Hello and welcome to our continued coverage of the global economy, financial markets, UK supply chain crisis and business.
September has turned out to be a cruel month for UK car dealers, as the global semiconductor shortage hits the auto industry.
New car registrations in the UK fell 35% year-on-year in September to around 214,000 units, according to preliminary industry data this morning.
It would be the weakest September in at least 23 years, according to Reuters, as the industry grapples with supply chain issues following the pandemic.
September is normally a good time for car sales, with motorists keen to get a new license plate showing they have the latest model (they are updated in the spring and fall).
But the global semiconductor shortage continues to hamper production across the auto industry, leaving dealers struggling to source models for sale to consumers.
But as Reuters explains, sales of electric cars hit a new record (in a month that ended with motorists lining up for fuel).
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said the auto industry continues to experience a global shortage of semiconductors used in car production.
With widespread panic buying at gas pumps late last month caused by a shortage of freight vehicle drivers, the SMMT said more than 32,000 battery-powered cars were registered last month – a new record.
UK license plates indicate the age of a vehicle and are updated every March and September, which means these are usually exceptional months for car registrations as buyers like to show that ‘they have the most recent model.
The chip shortage also affected auto production in August; production fell 27% year-on-year as manufacturers struggled to source parts (figures from last week showed).
Concerns about the cost of living and the move towards remote working can also weigh on car sales.
But, fewer cars on the roads – especially fossil-fueled models – could help the UK meet its goal of going net zero by 2050.
We get the full data at 9am UK time.
Also coming today …
Financial markets are on the alert after Wall Street fell sharply last night. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 323 points, or nearly 1%.
The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite slipped 2.1% as fears that rising inflation could cause interest rates to rise prompted investors to walk away from big tech companies.
Facebook’s shares fell nearly 5%, wiping out nearly $ 50 billion of its value, after a massive outage took its services offline for hours. The crash affected millions of people, organizations and businesses who use Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
The energy crisis continues, with U.S. oil prices peaking in seven years last night after Opec and its allies resisted pressure to ramp up crude production.
This could translate into higher energy costs this winter and prices at the pump.
The UK oil crisis is easing, with military drivers now helping to get fuel to the forecourt. But problems remain, especially in London and the South East, so it could take a week to get back to normal.
We are also receiving new health checks this morning on service sector companies in the UK, Eurozone and US, which will show the impact of supply chain issues.
- 9am BST: UK car registrations for September
- 9 a.m. BST: Eurozone services PMI for September
- 9:30 a.m. BST: UK services PMI for September
- 1:30 p.m. BST: US trade balance
- 2 p.m. BST: IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva delivers speech ahead of IMF annual meeting later this month
- 3 p.m. BST: US services PMI for September