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NEWS - BUSINESS & ECONOMY

NEWS - BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Bridging the economic North/South divide in the UK

April 09 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Bridging the economic North/South divide in the UK

Steps could be taken to narrow the gap between the economies of the North and the South of England.

The divide between the North and the South is not an exact line, but one that was once based largely in cultural differences. In more recent times, a lot of attention has been paid to the gap between the economies of these two different regions, which dramatically widened over the past decade.

 

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£10 million funding to boost tourism in the North of England

April 02 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

£10 million funding to boost tourism in the North of England

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Culture Secretary Sajid Javid have announced a £10 million fund to boost tourism in the North of England.

The fund will go towards a new initiative that will see tourism bodies, such as ‘Cumbria Tourism’ and ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’, work together to attract overseas visitors to the North.

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Economic growth predictions revised higher in UK

April 02 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Economic growth predictions revised higher in UK

Final figures for 2014 show the UK’s economy expanded faster than initially estimated.

Figures showing activity for the last quarter expanded at 0.6 per cent instead of 0.5 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Furthermore, the unexpected revision also increased growth for the whole year, which rose from 2.6 per cent to 2.8 per cent - the highest annual growth rate since 2006.

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March news round-up

April 01 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

March news round-up

Welcome to this month’s news round-up of all the major stories that have kept us talking this March.

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Food companies Heinz and Kraft set to merge

March 27 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Food companies Heinz and Kraft set to merge

Two global food companies, Kraft and Heinz, are set to merge to create the world’s fifth largest food group.

Kraft’s share price surged after a deal was announced for the group to merge with food giant, Heinz, in a move worth $46 billion that will create the third-largest food and drinks company in the US and the fifth largest in the whole world.

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Top 6 must know business figures

March 26 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Top 6 must know business figures

When businesses are starting out it’s crucial they get to grips with numbers. Firms will need to know their outgoings and levels of earnings in order to calculate profit. However, it’s not always as easy as that.

According to Startups.co.uk, successful managers will focus on a broad range of metrics. Here, we have outlined the six most important for managers to understand.

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Telefonica set to finalise O2 sale for £10.25bn

March 26 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Telefonica set to finalise O2 sale for £10.25bn

The O2-Hutchison Whampoa deal, set to be finalised in the near future, will create the UK’s largest mobile group.

Hutchison Whampoa has reached a “definitive agreement” with Telefonica to buy its O2 mobile phone network for £10.25 billion, in a move that will create the UK’s biggest mobile operator.

The decision follows on from weeks of negotiations that were first announced in late January, and is the latest buy in a spending spree by Li Ka-shing, owner of Hutchison Whampoa. 

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A guide to 2015’s ‘UK Basket of Goods’

March 24 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

A guide to 2015’s ‘UK Basket of Goods’

This year has seen some interesting additions to the UK Basket of Goods – and the removal of some others. We look at what the ‘basket of goods’ entails.

Beginning in 1947, the UK Basket of Goods was created by the Office for National Statistics to calculate inflation. It is also used as a useful reflection of society’s changing buying habits, technological improvements and attitudes, with the basket being revised each year to represent what people in the UK are buying.  

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India set to be world’s fastest growing large economy: IMF

March 24 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

India set to be world’s fastest growing large economy: IMF

The second most populous nation in the world is thought to be the fasting growing too.

India is set to surpass China this year as the world’s fastest growing large economy, according to Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). And now, following a spate of statistical revisions, data backs this claim up.

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Asian cities climb financial hub rankings

March 24 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

Asian cities climb financial hub rankings

The importance of Asian financial hubs continues to increase and narrow the gap with cities from the West.

Cities in Asia continue to demonstrate their importance as global financial centres and are fast taking on the well-established hubs in the West. Such Asian cities as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Seoul are closing fast on their Western competitors, according to the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI).

 

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How US interest rates hike will influence business

March 20 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

How US interest rates hike will influence business

The US central bank changed its stance on rate increases, but how will it affect the economy and businesses?

After years of rock-bottom rates the US Federal Reserve has finally modified its stance on interest rates and opened the door to a potential hike this year, perhaps even as early as June, although the likelihood remains rather low. An increase in interest rates is definitely on the US horizon, but how will this impact the American economy?

 

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OECD puts UK 2015 economic growth at second fastest in G7

March 20 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

OECD puts UK 2015 economic growth at second fastest in G7

OECD’s latest growth forecasts puts UK economy in second place out of G7 nations.

According to forecasts from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) the UK’s economy is set to record the second fastest growth rate in 2015 out of the G7 countries. Economic growth in the US is predicted to take the top spot, with Britain coming next, despite a slight downgrade to expectations.

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ONS report reveals UK employment has hit record high

March 20 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

ONS report reveals UK employment has hit record high

The British economic recovery was further showcased by the latest round of labour data.

Britain’s healthy economy received another boost on Wednesday after labour figures showed a record number of UK residents are in work. It’s welcome news for Chancellor George Osborne ahead of May’s general election, and great news for the economy.

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The essential 2015 UK Budget breakdown for businesses

March 19 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The essential 2015 UK Budget breakdown for businesses

With the chancellor’s 2015 Budget revealed this week, what effect will it have on UK residents and businesses?

In the run up to the Budget, Chancellor George Osborne promised ‘no giveaways and no gimmicks’. But has he done enough to persuade voters that all the books have been well and truly balanced, in what is likely to be his last chance to boost his reputation ahead of the election?

Here is a rundown of Wednesday’s announcements and how they will affect businesses.

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UK trainees to receive pay rise by October 2015

March 18 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

UK trainees to receive pay rise by October 2015

Apprentices across the UK are set to see their pay boosted by a fifth this October.

The 20 per cent increase on apprentice pay packets has been announced following the rise in the national minimum wage, with the British government exceeding the recommendations for apprentice pay from the Low Pay Commission (LPC).

The LPC suggested a 7p increase in the hourly rate for apprentices, which applies to those aged 16 to 18 and those that are aged 19 or over and in their first year. However, the government has managed to secure an increase of 57p an hour in the trainee rate.

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British economy will continue to flourish, predicts research

March 13 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

British economy will continue to flourish, predicts research

Britain’s economic recovery continues to flourish, according to new economic forecasts from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR).

Both forecasts indicate that the UK’s economy is rebounding from a disappointing fourth quarter in 2014. This news will be welcomed by the Chancellor ahead of this year’s budget announcement next week.

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Challenger banks are on the rise, but can they disrupt the big four?

March 12 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Challenger banks are on the rise, but can they disrupt the big four?

Traditional and well established banks control the majority of the market, but is the sector ready for disruption from challenger banks?

 

It seems like the theory is sound, as well-entrenched institutions are more often than not wracked with inefficiencies. However, with control of 77 per cent of the personal account market and 85 per cent of small business banking, the established banks won’t go down without a fight.

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Robust UK manufacturing data highlights strong start to 2015

March 03 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Robust UK manufacturing data highlights strong start to 2015

UK’s Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI data jumped to seven-month high in February.

Manufacturing activity in the UK continues to post robust growth and highlights that Britain well and truly started this year strongly, according to the latest manufacturing purchasing managers’ index from Markit/CIPS.

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UK government SME spending exceeds £11bn, says report

February 27 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

UK government SME spending exceeds £11bn, says report

Direct and indirect spending by the UK government topped £11 billion during 2013/14, according to a report.

The UK government’s spending on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accounted for 26.1 per cent of all purchases made by Whitehall during the 2013/14 financial year, which meant the government exceeded its goal for 25 per cent of its procurement to go through SMEs, according to the latest figures.

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UK real wages set for first rise since 2007, says EY

February 25 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

UK real wages set for first rise since 2007, says EY

Workers in the UK this year will experience real wages rising for the first time since 2007, according to a report from the EY ITEM Club.

The UK’s workforce will see its first pay rise in eight years during 2015, according to a new report on labour from the EY ITEM Club. The research forecasts that inflation will turn negative this year and average wages will increase around 1.9 per cent annually, fuelling the first pick up in real earnings since before the financial crisis.

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Dell UK begins accepting payments in Bitcoins

February 23 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Dell UK begins accepting payments in Bitcoins

Computer giant Dell has begun accepting payments via Bitcoin in its UK online stores.

Following a successful launch in the US last summer, Dell is now accepting payments with Bitcoin in its online stores in the UK. A partnership with payment processor Coinbase will bring the technology to the UK, and also Canada, which will make Dell the largest retailer in the UK to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.

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Chinese fund to build £1 billion new financial district in London

February 17 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Chinese fund to build £1 billion new financial district in London

Minsheng, the largest private investment fund in China, will develop a £1 billion new financial district in London.

China Minsheng Investment (CMI), the biggest private investment fund in the world’s second-largest economy, outlined plans on Saturday to develop a new financial district in London with a £1 billion investment in what will be the largest Chinese investment in the UK’s recent history.

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Japan recession ends as economy registers GDP growth

February 17 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Japan recession ends as economy registers GDP growth

Japanese GDP returns to growth in Q4 of 2014 and lifts the economy from recession.

The world’s third largest economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the final quarter of 2014 when compared with the previous quarter, putting an end to the economic contraction that had plagued the nation for the two previous quarters. On an annualised basis, the economy expanded by 2.2 per cent.

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Perfect time for Britons to holiday in Europe, says Post Office

February 16 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Perfect time for Britons to holiday in Europe, says Post Office

There’s no need to go very far for dirt-cheap holidays these days due to the rising pound and falling prices.

Low-cost holidays are available right on our doorsteps and you no longer need to jet-off east to find a pint for less than a pound. Well, that’s what we’re inferring after reading a new report by the Post Office Travel Money.

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BCC calls for pro-growth agenda to improve UK economy

February 12 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

BCC calls for pro-growth agenda to improve UK economy

The director general of the BCC outlined a plan to boost the economy for the British government.

Britain is poised to see long-term sustainable growth if the UK government makes the right decisions, according to John Longworth, the director general of the British Chamber of Commerce. In fact, the business energy and optimism that we are currently experiencing could build a “great future”.

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