October 5, 2011

UK economic growth at 0.1% in Q2

by Kay Mitchell

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today announced the UK economy grew by 0.1% in the second quarter – slightly less than a previous estimate of 0.2%. Today’s reading is the third and final one for the April to June period and third quarter figures will be available later this month. In the meantime, […]




October 4, 2011

Euro zone delay decision for next Greek financial instalment

by Kay Mitchell

European stock markets lost ground this morning after it emerged that euro zone finance ministers have postponed the approval of Greece’s next instalment of its bailout loan. A meeting was scheduled for October 13, at which time finance ministers were expected to approve the next tranche but this has now been cancelled. London’s FTSE was […]




S&P maintains UK’s AAA credit rating

by Kay Mitchell

Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) yesterday affirmed the UK’s AAA credit rating with a “stable” outlook. An AAA rating is the highest possible and the agency said in a statement: “In our view, the U.K. has a wealthy, open, and diversified economy, supported by a well-established political system and macroeconomic policy framework, which […]




September 27, 2011

BCC urges fresh round of QE

by Kay Mitchell

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is calling for a fresh round of quantitative easing (QE) – a scheme designed to stimulate growth within the economy. The leading business group has written to Chancellor George Osborne to ask him to consider the option when he delivers his autumn statement later this year. At the Bank […]




September 23, 2011

CBI: UK manufacturing orders fall in September

by Kay Mitchell

The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) industrial trends survey today revealed factory orders fell in September after growing in August. The survey’s total order book balance fell to -9 this month from August’s reading of +1 – way below forecasts of a reading of -5. In the meantime, the export order book balance fell considerably […]




September 21, 2011

Bank minutes suggest further round of QE

by Kay Mitchell

Minutes of the Bank of England’s September 7-8 meeting have been released today and have revealed all nine members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to keep interest rates at the historic low of 0.5%. This was the second consecutive month that the Committee voted unanimously to keep rates at the record low after […]




September 20, 2011

IMF issues warning for global economy

by Kay Mitchell

Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) has today said the global economy has entered a “dangerous new phase” and slashed its growth forecast for the UK. In its World Economic Outlook bi-annual report, the Fund which is now headed by Christine Largarde, warned that the global economy is struggling amid the euro zone debt crisis and […]




September 16, 2011

Vince Cable supports fresh round of QE

by Kay Mitchell

Business Secretary Vince Cable has today said the Bank of England should consider a fresh round of quantitative easing (QE) to stimulate the economy. A recent slew of weak data has also led some analysts to believe that the central bank will consider further QE – also known as printing money. In a pamphlet published […]




September 12, 2011

ICB final report recommends ring-fencing

by Kay Mitchell

The Independent Commission on Banking’s (ICB) final report has been published today and is recommending that UK banks should ring-fence their retail banking operations. According to the report, ring-fencing would protect banks from riskier investment banking divisions and would “make it easier and less costly to resolve banks that get into trouble”. The ICB, which […]




July 20, 2010

Chancellor Osborne unveils simpler tax system

by Kay Mitchell

As expected, Chancellor George Osborne has today revealed plans to simplify the UK tax system, in a bid to encourage investment and stimulate economic growth. The Chancellor said the “spaghetti bowl” of UK tax law will be simplified and said: “The previous government took a complex tax system and made it even worse. A decade […]




June 18, 2010

Business group urges Chancellor not to raise taxes in next week’s budget

by Kay Mitchell

Chancellor George Osborne will unveil his emergency budget next week and tax hikes are expected. However, according to business group, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), “punishing” tax rises could hit economic growth. A rise in capital gains tax (CGT) is expected. This is the levy firms or individuals pay on the profit gained from […]