UK economy – A fall in utility prices due to a lowering of the energy cap helped ease inflation (CPI) in the UK, as it fell to its lowest levels in three years in October. The figure came in at 1.5% for the month, 0.2% lower than September’s figure. As the Bank of England’s (BoE) inflation target sits at around 2%, the lower level has prompted speculation that the BoE may cut interest rates as the economy becomes more subdued. In other economic news, the UK’s economy grew in Q3, meaning that a recession was avoided. The bad news is that the economy only grew by 1%, which was the slowest annual rate in nearly a decade.
UK politics – Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chances of winning a majority in parliament had a boost this week, as the Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage stated that his party will not be contesting any Conservative seats in next month’s general election, in a bid to stop any attempts of triggering a second referendum to keep the UK in the European Union.
Hong Kong protests – Protests in the territory intensified this week. Over the week, protesters paralysed the city by blocking roads and disrupting lines in the subway. On Thursday, the government ordered schools and colleges to shut for the first time during the unrest. As the protests which have been mainly confined to the weekends have spilled over to midweek, there are growing fears that the economy which has already fallen into recession, will continue to slow, with economists now forecasting that the economy will contract 1.3% in 2019.