Yesterday, a cross-party group of MPs tabled an amendment to the finance bill to stop the UK leaving the EU without a deal. According to ITV’s Robert Peston, the amendment could be put to a vote on Tuesday 8 January, when MPs will debate the remaining stages of the finance bill. The amendment comes on a day when it was discovered the government has quietly edited every no deal technical notice so that the word ‘unlikely’ no longer appears. Faintly reminiscent of the actions of Winston Smith.
The Bank of England kept interest rates unchanged and warned that uncertainty has increased since November. Retail sales came in better than expected last month at 3.6% from 2.4% the month before. Analysts had predicted a drop to 1.9%. CBI distributive trades were very disappointing at -13 in December from +19 the previous month. Sterling made some gains against the dollar but is still under pressure.
Today we have the Gfk consumer confidence reading for December. The figures have been disappointing for some time now and came in at -13 last time around. This month it is expected to have fallen even further to -14. We will also see the final reading of the GDP growth rate for the third quarter of 2018 and the public sector net borrowing figures for November.