World Economy

32% Brits Face Financial Shocks

32% Brits Face Financial Shocks32% Brits Face Financial Shocks

Almost one third (32%) of UK adults have suffered a serious financial setback in the past five years, but only a small minority were protected with the right insurance.

According to research from the Money Advice Service, only 35% of those who have experience a financial blow, such as losing their job or being unable to work due to an injury, had protection insurance at the time. This is despite the fact that one in five (18%) adults said they know someone whose standard of life was severely impacted due to not having protection insurance, NewsNow reported.

With many families vulnerable to unexpected financial loss, the Money Advice Service and Association of British insurers are urging Brits to start a savings fund or consider investing in a relevant insurance policy.

The campaign aims to breakdown barriers associated with saving or taking out protection insurance and, ultimately, encourage conversation around the importance of ensuring family and finances are safeguarded should an unexpected event occur.

Responding to the findings, Andy Webb, money expert at the Money Advice Service, said: “The research highlighted that there is a big gap between the number of people who experience financial shocks, and those that protect their lifestyles by either saving for a rainy day or considering the relevant protection insurance.”

  Exports Suffer

Fears are growing about the strength of Britain’s economic recovery, after sharp falls in exports and manufacturing output offered the first evidence the global slowdown may be taking its toll.

Britain’s overall trade deficit in goods and services widened to £3.4 billion ($5.24 billion) in July, from £2.6 billion in June, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The deterioration was driven by a drop in goods exports, which decreased by £2.3 billion to £22.8 billion in July 2015–the lowest level since September 2010.

Measured over a three-month period, the overall trade deficit narrowed, but analysts said the deterioration in the latest month was concerning.

At the same time, the manufacturing sector–which the chancellor, George Osborne, has said he would like to spearhead a “march of the makers”–reported a 0.8% decline in output in July, taking production to 0.5% below the level of a year ago.

  Interest Rate Unchanged

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has kept the UK interest rate at its record low of 0.5%, the bank announced. The organization’s asset buying program is also unchanged at £375 billion ($579 billion). The results of the MPC’s September meeting were hotly anticipated, as it was the first one since the devaluation of the Chinese yuan started.

The second half of August saw global financial instability because of a large-scale stock market crash in China, which influenced markets worldwide.

  Massive Fall

Construction output in the UK unexpectedly slowed in July driven by the largest annual fall in house-building in more than two years, official data revealed Friday.

The 1% fall, which reversed a 0.9% rise in June, surprised economists’ who had forecast a 0.5% increase.

Year-on-year the figures from the Office of National Statistics showed a 0.7% fall, again disappointing economists’ forecasts for a 0.6% rise.

Construction of public housing plummeted by a massive 15.6%, while the 0.8% growth in private construction was the slowest since March 2013.

New work across the sector fell by 1.5%, while repair and maintenance work was flat.

The 2.5% annual fall in the amount of new housing being built was the first decline since March 2013.

Construction, which makes up 6% of Britain’s economy, fell sharply after the financial crisis and was slow to recover, but gained pace last year before easing in early 2015.

Despite the fall in construction output, the ONS said it did not expect annual rates of GDP growth to differ much from provisional estimates it made on August 5.