NEWS - BUSINESS & ECONOMY
UK GDP growth forecasts for this year have been revised higher by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
The UK’s economy will expand by 2.9 per cent in 2015, according to research from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). The think tank made significant revisions to its estimates on GDP growth, raising its forecasts to just under three per cent from its previous forecast for 2.5 per cent of growth.Read more >>
A profit was posted for the first time since Starbucks opened in Britain 17 years ago.
The world’s largest coffee bar chain, Starbucks, made a profit in the UK for the first time since the franchise first opened a store in Britain over 17 years ago. Starbucks cited the improvement was down to a turnaround plan aimed at reducing store costs.Read more >>
Telecoms group British Telecom will pay £12.5 billion to buy mobile operator EE.
In a move that will create a communications giant, the telecoms group BT has finalised a deal to buy the mobile firm EE for £12.5 billion after it announced in December that it was in talks to buy the UK's largest mobile operator.Read more >>
British firms started the year off surprisingly well according to services PMI data from Markit.
The UK’s economic recovery continues to grow in strength, as highlighted by the latest monthly service sector update from Markit/CIPS. The survey showed the services PMI reading rose higher than forecast to 57.2 in January, up from a 17-month low of 55.8 in December.Read more >>
Net lending to businesses is poised to return to growth after contracting for six years following the financial crisis, claims an EY ITEM Club research.
Lending to British businesses is poised to return to growth this year following on from six years of contraction, according to the EY ITEM Club’s latest research. In fact, net lending to businesses is expected to rise up to 17 per cent by 2018, which should see UK companies gain an extra £66 billion of credit over the next four years.Read more >>
Last year, the UK economy grew at its fastest pace since 2007, recording a GDP growth of 2.6 per cent.
In 2014 the UK’s economy grew by 2.6 per cent, the largest expansion since 2007 and faster than the 1.7 per cent growth in 2013, according to official figures. The positive figure gave cause for government officials to reiterate that the economic recovery was “on track” due to a dominant service sector.Read more >>
Inequality leads to stagnation, according to speakers at the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2015 in Davos.
The advanced economies of the West have seemingly failed to shake off the effects of the financial crisis, leading to much speculation over the root cause of this secular stagnation. Some draw parallels to the economic situation in Japan, where low growth, low inflation and low productivity runs rampant.
After six years of low interest rates and monetary stimulus, we could conclude that the threat of secular stagnation will not be swept away by only changing macro-economic policies – more is required.
Instead, the remedy to the ailing global economy is being cited as structural reforms. Following the financial crisis, the measures that were put in place to spark a return to growth has seen a rise in economic activity, but at the cost of equality.Read more >>
The City of London is well-placed to build closer ties to emerging and fast growing markets, claims a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report.
In the future, the UK’s economic clout will continue to weaken as emerging markets and fast-growing economies catch up and realise their potential. In fact, by 2050 the G7 nations will no longer account for half of the world’s economic output and instead make up less than a quarter, according to a PwC report.
It’s a figure that continued to worry the lord mayor of London, Alan Yarrow, and saw him embark upon a tour of the Gulf to build ties and highlight the wide range of skills and expertise that the UK holds. Writing in CityAM, Mayor Yarrow wrote about his recent visit to the region to re-strengthen the UK’s relationship with its bilateral trading partner.Read more >>
Hutchison Whampoa enters talks to buy Telefonica-owned O2 for £10.25 billion.
In a move that would create the UK’s biggest mobile group, Hutchison Whampoa confirmed that it is in negotiations to buy Telefonica for £10.25 billion. However, Frank Sixt, the finance director of Hutchison, has said there is “still work to do” as they embark on several weeks’ worth of discussions.
It’s the latest buy in a spending spree by Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, who owns Hutchison Whampoa. Recently, Mr Li also spent £1.1 billion on Eversholt, to put him in control of a third of the UK’s trains.Read more >>
Chief executives in Britain are confident about UK economic growth in 2015.
The majority of UK chief executive officers (CEOs) believe there are more opportunities for their company to grow in today’s climate compared with three years ago, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) annual Global CEO Survey, which was published at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Three out of five (61 per cent) of British bosses were upbeat about their company’s growth prospects and 85 per cent of business leaders in the UK were confident about the year ahead, however, that’s slightly lower than a the 93 per cent reading from a year ago.Read more >>
The British financial sector recorded the fastest growth in Q4 of 2014 since 1996, reports CBI.
Overall business volumes in the UK’s financial sector rose at their fastest pace since 1996, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Firms in the sector also reported strong income growth and falling costs, helping to improve profitability for the second consecutive quarter.Read more >>
Economic growth in 2015 in the UK looks set to hit a seven-year high, with rapid expansion expected.
The UK’s economy is forecast to grow at its fastest rate in seven years, according to the latest quarterly forecast from the EY Item Club. Driving the economy forward will be a sustained period of inflation averaging around zero per cent, while real disposable income is expected to increase significantly.Read more >>
UK investment in China is set to quadruple over the next five years, according to King & Wood Mallesons study.
UK investors will pour four times as much money into China by 2020 when compared with last year, according to a new study from King & Wood Mallesons. The report highlights that foreign direct investment (FD) in China will double by 2020, however, the UK’s contribution to the total will quadruple in five years’ time.
The study, titled Branching Out: Investment Opportunities in China, states that the total investment from the UK is expected to rise to £26 billion by 2020, up from £6.7 billion, as the Chinese economy opens up further to foreign capital.
“With stable development, China has become the fastest growing country attracting the most investment in the world not merely because of the size of the market, but also due to our improving legal environment and increasingly healthy society,” said Wang Ling, managing partner of King & Wood Mallesons in China.Read more >>
EU exports outpaced imports to help widen the Eurozone trade surplus in November.
The EU’s trade in good balance widened in November, according to official figures from Eurostat. The Eurozone trade surplus was 20 billion euros in November 2014, that’s 3.5 billion higher than the same time a year ago.
It’s welcome news for the European economy, which has suffered at late from a slew of disappointing data, and will give the European Central Bank (ECB) hope for the recovery yet.Read more >>
Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, says UK economic growth serves as an example to others.
Britain’s economic recovery provides an “eloquent and convincing” example to the rest of the European Union, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.
Christine Lagarde said the UK had shown clear leadership and that the economic recovery was “exactly the sort of result” she would like to see.Read more >>
Chancellor George Osborne says that UK economy could be the richest economy in the world.
As the UK recovery continues to grow in strength, optimism is reaching highs and businesses can look forward to a year of strong performances, especially in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector. The UK government also recognises the burgeoning recovery and believes the UK economy has the potential to become the richest in the world in 15 years’ time, according to the UK’s chancellor, George Osborne.
Speaking at the Royal Economic Society, Mr Osborne said: “The case for optimism is strengthening. If we are willing to take on the vested interests and pursue the right policies with consistency and discipline then there are no limits to what Britain can achieve.”Read more >>
UK internet sales broke above the £100 billion level for the first time.
Digital sales in the UK continue to rise as shoppers become more adept at navigating retailer’s online stores, racking up a total of £104 billion spent in 2014 to break above £100 billion for the first time ever.
It’s a vast sum of money and further highlights the health of UK economy which has mostly been powered on consumer spending. When comparing 2014 to the previous year, we can see sales grew by an impressive 14 per cent, according to the most recent IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index report.Read more >>
With inflation expectations at safe levels, it’s no surprise that many economies would like to have the UK’s inflation rate.
The surprise fall to 0.5 per cent in the annual CPI rate shocked markets and saw sterling decline, however, it’s likely that much of the world are jealous of the UK inflation rate. While many experts are worrying over deflationary risks and debt-deflation traps, most are missing the bigger picture.Read more >>
Businesses in the UK enjoyed a strong Q4 in 2014 and are confident about prospects in 2015.
It seems that British business continues to enjoy a productive climate as firms reported strong growth in Q4 of 2014 to conclude a positive year for traders all round, according to the British Chambers of Commerce’s latest Quarterly Economic Survey report.
The survey is the largest of its kind and includes responses from just under 7,000 businesses across the UK.
Despite recent signs of a slowdown, the UK’s manufacturing and services sectors recorded increases in the balances of domestic sales, growing 36 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively.Read more >>
High street retail sales in the UK are expected to reach an all-time high in 2014.
The British retail sector can look back fondly over 2014 as it celebrated a record-breaking year, according to figures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The report shows that sales for the year are expected to reach £342 billion over the year, that’s a £48 billion increase from 2010.Read more >>
Sales should total £636m on Christmas day and £748m on Boxing Day, according to predictions from Experian-IMRG.
Total online sales over Christmas and Boxing day are predicted to amount to £1.3 billion, according to new estimates from the online retail association IMRG and information services group Experian. Sales on Christmas day are predicted at £636 million and Boxing day takings are expected to reach £748 million.
Boxing day has typically been the busiest online shopping day of the year, however, it now faces a new challenger to the title as internet shoppers are thought to have spent £810 million on Black Friday, in a discount-fuelled spending spree.Read more >>
Shoppers will spend more this week than at any point of the year in the final Christmas 2014 shopping spree.
Supermarkets and shops prepare for the biggest shopping week of the year as consumers rush to finish their Christmas shopping. Visa forecast around £1.3 billion will be spent on credit cards as the final dash to complete Christmas lists begins.
Just Tuesday’s spend is projected to surpass that of Panic Saturday, where consumers are estimated to have spent around £1.2 billion, according to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR). However, it’ll take a gargantuan splurge to eclipse that of the internet-fuelled spending bonanza that was Black Friday.Read more >>
The trade deficit continues to be a bone of contention for the British economy. How can the UK reduce its trade deficit?
Taking a look back at the performance of the UK economy in 2014, we can see there’s always one aspect that could do with being fixed, the trade balance, or as it’s more commonly known in Britain, the trade deficit.
Net trade negatively impacted GDP growth by 0.5 percentage points, which is really cutting back the UK’s economic recovery.Read more >>
British companies are taking the hunt for rival firms abroad.
New figures from EY (Ernst & Young) showed that the value of foreign takeovers by UK firms soared by nearly 60 per cent from £27.3 billion to £67 billion this year.
However, the data showed only a 16 per cent increase in the number of takeovers, which rose from 641 to 766. Overall, the number of deals by UK firms rose by 5.3 per cent to 2,726.
Read more >>