The UK's first Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser, Crawford Falconer, starts his first day in the job at the Department for International Trade. It comes as the squeeze on British households eased this month as slowing inflation and greater job security improved conditions from a three-year low recorded in July. Laura Frykberg reports
(SOUNDBITE) (English) UK'S INTERNATIONAL TRADE MINISTER, LIAM FOX SAYING: "I am absolutely delighted today to welcome Crawford to the Department for International Trade." A new face to tackle a new era of trade. UK Trade Minister Liam Fox announcing Crawford Falconer as the Chief Adviser of trade negotiations after Brexit... The New Zealander is under no illusion of the difficulties ahead. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ADVISER ON BREXIT TRADE TALKS CRAWFORD FALCONER SAYING: "25 years of working on this is one thing, but there has never been anything as important as this." Perhaps why Brexit negotiations have been off to a slow start. With Brussels wanting a divorce settlement before future deals are reached. While the UK wants the future discussed now - something Brexit Minister David Davis reiterated at the weekend. But there has been some progress in the UK economy at least. IHS Markit's monthly Household Finance Index rose. Up from a three-year low in July. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PANMURE GORDON CHIEF ECONOMIST, SIMON FRENCH, SAYING: "While the UK economy's done well since the Brexit vote but people such as myself have argued actually the UK hasn't left the European Union isn't really a very good metric as to whether there is a good or bad outcome waiting for the UK outside the European Union." Perhaps a sign of what could be to come... Economic growth in the first half of the year was the weakest since 2012.. As rising prices begin to squeeze consumer demand.