UK car sales fell by 20% in September, largely because of new emissions testing regulations. As every single car now has to be tested prior to it being sold, there are bottlenecks at testing sites, which is leading to a drop in availability. That, coupled with manufacturers and sales centres trying to sell cars in August, made the decline bigger than it might have been.
However, there is still the problem of Brexit and weaker consumer confidence. Those two factors will no doubt be having some form of impact, although it is difficult to gauge the extent at the moment. The next few readings will be fascinating. Despite the release, sterling managed to make some gains against the euro and it also climbed above $1.30. It’s still some way behind the $1.3299 we have seen in the last month, but at least it was heading in the right direction yesterday.
This morning we will see the Halifax house price index for September. Year-on-year, prices are expected to have grown by 3.3% from 3.7% in the previous period. We will also see the final reading of labour productivity for the second quarter of 2018. In the first quarter, productivity shrank by 0.4%, but it is expected to have grown by 0.4% this time around.