UK: Economic Review - Outlook for 2006 Recovery or Relapse?

Last Updated: 23 January 2006
Article by Roger Bootle, Economic Adviser, Deloitte

Most Read Contributor in UK, August 2017

Foreword

by John Connolly
Senior Partner & Chief Executive
Deloitte

In this Review, Roger Bootle, Economic Adviser to Deloitte, looks at whether the slowdown in economic growth seen in 2005 is likely to mark the beginning of the end of a golden era in the UK economy or simply a pause for breath before the economy embarks on another period of rapid expansion.

Roger argues that the household and public sectors need to consolidate their finances further before the economy can grow at rapid rates once again. He concludes that 2006 is likely to be another year of sub-trend growth with the outturn roughly 2%.

Roger notes, though, that there are reasons why things could turn out better. First, it is possible that the bulk of the slowdown in economic growth in 2005 can be attributed to the doubling in the oil price. So even if oil prices remain at their current high levels, the negative effects on growth should fade away over the coming quarters. Second, the modest impact on inflation from the surge in the oil price and the apparent soft landing in the housing market boost the prospects for economic growth.

Roger also believes that inflation will fall back sharply and that interest rates should fall to 4%. Moreover, he thinks that a combination of lower interest rates and a lower pound should see UK economic growth accelerate in 2007, though the prospect of a sharp downturn in the US economy means that any recovery is unlikely to be spectacular. In any case, this is likely to be another difficult year to get through first.

Once again, I hope that this Review helps you in both your immediate and strategic thinking.

Executive summary

  • Our prediction a year ago of a sharp slowdown in the growth of the UK economy during 2005 proved correct. But was the downturn merely a temporary pause for breath, or the start of a sustained period of weakness?
  • One possible cause for optimism is that last year’s slowdown was due, at least in part, to an outside shock in the form of the surge in oil prices. Even if oil prices remain at their current high levels, the negative effects on growth should fade away over the coming quarters.
  • Meanwhile, the relatively limited impact on inflation from the jump in oil prices and the apparent soft(ish) landing in the housing market both bode well for the economy’s medium to long-term prospects.
  • But things may not be quite so straightforward. For a start, the rise in oil prices may have done lasting damage to the economy’s growth potential if oil-intensive elements of the capital stock have been rendered unprofitable.
  • The accompanying rise in inflation means that the policymakers have not loosened policy in response to the slowdown in activity as aggressively as they did following previous negative shocks to demand like the Russian debt crisis or the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • Most importantly, there is a possibility that the economy has entered a period of fundamental re-adjustment as the two key drivers of growth in recent years, the household and public sectors, are forced to consolidate their finances.

  • With little near-term prospect of an offsetting strong increase in the contribution of net trade and business investment, this could imply continued sluggish growth in overall GDP in the foreseeable future.
  • The upshot is that the outlook for the UK economy is probably more uncertain than it has been for a number of years. We expect another year of below-trend GDP growth of around 2%, though there are major risks in both directions.
  • This implies that the consensus forecast for growth is, for once, broadly right. But the prospect of a sharp fall in inflation this year as energy effects fade and core price pressures remain subdued suggests that interest rates will still follow a rather lower path than that currently anticipated by the financial markets. We expect the repo rate to fall to 4.0% or below in 2006.
  • Looking further ahead, the combination of lower interest rates and a lower pound should see economic growth accelerate in 2007, though the prospect of a sharp downturn in the US suggests that any recovery is unlikely to be too spectacular. We expect UK GDP growth of around 2.5% next year.

2006 - Recovery or relapse?

A year ago, we suggested that 2005 could mark the beginning of the end of a golden era in the UK economy, as previously free-spending households finally tightened their belts and the fiscal expansion of recent years came to a grinding halt. By and large, our concerns have so far been borne out. Indeed, the economy looks to have expanded even more slowly than we had expected last year, while inflation and unemployment have both risen more sharply.

But what is still far from clear is whether 2005’s downturn will prove to be simply a pause for breath before the economy embarks on another period of rapid expansion, or the start of a more sustained period of weaker economic performance. In this article, we therefore take a close look at the factors behind the slowdown in 2005 and the prospects for 2006 and beyond. Will the economy recover, or relapse?

A disappointing year … even for us

Chart 1 gives an indication of the extent to which the economy disappointed expectations last year by showing how various forecasts for GDP growth evolved during the year. Both the consensus forecast and that of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee started the year at a reasonably upbeat 2.5% before moving slightly higher over the following few months. Gordon Brown, meanwhile, began the year predicting that the economy would broadly match the very strong 3.2% expansion seen in 2004.

But these expectations were revised down significantly in the second half of the year as the economic news consistently disappointed. Both the consensus and MPC forecasts eventually dropped by close to a percentage point to their most recent level of 1.7%, while Mr Brown was forced virtually to halve his own prediction to a similar figure in December’s Pre-Budget Report.

As the Chart shows, our own forecast started the year considerably below both the official and consensus forecasts at 2%. Nonetheless, even we had to pull our prediction down a touch in response to some downward revisions to the published rates of growth at the end of 2004 and early in 2005.

History not encouraging

So the economy disappointed even our relatively gloomy expectations in 2005. Unless the data are subsequently revised higher, GDP looks to have expanded at its slowest rate since 1992. But what, if anything, might this imply for the economy’s likely performance in 2006 and beyond?

We can get an idea of this by looking at how the economy has performed after similar sorts of slowdowns in the past. On the face of it at least, the evidence is not very encouraging. Since 1960, there have been 12 previous years in which real GDP growth has slowed by 1 percentage point or more from the previous year. (These years are marked by the red bars in Chart 2.) Only after half of those did growth re-accelerate in the following year – in the other half, growth actually slowed further.

What’s more, even in those years in which growth did pick back up in the year following a major slowdown, it generally failed to recover all of the lost ground. Indeed, the average deceleration in growth of 3.7% in the "slowdown" years has been followed by an average re-acceleration of just 1.2% in the "recovery" years.

Admittedly, this comparison is strongly affected by the very steep growth slowdowns of 1974 (-8.5%) and 1980 (-4.8%) as the economy fell from rapid expansion into recession and then recovered only slowly in the subsequent year or two. But even excluding these two episodes, the average growth slowdown of 1.8% has been followed by a re-acceleration of just 1.3%.

At first sight, the historical omens are not particularly encouraging. In the past, the UK economy seems to have lacked a natural tendency to rebound strongly after a slowdown in growth. Most recoveries in the year after a downturn have been pretty lacklustre and it has been just as common for an economic slowdown to continue into a second year. On this basis, it would be no surprise if growth were weak again in 2006.

Nonetheless, there have been enough exceptions to mean that it would be unwise to rely purely on historical patterns to predict the likely future path of the economy.

It is worth bearing in mind the economy’s capacity for surprising on the upside in recent years. 2005 was only the second year in the last eight in which GDP growth has undershot the start-of-year consensus forecast, the other being 2001. (See Chart 3.) With the consensus forecast for 2006 starting at a pretty downbeat 2.0% – the lowest since 2002 – the chances of a second consecutive year of disappointment might seem slim.

Oil shock set to fade in 2006?

Given these mixed signals, we obviously need to think more carefully about what exactly lay behind the slowdown in the economy in 2005 in order to get a clearer idea of the prospects of a recovery. One possible source of optimism is that the slowdown has been, at least in part, the result of an external shock to the UK economy – namely, the surge in global oil prices.

Pinning down exactly what influence higher oil prices have had on economic growth is difficult, but it seems likely that the effect has been pretty significant. Indeed, very rough rules of thumb derived from econometric models suggest that a 20% rise in oil prices knocks around 0.25% off the level of GDP after a year or so. On this basis, the near 100% increase in oil prices seen since the start of 2004 (from $30 per barrel to the current level of just below $60pb) might explain a significant portion of the 1.5% slowdown in the growth of GDP between 2004 and 2005.

If this is the case, then we might expect the economy to recover fairly quickly over the coming year or so as the oil price effect starts to fade. This effect will, of course, be bigger if oil prices actually fall back, which is most certainly possible. But even if prices simply stay where they are, the negative influence on activity should soon start to diminish. Other things being equal, a rise in the oil price produces a permanent drop in the level of GDP, but the impact on growth should fade after a year or so.

Note from Chart 4 that even the very sharp slumps in the economy seen after the massive oil price spikes of 1974 and 1979 were relatively short-lived, with growth starting to recover in the following year, albeit from a strongly negative starting point.

This picture is supported by a quick examination of other instances in which the economy has slowed primarily in response to an external shock. At the time of the Russian debt/Long Term Capital Management crisis of 1998, for example, growth slowed below trend for just two quarters before re-accelerating again. Similarly, the apparent negative effects on growth of other external shocks such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks or the Iraq war appear to have been pretty short-lived.

Has growth been permanently damaged?

Things may not be quite as straightforward as all of this suggests. There may be some important distinctions to make between the negative demand shocks cited above and the negative supply shock represented by the surge in oil prices.

There is a possibility that the jump in oil prices may prove to have a permanently negative impact on the economy’s growth potential. In particular, the Monetary Policy Committee has suggested that the rise in oil prices may have rendered certain oilintensive elements of the economy’s capital stock unprofitable. If this is the case, then economic growth could be depressed until oil prices return to previous levels or until cheaper, alternative sources of energy are utilised.

There is certainly some superficial evidence in support of this suggestion. As Chart 5 shows, for example, the rise in oil prices has been accompanied by an increase in the number of manufacturers citing constraints on their productive capacity as a factor significantly limiting their production.

We have expressed doubts before over the idea that the rise in oil prices has prompted companies to abandon large amounts of capital stock, not least because producers have actually been pretty successful in passing the rise in their raw material costs along the supply chain in the form of higher selling prices.

Nonetheless, the particularly poor performance of productivity in recent quarters is certainly not inconsistent with the suggestion that the economy’s trend rate of growth may have decelerated a little, be that down to oil prices or other factors. (See Chart 6.) Note that productivity growth did drop sharply after the 1973 oil shock too.

Inflation worries dampen policy response

A potentially more worrying aspect of the sharp rise in oil prices is the accompanying effect on inflation and the consequences for monetary policy. At least part of the economy’s robust performance in the face of previous external shocks in recent years has probably reflected the swift and aggressive response of the policymakers under the current, forward-looking, policy regime.

During the Russian debt crisis of 1998/1999, for example, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) reduced interest rates in five consecutive months, with three of the moves being half point reductions. Altogether, rates were reduced by 1.5 percentage points in just nine months. Rates were moved equally decisively after the bursting of the dot.com bubble and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, falling seven times in the 11 months to November 2001.

In each case, a key factor allowing the policymakers to respond so aggressively was the absence of significant inflationary pressure in the economy. Indeed, part of the motivation for cutting interest rates on those occasions was to limit the deflationary effects of the negative shock to demand.

But a negative supply shock like a rise in oil prices obviously has very different effects on the relative behaviour of demand and inflation. As Chart 7 shows, the slowdown in GDP growth over the last year has been accompanied by a sharp rise in headline consumer price inflation to its highest level for nearly ten years, thanks in part to the direct upward effect of higher oil prices on petrol prices and other energy costs.

This combination of slowing growth and rising inflation has presented the MPC with a major policy dilemma. Of course, the fact that the Committee sets interest rates with regard to the outlook for inflation two years ahead as opposed to its current rate helps to address that dilemma. In theory, the Committee can "look through" temporary departures of inflation from its target caused by exogenous shocks.

However, at a time when spare capacity in the economy is limited and unemployment is at record low levels, the Committee has been understandably nervous that the pick-up in headline inflation could have second-round effects on inflation expectations and wages and hence trigger a broader, more sustained rise in overall price pressures in the economy.

The result is that the MPC has been significantly less aggressive in loosening policy conditions in response to the recent downturn in economic growth than it was during some previous slowdowns. So far it has reduced interest rates by just 0.25% back in August, and even that was opposed by four members of the nine-strong Committee, including the Governor. 

Looking ahead, previous hopes that interest rates would drop back to their 2003 low of 3.5% now look a bit optimistic – we now expect a reduction only to 4% during 2006. As Chart 8 shows, this contrasts strongly with the last major downturn in 2000/01 when, at a similar stage of the cycle (i.e. when annual GDP growth had slowed by two percentage points from its peak), interest rates had already fallen by 1.25%.

The fact that interest rates started the current downturn at an already pretty low level – possibly even below a neutral level – suggests that they were never likely to be reduced as sharply as in 2000/01 (though the neutral level of rates may also have fallen since then). By ensuring that inflation remains well-contained, the MPC’s approach could ultimately help to protect the long-term prospects for the economy. 

Nonetheless, the Committee’s caution may mean that growth will not recover as quickly and strongly over the next year or two as it did after previous downturns when the absence of price pressures allowed the policymakers to act rather more decisively.

Bigger adjustments underway?

To recap our thoughts so far then, there’s some good news and some bad news as far as the prospects of a decent recovery in the economy over the next year or so are concerned. On the positive front, the fact that last year’s slowdown was at least partly a result of an external shock in the form of the surge in oil prices might suggest that the negative impact on activity will soon start to fade, allowing the economy to return to its previous path of rapid expansion.

Not so encouragingly, however, the fact that the downturn in activity has been accompanied by a rise in inflation means that the response of the policymakers has been significantly less positive than those seen after previous negative shocks to demand. This could mean that any recovery in activity will be correspondingly weaker.

But there is a bigger issue for the prospects of a recovery over the next year or two than the impact of the rise in oil prices and the subsequent policy response – namely, the possibility that the economy is entering a period of fundamental re-adjustment. Regular readers of our research will be aware of our long-held concerns regarding the unbalanced nature of growth in recent years and, in particular, the over-reliance on consumers to drive the economy forward almost single-handedly by borrowing heavily to expand their spending at abnormally rapid rates.

The much discussed result has been a rise in household debt to record levels compared to income, alongside a fall in the household saving ratio to levels not seen since the 1980s consumer boom. These developments have, of course, been tied up with the rapid surge in house prices to what look like clearly over-valued levels.

All of these developments would seem to point to the danger of a major and prolonged slowdown in the growth of consumer spending as households reduce their borrowing and rebuild their savings in response to the slowdown in the housing market. Indeed, on the face of it, the slowdown in the growth of household spending seen last year might suggest that this period of consumer retrenchment is now underway. If so, spending growth could remain weak for some time while households gradually repair their balance sheets and restore their savings to more normal levels.

But a closer look at the slowdown in consumer spending might question the idea that households have entered a period of fundamental re-adjustment. Chart 9 shows that the key factor behind the spending slowdown has been a sharp deceleration in the growth of households’ available income over the last year or so. With employment growth remaining relatively strong, this has primarily reflected the twin effects of previous increases in interest rates and a sharp rise in tax deductions from income.

These effects might turn out to be temporary. At the very least, the impact of previous increases in interest rates should continue to fade and any further cuts in rates will obviously help to reduce debt servicing costs. Meanwhile, the growth of tax deductions from income could slow.

Note as well that the likelihood that Gordon Brown will be forced to raise tax rates in the near-future in order to adhere to his own fiscal rules has fallen significantly after the revelation in December’s Pre- Budget Report that the Treasury now expects the economic cycle over which the rules apply to last for another three years or so.

At the same time, there are signs that another likely negative influence on spending growth over the last year, the slowdown in the housing market, may also be starting to fade as housing activity and house prices themselves have shown signs of a modest recovery. Although we continue to believe that the housing market is fundamentally over-valued, there is now a growing chance that any adjustment will take place through a sustained period of broad stagnation in nominal prices as opposed to the abrupt fall in prices we previously feared.

Given these points, there is certainly a possibility that the slowdown in the growth of both household income and household spending in 2005 proves to be pretty short-lived and that spending growth recovers strongly in 2006 and beyond. If this is the case, then GDP growth itself is also likely to recover quickly from last year’s slowdown.

But we are not at all convinced that the downturn in household spending will prove to be temporary. For a start, there is a reasonable chance that any positive effect on income growth from slowing tax deductions is offset by weaker growth in core wages and salaries as companies respond to the slowdown in output and productivity growth, and the associated pick-up in unit labour costs, by reducing employment.

Secondly, even if income growth does recover, this will not necessarily guarantee a corresponding recovery in spending growth if households decide to save a bigger proportion of their income. We have pointed on a number of previous occasions to the close inverse relationship between the household savings ratio and the rate of house price inflation shown in Chart 10 – when house prices rise rapidly, households are generally prepared to save less of their income, safe in the knowledge that the housing market is doing their saving for them.

By contrast, when house price inflation slows as it has over the last year, this has often been accompanied by a rise in the savings ratio. The rise in the ratio from 4% to 5% in the first two quarters of 2005 suggests that this process may be under way, but Chart 10 suggests that it could have significantly further to go. Even if house price inflation picks up over the coming months, the lags involved suggest that the savings ratio could continue to rise for some quarters.

The upshot is that we expect the growth of household spending to remain pretty sluggish in 2006, growing at a similar rate to the 2% odd increase probably recorded in 2005.

Another important part of the economy which looks to have entered a period of consolidation is the public sector. As we mentioned earlier, the immediate prospect of a rise in tax rates appears to have receded since the Pre-Budget Report. Nonetheless, the public finances are still likely to be much less supportive for the economy over the next few years than over the last few.

As Chart 11 shows, the existing fiscal plans already point to a significant slowdown in the growth of public spending over the next few years. Not only does this imply a corresponding fall in government spending’s direct contribution to GDP growth (as the chart shows) but it also means that the indirect effect on activity via the strong increases in public sector employment, for example, will also be weaker.

No bail out from trade and investment

The last, but certainly not least, factor to consider when weighing up the prospects of a recovery in the UK economy in 2006 is the role of the corporate sector and the extent to which companies can offset the sluggishness of household spending.

As we argued in our previous Review, however, the prospect of a decent pick-up in business investment also appears to have receded as business confidence and firms’ investment intentions have weakened, again undermining hopes of a synchronised rebalancing of the economy away from household spending towards the corporate sector. (See Chart 12.)

Previous recoveries after negative shocks have often seen the UK economy benefit from a strong pick-up in global demand conditions, allowing exports to grow strongly. On the face of it, there would seem to be a good chance of a similar international boost over the next year or so as the world economy recovers from the oil price shock. Indeed, UK export volumes have already accelerated quite strongly, at least in part reflecting the pick-up in activity in Europe (as indicated by the strengthening of the German Ifo survey in Chart 13).

But while we are certainly hopeful of a more helpful contribution from net trade in 2006, we are doubtful that this will be enough to offset the negative effect on overall GDP growth of continued sluggish growth in household spending.

After all, net trade has acted as a drag on the economy in every single year since 1995, reducing GDP growth by an average of 0.6% per annum over the period. Note too that our previous hopes that UK exporters would by now be enjoying a boost to their competitiveness from a significant fall in the exchange rate have been foiled by the MPC’s reluctance to reduce interest rates. We still expect the pound to fall over the coming year, but any real benefits are unlikely to be felt until 2007.

Given these points, our prediction that net trade will make a positive contribution to growth in 2006 of around 0.3% is reasonably optimistic. There must be a danger of another disappointing performance from the external sectors.

Conclusions

The outlook for the economy at the start of 2006 is rather more uncertain than it has been for some years. The fact that part of the 2005 slowdown was down to the oil price shock, coupled with the relatively low expectations for growth this year, raises the possibility that last year’s disappointment will be followed by an upside surprise in 2006.

Indeed, the modest growth seen in 2005 means that the quarterly rate of GDP growth need only return to its trend rate of 0.7% or so for growth to average 2.5% over the full year – some 0.5% above the consensus forecast. Any upward revisions to the GDP data for previous quarters could also provide a stronger platform for growth this year. And looking further ahead, the relatively muted impact on inflation of the surge in oil prices and the apparent soft landing in the housing market both bode well for UK economy’s medium to longterm prospects.

On the other hand, the possibility that the two key drivers of growth in recent years, the household and public sectors, have entered a period of consolidation which could last for some time argues against a recovery of any real substance over the next year or so. The Monetary Policy Committee’s reluctance to loosen policy aggressively because of lingering inflation concerns likewise suggests that growth may not rebound in the way that it has after previous slowdowns when the Committee has responded more decisively.

We are therefore left with the somewhat uncomfortable conclusion that the consensus forecast looks, for once, to be about right. The UK economy looks unlikely to recover strongly this year, but neither is it likely to relapse significantly. In the absence of major data revisions, another below-trend expansion of 2% or so looks likely.

Given this, perhaps the bigger story of the year will surround the behaviour of inflation, which we expect to fall decisively back below its target as oil effects fade and core price pressures ease in response to the softness of activity. This suggests there is still scope for interest rates to come in somewhat below the flat profile currently anticipated by the markets.

Looking ahead to 2007, the combination of lower interest rates, a recovering household sector and a lower exchange rate should lead to both stronger and better-balanced growth. But there is another difficult year to get through first.

Analysis: The world economy

Risks of a US-led slowdown are rising

  • The US economy enters 2006 with considerable momentum which, along with the boost from reconstruction spending in hurricane damaged areas, should result in solid growth of around 3.0%. However, we are becoming increasingly concerned about the risk that an end to the current housing boom will cause a major economic slowdown, and possibly even a recession, sometime in 2007.
  • The ISM manufacturing index, a key forward-looking indicator, remains at a level consistent with very strong GDP growth. (See Chart 1.) However, our calculations suggest that growth in the fourth quarter was probably less than 2% at an annualised pace.
  • The sales promotions on motor vehicles during the summer brought forward some spending to the third quarter that would otherwise have taken place in the fourth. Chart 2 shows that overall retail sales growth slowed considerably in the fourth quarter, even though underlying growth remained robust. Net external demand is expected to exert a considerable drag on overall growth in the fourth quarter as well.
  • Nonetheless, growth should pick up again in the first quarter of 2006, particularly now that gasoline prices have fallen back to pre-Katrina levels. (See Chart 3.)
  • More generally, the strong consumption growth in recent years has been funded by a corresponding run down in savings. As a result, the personal savings rate has fallen into negative territory. (See Chart 4.)
  • It is the housing boom and the resulting rapid increases in housing wealth that has made households feel confident enough to spend rather than save. House price inflation is still running at doubledigit rates and house prices are at a record high relative to incomes. (See Chart 5.)
  • In effect, the capital gains from real estate have supplanted the need to make traditional savings. However, our big worry is what will happen when the housing boom inevitably fades and those capital gains disappear, or even turn into capital losses. That will require households to rebuild their traditional savings again, at the expense of consumption.
  • An end to the housing boom could also be expected to have a devastating effect on house building. Residential investment currently accounts for a 50-year high 6% of overall GDP. (See Chart 6.) That share might fall to as low as 3.5%, as it did after the two previous housing booms in the late 1970s and 1980s.
  • With inflation set to fall in 2006 (see Chart 7), we expect the Fed to bring a halt to its series of measured rate hikes, with rates peaking at 4.5%. The market expects rates to peak slightly higher than that and then remain broadly unchanged for the foreseeable future. (See Chart 8.) But where we really differ in our view relative to the market is our expectation that the housing-led slowdown will lead to markedly lower rates in 2007 and beyond.

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Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.