Introduction: blocking UK car sales
Good morning and welcome to our continued coverage of the global economy, financial markets, the eurozone and business.
The British auto industry is off to a stuttering start to 2021 as the latest Covid-19 lockdown hit the economy.
New car registrations plummeted 40% YoY in January, expected figures for this morning will be shown.
With much of the country under lockdown and many workers facing an additional stretch of home work, demand for vehicles was the lowest in decades. That’s despite dealers trying to increase demand through online sales, click-and-pick services, and deliveries.
British new car registrations fell about 40% year-on-year in January, according to preliminary industry data released Thursday, after nearly the entire UK spent most of the month locked up.
Sales were at their lowest level for January in decades, according to the industry body, the Society of Engine Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Official figures are due at 9 a.m. M.
2020 was the worst year for UK car sales since the early 1990s, and today’s figures will highlight the ongoing economic damage the pandemic is causing.
The figures come as the UK government faces mounting pressure to fill gaps in its emergency coronavirus wage subsidy schemes in the March budget to support millions of self-employed and other workers excluded from the the license.
My colleague Richard Partington Explain:
MPs and campaign groups said that Chancellor Rishi Sunak had repeatedly sidestepped opportunities to fix gaps in the self-employed income support and license (SEISS) plan for nearly a year since the pandemic began. Covid-19.
Caroline Lucas, Co-Chair of the Green Party of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Gaps in support, said it was “completely unacceptable” that more than 3 million people were completely left out.
“While it was understandable at the beginning of the pandemic, when the Treasury had to act quickly, that some new support schemes did not work as well as they should, it is a scandal that more than 10 months later, so many continue to fall the gaps”, he told The Guardian.
Optimism that successful vaccine launches will stop the Covid-19 pandemic are supporting the markets again today, with the FTSE 100 index increasing by 25 points or 0.4% to 6532 points,
Later today we will hear from the Bank of England as it sets interest rates and publishes its latest economic analysis and inflation projections.
- 9 a. M. GMT: UK car sales figures for January
- 9.30 a. M. GMT: January UK Construction PMI Survey
- 12 pm GMT: Bank of England interest rate decision
- 13:30 GMT: Weekly Unemployment Figures in the US
- 3:00 pm GMT: Factory orders from USA
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism