary this Christmas and New Year, Carnaby Street, Covent Garden, Kew Gardens, Marylebone and the London Zoo are a few of the many locations that also offer you sparkles and magical lights display this festive season. Just a quick Christmas trivia for you, Did you know that the Oxford Street Christmas lights display began in 1959, but the traditions originally started on Regent Street, five years earlier? Well now you know!
Mind The Gap! Commutes are stressful enough as it is without the added anxiety of disruption, but that is exactly what London underground passengers faced this week by way of a 24-hour strike on three of London’s main tube lines. On Wednesday, the Central and Waterloo & City Lines had limited to no service causing sever queues at busy transport hubs all across the city. The tube staff walk out occurred as a result of disputes between tube bosses and workers over industrial relations and working conditions. To give an idea of just how many people were impacted by the disruption, about 800,000 commuters typically use the Central line service per day. This volume of commuters being diverted to the other tube lines was cause for much frustration and anger particularly as on average, travelcards and caps increased by an average of 3.4% on January 2, 2018. If you a trip to London is on the horizon for you, check out this article for some tricks and ‘quirks’ to traversing the tube network.