Robert Peston, economics editor

Robert Peston Economics editor

Welcome to Peston's Picks - for my latest thoughts on the big economic events around the world making us richer or poorer

Are Scotland's new tax and spending powers fair?

  • 27 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Lord Smith
Lord Smith announced that the Scottish Parliament should have the power to set income tax rates and bands

The really important stuff on economic and fiscal devolution to Scotland is yet to be decided.

In saying that, you may think I've gone mad - given that the Smith Commission has apparently made some huge decisions.

Here is what stands out for me from today's announcement.

1) The Scottish parliament will have total control over income tax rates and the thresholds at which they kick in (but Westminster will still set the tax-free allowance).

2) Revenue raised from the first 10 percentage points of VAT on Scottish spending will be allotted to the Scottish government.

Read full article Are Scotland's new tax and spending powers fair?

Has Juncker over-hyped EU investment?

  • 26 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Jean-Claude Juncker

So is the European Union spending big money on infrastructure to spur growth, as the European Commission's president Jean-Claude Juncker would have us all believe?

Or is he engaging in clever financial engineering, whose impact will be - well - a bit uncertain?

Read full article Has Juncker over-hyped EU investment?

Britain's soggy future?

  • 24 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Money and payslip

I have interviewed the Bank of England's chief economist Andy Haldane about how seriously he takes the risk of what Larry Summers, the former US Treasury Secretary, calls "secular stagnation".

This is the dour prospect that in the mature rich economies growth in the future will be much slower than it was in the decades before the crash (even though right now the UK is growing at an annual rate of 3% - which is similar to pre-crash levels).

Read full article Britain's soggy future?

A blacker fiscal hole?

  • 21 November 2014
  • From the section Business
George Osborne

The Treasury's statement on this morning's government borrowing figures for October - which are a bit less dire than those in the first six months of the year - is a classic of its kind.

On the one hand, the nameless official spokesperson makes the perhaps surprising claim that "public sector net borrowing still remains in line with the Budget forecast".

Read full article A blacker fiscal hole?

Squeeze ends for the long-term employed

  • 19 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Commuters

This year's annual survey of hours and earnings is a treasure chest of seeming paradoxes. And gosh, I am so excited.

So the headline, according to the Office for National Statistics, is that median gross weekly earnings for those in full-time work rose by a solitary quid or just 0.1% to £518 in the year to April 2014.

Read full article Squeeze ends for the long-term employed

Is the global economy headed for the rocks?

  • 17 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Share prices displayed on a billboard in Japan, 17 November 2014

Well David Cameron, perhaps learning a lesson from his stockbroker father, got his timing right.

On the morning that he warns (in the Guardian) that red lights are flashing on the dashboard of the global economy, Japan announces that it has unexpectedly crashed into recession.

Read full article Is the global economy headed for the rocks?

Hooray for a flatlining eurozone

  • 14 November 2014
  • From the section Business
The Rathaus in Hamburg
Hamburg has a proud history as the powerhouse of Germany's export trade

Miniscule growth in the eurozone is better than none, but no bulwark against eventual fracture of the currency union.

It is a rum old world in which growth of 0.2% in the eurozone between the spring and autumn is regarded as a goodish result.

Read full article Hooray for a flatlining eurozone

End of UK's long living-standards squeeze?

  • 12 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Money

For the first time in five years, pay excluding bonuses - so-called "regular" earnings - is rising faster than inflation.

Here is your statutory wealth warning: the rise in real pay has been for one month only (so far) and is so small as to create an almost imperceptible bulge in your wallet; pay rose by 1.3%, versus CPI inflation of 1.2%.

Read full article End of UK's long living-standards squeeze?

The German way of stagnating

  • 11 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Skyline of Hamburg

In Germany, why is is that they seem to do most things better than the rest of the world, even economic stagnation and recession?

I was in the great port of Hamburg yesterday, part of the industrial powerhouse that is Germany, to get a sense of the mood of the country, shortly before the publication of official figures that will show the German economy is pretty limp.

Read full article The German way of stagnating

The UK's loans for visas schemes

  • 6 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Money

Having broadcast and written about the costs and benefits of immigration yesterday, I feel like I've been hit by a truck this morning - such is the volume of emails, tweets and blog comments I've received.

So slightly against my better judgement, here goes again, prompted by a report in the Times that the Home Office approved 735 applications for UK residency permits from wealthy foreign investors from outside the EU in the year to June.

Read full article The UK's loans for visas schemes

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About Robert

Robert has won numerous awards for his journalism, including Journalist of the Year, Specialist Journalist of the Year and Scoop of the Year (twice) from the Royal Television Society, Performer of the Year from the Broadcasting Press Guild, and Broadcaster of the Year and Journalist of the Year from the Wincott Foundation.

Prior to joining the BBC, he was political editor and financial editor of the Financial Times, City Editor of the Sunday Telegraph and a columnist for the New Statesman and Sunday Times.

He broadcast and published a series of influential reports about the causes and consequences of the global financial crisis.

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