Hobson: Why Recruiters Matter

THE WEEK: Morningstar columnist Rodney Hobson thinks the resilience of UK listed recruitment firms could be a good sign for the UK economy

Rodney Hobson 18 January, 2019 | 12:56AM

London commuters

There’s a trade war between the world’s two largest economies, one of which is slowing down sharply. There’s Brexit, coming – or not – in heaven knows what form just as the UK is showing sluggish growth and resurgent Europe is coming well off the boil, with even the powerhouse of Germany in danger of slipping into recession. Life must be hell for the recruitment companies, surely.

Take PageGroup (PAGE), for example. Profits in the UK are running only 2.1% higher according to this week’s trading update. When you consider that the UK has supposedly gone to the dogs, that doesn’t seem too bad. In any case, Page has expanded heavily overseas. Into France, for example, where the riots in Paris and elsewhere restricted profit growth to a mere 10%. Europe-wide the figure is 13.9%.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
Associated British Foods PLC2,020.00 GBX2.02
Hays PLC134.20 GBX0.90
PageGroup PLC435.40 GBX1.49
Robert Walters PLC436.93 GBX2.57

About Author

Rodney Hobson

Rodney Hobson  is a columnist for Morningstar.co.uk and author of several investing books, including The Dividend Investor and How to Build a Share Portfolio.

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