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PwC: Comments on Nationwide house price data
August 2, 2012
By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com
Average UK house prices fell by a further 0.7% in July according to the Nationwide House Price Index and the Markit/CIPS Manufacturing PMI, reinforcing PwC’s view that the housing market is in for a difficult time in the short term, even if prospects should be better later in the decade as supply shortages reassert themselves.
John Hawksworth, PwC’s chief economist, commented:
“The Eurozone crisis continues to cast a dark shadow over the UK economy, with the latest PMI readings for July showing not just the familiar signs of weakness in Spain, Italy and Greece, but also the poorest manufacturing activity readings for France and Germany for more than 3 years,” he said. ” This, in turn, has dragged UK manufacturing back into recession in recent months, with the worst reading in July since March 2009 as both output and new orders fell sharply.”
Hawksworth also said the only silver lining is that sluggish global growth has depressed commodity prices, easing some of the squeeze on UK companies’ margins. He felt this should eventually feed through into lower prices for hard-pressed consumers, although today’s survey showed that this was only happening with a lag as selling prices continued to edge up due to higher raw material costs incurred earlier in the year.