UK unemployment 6.0 percent
As I mused here recently, Britain's economic journalists have by and large proven to be an outstanding contra-indicator.
Having largely failed to predict the recession the majority view switched to lecturing us for two years about why there wouldn't be a recovery, just, as it turned out, the data showed that the economy had been humming along.
"Unbalanced" is the new buzzword, and, as I looked at here, there's no question that some sectors have led the British economy back to its seven consecutive quarters of growth, not that there is anything surprising about that.
Employment Rises Further
The latest employment data from the ONS this week showed employment to have increased by 112,000 over the quarter to September, and 694,000 over the year.
The number of total employed is therefore now at a record high.
Unemployment has also been falling for three years from above 2.7 million to now sit at 1.959 million, having plunged by 592,000 over the past year.
Over the last three years the unemployment rate has dived from 8.5 percent to 6.0 percent.
Interest Rates Still Steady
However, the first rate hike looks to remain 8 months away with fears of rapid house price inflation fading (this was never really an issue outside London) and consumer price inflation easing back to just 1.2 percent, partly due to one-off factors such as the plummeting price of oil affecting import prices for fuel.
Indeed, it is expected that inflation will fall below 1 percent over the next 6 months which will require the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney penning a few words to the Chancellor to explain the causes and how they will be addressed.
The good news is that wages growth is at last expected to surge back to above 3 percent after a long period of weakness.
Unsurprisingly, looking at these numbers, the Conservative Party is edging ahead in the polls as we move to only 6 months out from the UK General Election.
Prime Minister Cameron may have a negative approval rating, but this is nothing when compared to that of the negative 34 percent attributed to the Leader of the Opposition (Miliband) at minus 34 percent.
Cameron has predictably pledged to "play it tough" on immigration in a bid to stave off the UKIP challenge, but the latest numbers show there is Buckley's chance of the Conservatives hitting their proposed immigration targets.
A gentle stroll around Britain's provincial towns would tell you that!
There are 2.5 million EU migrants resident in Britain according to recent data, only 113,000 of whom are registered as unemployed.
The number of eastern Europeans in Britain in particular has exploded in recent years, with some 600,000 Poles believed to be in the country, but due to seasonal variations the numbers could be much higher at various points in the calendar year.