Posted by

Nick White, Press & Communications Officer

15 Aug 2014

This week all eyes in Westminster were firmly fixed on the release of the Bank of England’s Inflation Report. Whilst many analysts had predicted no change to the GDP growth forecast, it was pleasing to see a slight increase in annual growth to 3.5%.

But what caught the attention of the media was the Bank of England slashing its outlook for annual wage growth from 2.5% to 1.25%. The conundrum is that wages are stagnating despite the unemployment rate falling to 6.4%. Normally, lower unemployment would put upward pressure on wages, but textbook economics is not at play here.

Away from Westminster, many students across the UK would have suffered a sleepless Wednesday night, in the lead up to the release of A-Level results the following day. Whilst there was an increased take up in science and maths, the drop in students studying foreign languages is a worrying trend as we hear of many businesses reporting that there is a skills gap in this area. In the run up the general election we will be calling on all political parties to make foreign language learning compulsory between the ages of 7 and 16. This will help equip young people with the skills to develop into the next generation of UK exporters.

The rest of the BCC team has been working tirelessly on a number projects which are being launched in the coming months, including the International Trade Conference. With only eight weeks until this high profile business event, you can find out more information and book your tickets at the ITC website.