All the day’s economic and financial news, including the latest German production and UK house price data

Breaking! UK house prices growth has hit a four-year low.

Halifax’s monthly survey, just released, shows that prices in the three months to July were only 2.1% higher than a year ago.

“House prices continue to remain broadly flat, as they have since the start of the year. Prices in the three months to July were marginally lower than in the preceding three months, while the annual rate of growth has edged down from 5.7% in January to 2.1% in July; the lowest rate since April 2013.

“The rise in the employment level by 175,000 in the three months to May helped push the unemployment rate down to 4.5%, the lowest since June 1975.

We also have worrying signs that British households are being squeezed again, as consumer spending falls again.

My colleague Zoe Wood explains:

Britons are slashing spending on new clothes, cars and foreign holidays, according to new figures that underscore the effect on consumer confidence of rising living costs and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Spending fell for a third consecutive month in July, according to Visa’s consumer spending index, which it said was the longest-running slump since February 2013. The 0.8% year-on-year decline in July was worse than June’s 0.2% drop, but not as steep as the fall of 0.9% in May.

UK consumers cut spending on clothes, cars and foreign travel

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