From the world of business: August 2014 highlights
Welcome to our business news round-up for August 2014.
In this round-up of the most important business news stories from around the world, we point you to some of the biggest news stories that have had people talking during the past month.
Figures from the latest SME Trends Survey from the Confederation of British Industry show that a balance of +14 per cent of small manufacturers said orders had risen in the three months to July. Exports, however, were less encouraging, with a balance of -2 per cent indicated that shipments overseas had actually declined. Employment, however, is on the rise, with the quickest rate of employment growth since records began in 1988.
Chancellor George Osborne announced that the government is planning to investigate the role that Bitcoin could play in the economy. The Treasury will study the benefits and risks of the cryptocurrency and then consider whether it needs to be regulated. It comes as part of a bid to assure the UK’s place as the fintech capital of the world.
Italy’s economy has gone back into recession after a second consecutive quarter of contraction. Gross domestic product fell by 0.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2014, following on from a 0.1 per cent decline in the previous three months. That makes it the third recession in the space of six years, although arguably they all form part of one large dip.
An increase in hiring across the City of London will be driven by a particular boom in finance recruitment, according to the London employment Monitor from Morgan McKinley. Job vacancies jumped by a third between July and the same month in 2013. The average increase in salary when moving jobs also rose. People changing jobs in July typically saw their pay rise by 20 per cent, compared to 14 per cent in the previous month.
Chinese tech giant Lenovo has seen a sharp rise in profits amid signs that China is becoming the world’s next tech powerhouse. The world’s biggest personal computer producer saw net profit jump by 23 per cent in the three months to June compared to the same period a year earlier. Laptop sales rose by 12 per cent, even though the PC industry as a whole saw laptop sales drop.
Shares in Apple closed at their highest ever level of August 19th when they reached $100.53. After a mixed year for the company, in which stock dropped to $55 at one point and it was accused of running out of ideas for new tech developments, news that the iPhone 6 will be unveiled on September 9th is likely to have piqued the interest of investors.