Great news for professionals and graduates as CBI survey shows UK firms plan to hire in 2015 and experts predict larger pay increases.
It appears that 2015 will be a fruitful year for British employees and jobseekers alike. A recent survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) showed that around half of UK businesses are looking to expand their workforce. This was then followed by a prediction of increased pay awards for employees from Martin Weale, a member of the Bank of England’s (BOE) monetary policy committee.Read more >>
The value of Instagram has overtaken that of Twitter’s, putting it at a whopping £22 billion.
Citigroup recently raised the valuation of Instagram to £22 billion, or $35 billion, which is almost double what it was valued at previously. By comparison, Twitter has a valuation of £15 billion based on its current share price.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 >>
UK’s Lunar Missions Ltd pass first crowdfunding milestone for mission to the moon.
The UK company, Lunar Missions Ltd, has successfully reached their funding target of £600,000 on crowdfunding website, Kickstarter. The project, Lunar Mission One, will attempt to land a spacecraft on the Moon to fulfil the mission objective of drilling at least 20 metres into the south pole of the Moon.
Crowdfunding has been growing in popularity as a means of investment since it was first introduced to the internet around seven years ago. It’s a method of funding where monetary contributions are raised from a large number of people, which is why the internet is so useful for startups attempting to reach the masses.
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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.
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According to the Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), record cuts over the past three months have led to mortgage rates falling to their lowest in the UK since 2007.
The MAB collated and analysed data from Moneyfacts.co.uk to create the National Mortgage Index, which showed that the average two-year tracker rates had dropped by 28 points from September to November: the largest autumn reduction on record for these products.
Two-year tracker rates dropped to new lows of 2.38 per cent in November, with average two-year fixed rates at 3.44 per cent.Read more >>
The rise of SMEs in the UK is opening up new avenues of growth to explore, but could also lead to a number of pitfalls. Here are our tips on how to avoid them.
Small and medium sized enterprises in the UK are growing in confidence, and there seem to be more entrepreneurs than ever. In fact, Britain was recently ranked as the most entrepreneurial nation in Europe.
However, for every success story, there’s a small business that has failed. With this in mind, there are a number of things start-ups can do to make sure they’re doing all they can to reach their full potential.Read more >>
Britain’s small firms are optimistic about growing next year as they hire more staff and export bigger volumes, according to a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The FSB’s Small Business Index revealed that the outlook for orders, exports, hiring and growth has remained strong, with 65% of small businesses in the UK confident about expanding further in the first quarter of 2015.
Small firms’ productivity rose by more than 1% in the second half of 2014, meaning they can capitalise on growth plans in the New Year.Read more >>
Data released by Eurostat, the office for statistics of the European Union (EU), has shown that the standard of living has improved in the UK.
In this recent report, the UK has overtaken the Netherlands to join Denmark, Sweden and Finland in joint-fourth position.Read more >>
Experian, the global information services group, is launching a new service called My Business Profile to help the UK’s 2.2 million small and medium sized enterprises.
My Business Profile will help SMEs check and manage their credit profile, increasing their chances of securing financial backing.
Despite various government initiatives, since the start of the 2008 financial crisis the trickle-down of finance has repeatedly failed to fully reach SMEs.Read more >>
Since the introduction of Bitcoin in 2009, virtual currencies have rocketed in popularity.
The general public are beginning to accept digital payment into the mainstream. Bitcoin lets people anonymously transfer money around the world for free, and cuts out the need for a middle manRead more >>
The UK government has launched a new scheme called the London Co-Investment Fund (LCIF) in an attempt to fix the funding problem experienced by the capital’s tech start-ups.
Established by Funding London and Capital Enterprise, the project has secured £25 million to be invested in over 150 seed-stage firms in the technology, digital and science sectors over the next three years.
Another £60 million will be provided by six private sector partners: Wellington Partners, Playfair Capital, London Business Angels, Angel Lab, Firestartr, and Crowdcube/Braveheart Consortium.
These were chosen based on their past knowledge of investing in the three sectors.Read more >>
According to the latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the rate at which new firms are emerging is at close to a record high.
ONS data shows that 28.5 per cent more businesses were created in 2013 compared to the year before, bringing the total to 346,000. The measure of new companies as a proportion of all the UK’s firms stood at 14.1 per cent in 2013, which was the highest since ONS began recording the data in 2004.Read more >>
Start-up companies in the UK are well placed to become multinational brands, according to Richard Reed, the co-founder of Innocent Drinks.
Innocent Drinks started out as a stall at a music festival before the founders left their jobs and became a fully-fledged fruit juice and smoothie business.
In an interview with Computer Weekly, Reed acknowledged the difficulties involved in setting up and growing a business, but added “I can’t think of a better country to be doing it in than the UK.”Read more >>
The latest BDO Business Trends Report predicts continued growth for UK businesses in 2015.
According to the monthly Business Trends Indices report from accountants and business advisers BDO, UK businesses should sustain steady growth next year.
Order books for UK businesses showed sustained growth as the BDO Output Index remained at 103.2 in November, unchanged from October. Both the services and the manufacturing sub-indexes remain above the long-term average trend rate, pointing towards moderate growth in the early months of 2015.
The report suggests a GDP growth rate of two to 2.5 per cent during this quarter and the next.Read more >>
A new report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) shows flexible working could improve productivity.
The results of their survey show that 83 per cent of knowledge workers (such as engineers, doctors, and lawyers) would make use of flexible working options if they were available.
If eight out of ten of such workers adopted flexible working practices they could add 0.7 per cent of GDP to the UK economy, or £11.5 billion, with improved use of their time.
The survey of 1,272 participants was commissioned by the mobile workspace solutions company Citrix.Read more >>
A group of start-ups involved in the low carbon energy sector aim to boost Chinese trade with visit.
A delegation from companies in the low carbon energy sector and identified by UK Trade & Investment West Midlands will soon visit China in a bid to increase trade links with the country.Read more >>
Driverless cars to be trialled in London, Bristol, Coventry & Milton Keynes.
In the recent Autumn Statement, autonomous and driverless cars were given the green light for trials.
South-east London’s Greenwich and Bristol will each host its own project, while Coventry and Milton Keynes will share a third.
The public body Innovate UK has announced that the trials will last between 18 and 36 months, beginning in January 2015.Read more >>
In a widely expected move, the Bank of England (BOE) has left interest rates unchanged at a record low for the 70th month running.
Since there was no statement, many will now turn to the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on December 17th to fully understand the decision.
At the previous meeting of the MPC, two members of the committee voted to raise rates due to worries over the building of inflationary pressures.Read more >>
The current SME focus is on exports, but there is little guidance for firms wanting to import for the first time.
Small and medium-sized firms are well supported in the exports arena. However, those wishing to start importing may feel left out or confused by the government literature currently available.
Before venturing headfirst into the market, you may like to consider the following important points to help you succeed.Read more >>
Space Ape hailed as London’s answer to Rovio, creator of Angry Birds.
Space Ape Games, a London-based mobile games studio has received £4.5 million of investment from investors in a third round of funding.
Following global success of their combat adventure game, Samurai Siege, the studio received further funding from investors that have previously backed successes such as Spotify and Facebook. The latest round of funding was led by Northzone but also included existing investors like Accel Partners, Initial Capital and Connect Ventures.Read more >>