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 […]

October 3, 2011

Minimum wage increases to £6.08 per hour

by Kay Mitchell

The UK minimum wage rose by 15p to £6.08 an hour from Saturday 1st October and is set to benefit almost one million people, according to the Low Pay Commission. The 15p an hour rise applies to workers aged 21 and over. Meanwhile, the rate for 18 to 20-year-olds will increase by 6p to £4.98, […]

Shares down as fears grow for Greece default

by Kay Mitchell

European stock markets have fallen sharply today over concerns that crisis-torn Greece will not meet its deficit target this year. The country showed a deficit of 8.5% of gross domestic product for this year – missing targets of 7.6%. London’s FTSE lost just over 2%, while Germany’s Dax and France’s CAC both lost around 2.5% […]

September 29, 2011

Energy bill hikes will speed up inflation rate

by Kay Mitchell

According to Spencer Dale, the Bank of England’s chief economist, UK inflation is set to accelerate due to soaring energy bills. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed UK Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) rose to annual rate of 4.5% in August from July’s rate of 4.4% – more than double the […]

September 27, 2011

CBI: Retail sales weaken in September

by Kay Mitchell

According to the latest Confederation of British Industry (CBI) distributive trades survey, the volume of sales on the UK High Street were lower this month versus a year ago. The figures suggest continue to be cautious about the economic outlook and rein in their spending on the back of rising unemployment, higher inflation and slow […]

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 26, 2011

Price of gold extends losses

by Kay Mitchell

The price of spot gold fell further today – to a 2½-month low of $1,624 – after reaching a record high of $1,920.94 a troy ounce earlier this month. This represents the sharpest drop since March 2009 – in the aftermath of the collapse of US bank, Lehman Brothers. Gold is now down 9% from […]

Shares rally on euro zone rescue plan hopes

by Kay Mitchell

European stock markets rallied this morning after G20 talks at the weekend proposed an action plan for the debt-laden euro zone. Germany’s Dax index and France’s Cac 40 both gained more than 3% at lunchtime today, while London’s FTSE was up more than 50 points, led by banks. Barclays was up 7.2%, while taxpayer-owned Lloyds […]

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 […]

Airline profits to slump in 2012

by Kay Mitchell

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said the airline industry will suffer next year and profits will slump. Its gloomy outlook for next year comes after it made several revisions to 2011 forecasts on the back of surging oil prices. However, it upwardly revised its forecast for this year to $6.9 billion – higher […]

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 […]

Nationwide: UK consumer confidence sinks to 4-month low

by Kay Mitchell

The latest survey from the Nationwide Building Society has revealed a fall in UK consumer confidence for the month of August. The building society’s consumer confidence index lost 1 point to a level of 48 last month – the third consecutive monthly fall. The index still remains way below the average of 81. Commenting on […]

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 19, 2011

New takeover rules come into force today

by Kay Mitchell

New rules have come into force today which will affect future takeovers for British companies. London’s Takeover Panel has today announced changes to the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market almost two years after US firm, Kraft, issued a hostile bid for British confectioner, Cadbury. The unwanted bid saw Kraft enter a long five-month battle with […]

Vince Cable attacks excessive fat cat pay

by Kay Mitchell

At his keynote speech to the Liberal Democrat conference, Business Secretary Vince Cable is today expected to say that shareholders should have more of a say when it comes to bonuses paid to executives. He is also expected to outline plans which will force firms to disclose their excessive pay packages. Mr Cable is expected […]

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 15, 2011

Public sector unions may protest against pension reforms

by Kay Mitchell

A nationwide strike could take place at the end of November as public sector workers protest against pension reforms after a collapse in Government talks. The Government wants to raise contributions and the pension age, which unions describe an attack on public sector workers, who have had a two-year wage freeze. The strike action could […]

ONS: UK retail sales fall 0.2% in August

by Kay Mitchell

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed UK retail sales fell by 0.2% in August after riots earlier in the month affected trade. The fall followed slower growth in the previous two months after sales rose just 0.2% in July and 0.8% in June. In the meantime, food sales were also down – […]

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