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.
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.
Businesses should use rapid developments in technology to boost growth in 2015.
New forms of technology continue to change the way businesses run, and a notable number of emerging devices from 2014 will be no different. Past examples include the introduction of the BlackBerry, the smartphone and of course the internet.
An article in the online magazine Information Age spelled out a number of new technological ideas that businesses should think about.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Domestic demand boosts manufacturing activity in the UK despite weak exports to Eurozone.
Further indications of the UK’s strengthening recovery were found in Markit’s recent Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI). It showed that manufacturing activity in the UK continued to expand, hitting a four-month high of 53.5 in November.
Exporters from small to mid-sized businesses believe 2015 will bring them more international business, according to new research.
According to Open to Export, an exporter’s forum backed by the government, small and medium-sized enterprises are optimistic about opportunities overseas in 2015.
After trade data from the Office for National Statistics showed that UK recovery is not being driven by exports, initiatives like Export Week were set up to increase the amount of international trade in the UK.
The SME sector in the UK is set to drive growth in cloud services, according to research from cloud services provider BCSG (Business Centric Services Group).
Research from Business Centric Services Group (BCSG) revealed that 72 per cent of SMEs have plans to embrace the cloud by 2017, adding to the numerous businesses that already have cloud services in use.
This indicates that businesses are realising the potential that the cloud offers in terms of time-saving and the ability to access files regardless of location.