U.s. Relations With United Kingdom

Apparel Retail in the United Kingdom

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Relations were strengthened by the United Kingdom’s alliance with the United States during both World Wars, in the Korean conflict, in the Persian Gulf War, in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and in Afghanistan, as well as through its role as a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The United Kingdom and the United States continually consult on foreign policy issues and global problems and share major foreign and security policy objectives. Regarding Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, “Nationalist” and “Republican” groups seek a united Ireland that includes Northern Ireland, while “Unionists” and “Loyalists” want Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom. U.S. priorities continue to be supporting the peace process and devolved political institutions in Northern Ireland and encouraging the implementation of the U.S.-brokered 1998 Belfast Agreement, also known as the Good Friday Agreement, and the 2006 St. Andrews Agreement. U.S. Assistance to the United Kingdom The International Fund for Ireland (IFI), created in 1986, provides funding for projects to generate cross-community engagement and economic opportunity in Northern Ireland (the United Kingdom) and the border counties of Ireland. Since the IFI’s establishment, the U.S. Government has contributed over $500 million, roughly half of total IFI funding. The other major donor to IFI is the European Union. Bilateral Economic Relations The United Kingdom is a member of the European Union and a major international trading power. The United Kingdom is one of the largest markets for U.S. goods exports and one of the largest suppliers of U.S. imports.

The industry value is calculated at retail selling price (RSP), and includes all taxes and levies. All currency conversions used in this report have been calculated at constant 2011 annual average exchange rates. The apparel retail industry consists of the sale of all menswear, womenswear and childrenswear. The menswear market includes mens activewear, casual wear, essentials, formalwear, formalwear-occasion and outerwear. The womenswear market includes women’s activewear, casual wear, essentials, formalwear, formalwear-occasion and outerwear. The childrenswear market includes baby clothing, boys activewear, boys casual wear, boys essentials, boys formalwear, boys formalwear-occasion, boys outerwear, girls activewear, girls casual wear, girls essentials, girls formalwear-occasion, girls outerwear and toddler clothing. The industry value is calculated at retail selling price (RSP), and includes all taxes and levies. All currency conversions used in this report have been calculated at constant 2011 annual average exchange rates. The UK apparel retail industry is expected to generate total revenues of $59.2bn in 2012, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.3% between 2008 and 2012. The womenswear segment is expected to be the industry’s most lucrative in 2012, with total revenues of $34.1bn, equivalent to 57.6% of the industry’s overall value. Features Save time carrying out entry-level research by identifying the size, growth, and leading players in the apparel retail market in the United Kingdom Use the Five Forces analysis to determine the competitive intensity and therefore attractiveness of the apparel retail market in the United Kingdom Leading company profiles reveal details of key apparel retail market players global operations and financial performance Add weight to presentations and pitches by understanding the future growth prospects of the United Kingdom apparel retail market with five year forecasts Macroeconomic indicators provide insight into general trends within the United Kingdom economy Key Questions Answered What was the size of the United Kingdom apparel retail market by value in 2012? What will be the size of the United Kingdom apparel retail market in 2017?

Fitch Downgrades United Kingdom to ‘AA+’; Outlook Stable

The UK’s ‘AA+’ rating is underpinned by its high-income, diversified and flexible economy as well as a high degree of political and social stability. The monetary policy framework as well as sterling’s international reserve currency status afford the UK a high degree of financial and economic policy flexibility. Strong civil and policy institutions and a high degree of transparency enhance the predictability of the business and economic policy environment that compares favourably with peers in the ‘AA’ category. Weak economic performance and growth prospects, relatively high levels of private and foreign as well as public debt, along with sizeable twin fiscal and current account deficits, are weaknesses relative to rating peers. RATING SENSITIVITIES The Stable Outlook indicates a less than 50% chance of a change in the UK sovereign ratings over the next two years. The main factors that could lead to a negative rating action, individually or collectively, are: – Failure to stabilise the government debt to GDP ratio over the medium term. – Increased threat to macro-financial stability, for example arising from an intensification of the eurozone crisis or an erosion of confidence in the UK’s policy commitment to price stability. The main factors that could lead to a positive rating action, individually or collectively, are: – Stronger economic recovery and rebalancing of the UK economy than currently forecast. – Government budget deficits and debt declining at a faster pace than currently projected so that GGGD is on a sustainable path towards 90% of GDP and below. KEY ASSUMPTIONS A key assumption underpinning Fitch’s medium-term fiscal projections reflected in the ‘AA+’ rating and Stable Outlook is that the growth potential of the UK economy is around 2%-2.25% pa. This assumption is based on the UK’s labour market and demographic outlook and expectation that labour productivity will revert to its long-run trend of around 2% pa. In the event that productivity and hence economic growth is permanently lower than its long-run historical average prior to the financial crisis, the fiscal outlook would be materially worse than currently assessed with adverse implications for the UK’s sovereign credit profile and ratings.Global Economic Outlook – AmendedAdditional Disclosure Solicitation StatusALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: here . IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY’S PUBLIC WEBSITE ‘WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM’.

United Kingdom: RICS Housing Price Balance (September): 54% vs 41%

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