Brexit: What we learnt last week

By Andrew Harbison, CA Today

15 August 2016

A round up of last week's biggest Brexit news.

1. House prices on ‘pause’

A survey by The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that the rise in house prices slowed significantly in the three months to the end of July. 

According to RICS, new buyer inquiries, house sales and new instructions all fell over the period. The number of surveyors reporting residential house price increases dropped to a three year low.

Source: BBC News

For sale

Image credit: Tom Gowanlock /

2. Retail figures rise to six-month high

Data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) seems to suggest that UK shoppers are relatively un-phased by the economic uncertainty that followed the Brexit vote. 

UK retail sales increased by 1.1% on a like-for-like basis from July 2015, when they had increased 1.2% from the preceding year. On a total basis, sales rose 1.9%, against a 2.2% increase in July 2015. This is the strongest growth since January.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the BRC, said the figures may come as a “shock to some”, but that “little has materially changed for most UK households in the wake of June 23, so it is not surprising to us that sales are simply responding to their normal underlying drivers”.

Source: The Independent

Business meeting

3. How businesses can prepare for Brexit

As British and European politicians meet to negotiate the terms of the UK leaving the EU, businesses must make sure they do not lose sight of their global outlook, says Michael Moore CA, Senior Adviser on Devolution at PwC.

Clearly communicating future plans to overseas investors and ensuring an appropriate level of engagement in the political debate are just two of the ways businesses can prepare for Brexit.

Source: CA Today

4. Companies raise prices to combat slump in pound

The results of the post-Brexit drop in the value of the pound are starting to become apparent as manufacturers are beginning to raise the price of some of their products, Bloomberg claimed last week. 

The French car maker PSA Group lifted the prices of its Peugeot, Citroen and DS vehicles by around 2% on August 1. A spokesperson is quoted on Bloomberg saying that the cost of the Peugeot 308 hatchback has went up by £435.

Source: Bloomberg


Image credit: Joseph Sohm /

5. UK/US relationship ‘top priority’ post Brexit

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has released figures showing that the UK is the single largest investor in the US, making up £346bn of foreign direct investment into the country.  

The business group quoted Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of CBI, on its Twitter feed as saying that the economic relationship between the US and the UK is “in excellent shape” and that it “must be priority” for the new government to keep it that way.

Source: City AM


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