Client Weekly Update – Friday 20 May

Covid/Monkeypox update

Whilst there are no confirmed cases of monkeypox in Jersey, the director of public health has said after the UK Health Security Agency identified nine cases in England. Following UK media coverage about the virus, which spreads through close contact between individuals, Professor Peter Bradley has sought to reassure Islanders.

The UK government has said that the recent cases identified in England had ‘no travel links’ to a country where monkeypox was endemic, which means it is possible that the infection had spread through community transmission.

The UK government has said Monkeypox is a viral infection which does not spread easily among people. Initial symptoms of the virus can include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

The virus is usually a mild self-limiting illness, spread by very close contact with someone with monkeypox or contact with clothing or linens used by a person who has monkeypox. Most people recover within a few weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some individuals.


The Jersey Election campaign is Officially underway with all candidates for next month’s elections now confirmed.

A total of 93 candidates have been confirmed for next month’s general election, 3 more than stood in 2018. There are 32 women and 37 party members standing, 6 former politicians standing 4 Constable elections and there will be 13 new states members guaranteed. Islanders will head to the polls on 22 June to elect a new States Assembly.

Twelve sitting States Members will not be seeking re-election it has been confirmed.

Senators Tracey Vallois and Sarah Ferguson, Constables Richard Buchanan, John Le Bailly and John Le Maistre and Deputies Mike Higgins, Jess Perchard, Susie Pinel, Richard Renouf, Graham Truscott, Scott Wickenden and John Young will all be stepping down.

This will be the first election contested under new reforms of the States Assembly which have seen the Islandwide -the mandate of Senator scrapped in favour of 37 Deputy seats across nine districts alongside the 12 parish Constables.

Four parties will contest the election – the Jersey Alliance, a coalition of the Jersey Liberal Conservatives and the Progress Party and Reform Jersey – will all be fielding candidates.

Hospital planning approved

This week, after many years and millions of pounds, the Island took a significant step toward securing a new hospital as the Environment Minister gave conditional approval to the planning application for the facility.

Deputy John Young provided ministerial approval to the scheme on Tuesday, echoing the views of independent planning inspector Philip Staddon, who recommended the build for approval following a public inquiry held earlier this year.

This was despite planning officers saying that it was unable to support the Overdale development in its pre-planning advice.

The minister’s decision marks the latest step in a decade-long saga to build a new hospital – which has seen numerous sites debated and rejected and two prior planning applications being refused.

Deputy Young’s approval for the Island’s biggest ever capital project now paves the way for building work – estimated to cost £800 million – with the aim of opening the new hospital by the end of 2026.

Senator Lyndon Farnham, who chairs the Our Hospital Political Oversight Group, said: ‘I warmly welcome the decision and would like to extend my thanks to all who have been involved in bringing the project successfully to this point”.

Jersey’s new hospital is an essential investment in our medical infrastructure and will provide the very best modern, fully flexible healthcare facilities located at Overdale, which has served Islanders for generations as a hospital campus. This decision now clears the path for the next phase of the project, which is to build the hospital and deliver it on time and within the budget to be fully operational by December 2026″.

Mixed markets

The FTSE 100 was up 1.1% at 7,384.19, this morning, having slumped a day earlier amid worries about inflation and slowing global growth.

European markets are broadly higher today. Germany’s DAX is up 1.35% and France’s CAC 40 is up 0.80%.

The Dow Jones ended yesterday down more than 235 points, or 0.8%, recovering only slightly from a drop of nearly 475 points earlier in the session. The S&P 500, which is perilously close to dropping 20% from the all-time high it set on January 3 and into a bear market, fell 0.6%.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq, which is already in the bear market territory, was down 0.3%. The Nasdaq has plunged 27% just this year.

Asian markets closed sharply higher today with shares in Hong Kong leading the region. The Hang Seng is up 3.05% while China’s Shanghai Composite is up 1.60% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 is up 1.27%.

Jersey house sales fall as prices rise

A survey indicates that the rate of property transfers in Jersey has slowed during the previous three months.

Nevertheless, Statistics Jersey reports that certain home values continue to rise.

Comparing the first three months of 2022 to the preceding three months before Christmas 2021, the number of transactions decreased by 31%.

The average price of a house is now 16% more than it was a year ago, with prices for two- and three-bedroom apartments increasing the most.

UK inflation hits 40-year high

After UK inflation reached 9% in April, the highest level in over 40 years and more than any other G7 economy, Chancellor Rishi Sunak warned on Wednesday night that “the next few months will be tough.”

Consumer price inflation is nearly double what the Bank of England predicted just six months ago; BoE governor Andrew Bailey had said the problem would be “temporary”.

The UK economy is experiencing its worst episode of stagflation — sluggish growth combined with high inflation — since the second oil shock of the 1970s, with economic activity dropping substantially in the first quarter of this year.

“There is no measure any government could take, no law we could pass, that can make these global forces disappear overnight.” the chancellor said at a CBI dinner.

Sunak declared in his October Budget that he would lower corporate taxes to stimulate investment, even though a previously planned increase in corporation tax from 19p to 25p is still set to take effect in April.

Recently, the chancellor warned that unless oil and gas corporations increased their investment plans, he would levy a windfall tax on their earnings.

Retail sales jump in April

 In April, food store sales, particularly alcohol and tobacco, drove up UK retail sales.

The unexpected increase of 1.4 % in sales volumes after a 1.2 % drop in March, indicates that sales are still higher than pre-Covid levels

Official numbers show that sales fell by 0.3% in the three months leading up to the end of April.

Meanwhile, consumer confidence in May plummeted to its lowest level since 1974, according to a survey.

The increase in sales in April was “driven by an increase in supermarket sales, led by alcohol and tobacco and sweet treats, with off-licences also reporting a boost, possibly due to people staying in more to save money”, according to Heather Bovill, deputy director for surveys and economic indicators at the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, she said that the numbers continued to reflect a longer-term declining trend.

Experts projected sales to drop even more in April as customers battle with growing living costs.