LSBF Blog - Global Matters
The number of people out of work fell to its lowest level in the three months to November as UK jobs continued to grow.
Employment in the UK remains one of the highlights of the economic recovery and new figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirms these facts. The unemployment level fell to its lowest in more than six years in three months to November, according to the report.
The number of unemployed people in the UK fell by 58,000 to 1.91 million and the unemployment rate edged lower to 5.8 per cent, its lowest reading since August 2008 and a little below expectations.
“We’re continuing to buck the European trend with strong growth and record job creation,” said Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury.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 >>
Over a third of UK SMEs expect to grow their international business in the year ahead.
Businesses in the UK are confident that the economic climate will continue to be healthy and more than a third of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) anticipate growth in the amount of business they do overseas, according to research from Western Union Business Solutions.
Figures from the survey show that 83 per cent of respondents felt confident about the economic climate and those that felt very confident more than doubled in this quarter, according to the International Trade Monitor from Western Union Business Solutions.
The growing confidence in the situation at home has UK SMEs thinking about foreign shores, as 34 per cent of those surveyed predict an increase in their international business activity.Read more >>
UK creative industries continue to blossom, adding £77 billion to the economy in 2013.
Creative industries in the UK are booming, according to the latest report from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The data showed the sector contributing an astounding £77 billion to the UK economy in 2013, that’s one tenth higher than 2012’s total of £70 billion.
Breaking down the figures, the data essentially works out to a jaw dropping £8.8 million per hour, or £146,000 per minute, according to the report.Read more >>
You could help expand the potential reach of your small business by using social media.
Today’s generation seem to have arrived in this world clutching a smartphone, thereby knowing the complete ins and outs of all social media. However, many of us remember the days before public internet usage sky-rocketed, and often require some help navigating the different channels of social media available to us.
Indeed, there are many ways to utilise social media for your small business or startup, allowing you to further your reach and create a huge number of impressions. It’s a definite benefit of the digital age that allows one to easily reach the masses, however, it can be a little more complicated than posting a status to Facebook and waiting for the hordes of shoppers to turn up.Read more >>
Access to faster and more resilient broadband will be top priority of 2015 for most UK SMEs.
In today’s digital world, connectivity is key to success and it seems the UK’s population of small and medium-sized enterprises concur, as 90 per cent of UK SMEs will look to gain access to faster and more reliable broadband in 2015, according to a report commissioned by the internet provider TalkTalk.
The survey of 1,000 UK SMEs found that 90 per cent of respondents believed that broadband was crucial to future prosperity, and a quarter of all SMEs put technology in the list of top five priorities to achieve growth in 2015.Read more >>
City of London recruitment continues to expand alongside salary growth.
The number of jobs available for employees in the City of London continues to see annual growth, according to the latest London Employment Monitor report from financial services provider Morgan McKinley.
Indeed, in October 2014 the number of job opportunities increased by two per cent when compared with the same time in the previous year. Furthermore, the average salary increase for those securing new jobs in October 2014 was 18 per cent, indicating employers are seeking candidates with a strong skill base, according to the report.Read more >>
Innovate UK will provide a £210,000 fund in a bid to drive innovation in wearable tech.
The UK continues to be a hotbed for innovation and will be further boosted by a £210,000 fund aimed at innovation in the wearable technology sector. The fund will be provided by Innovate UK, the UK government’s technology strategy board, and will be awarded to six winners of the wearables competition it is organising.
Successful applicants will have created products that appeal to a wide commercial market and will then go on a trial with Innovate UK’s industry partners for three months. In order to ensure the success of the winners’ companies, Innovate UK will mentor the new firms, offering advice and support to accelerate the startups into achieving success.Read more >>
Research shows that Britain may see massive boost from the continuing fall in global oil prices.
The decline of oil prices could give the UK economy a huge growth boost, according to research from Oxford Economics. The report estimates that a collapse to $40 per barrel in early 2015 could add around 0.6 percentage points to the overall GDP growth in the UK.
Recently the price of Brent Crude oil, the international standard for tracking oil prices, fell to a new six-year low around $48.50. Since June 2014, the price of oil has plummeted by more than 50 per cent and this dizzying descent has analysts predicting prices as low as $35 per barrel.Read more >>
The number of UK SMEs and startups is increasing as the British economy continues to grow.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are thriving in the UK’s economic recovery, as outlined in the recent British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Quarterly Economic Survey (QES).
However, while business is booming and the number of new companies being created is increasing, the recovery remains fragile and UK SMEs should ensure they have everything in place to expand, succeed and survive any potential economic slowdown.Read more >>
UK small businesses revenue growth was fastest since 2000, according to Barclays’ Small Business Income Index.
Small businesses enjoyed a more liquid 2014 as cash flowing into the bank accounts of these firms increased at its fastest rate in over 14 years, according to the Barclays Small Business Income Index.
In the year to October of 2014, the Barclays index recorded an eight per cent rise in the value of payments into small businesses’ bank accounts. The data also shows that, since 2000, the index as a whole has risen by 20 per cent.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 >>
Mid-sized firms in the UK will increase their research and development (R&D) expenditure in 2015.
The latest Agents of Growth report from Grant Thornton suggests that 2015 will see UK mid-sized businesses (MSBs) as the drivers of innovation.
British firms that employ between 50 and 499 staff will become the nation’s largest investor in new technologies over the next year, as almost a quarter (23 per cent) of UK MSBs expect to increase their investment, according to the report.Read more >>
A recent report from The Cloud highlights the growing trend of spending time online through WiFi.
It seems the UK is fast becoming a nation that increasingly chooses to spend their time online, according to data from The Cloud’s network of over 22,000 public hotspots. The figures showed a 78% increase in the amount of time logged on to public WiFI in 2014 when compared to 2013.
While access to public WiFi has improved, the results still illustrate how many more residents of the UK look to log on when out and about. In fact, last year alone, 28 billion minutes were whiled away online through The Cloud.Read more >>
Stocks in Europe rose on mounting expectations that the ECB will commence quantitative easing.
European stock markets shares rose on Wednesday to end a three-day decline, following data that illustrated prices in Europe are falling.
Inflation in Europe was shown to contract by 0.2 per cent on a yearly basis, the first time inflation has been negative since October 2009, according to official statistics from Eurostat.Read more >>
KPMG aim to bring cloud based accountancy support to small businesses by investing £40m in its Enterprise program.
It seems that KPMG are now looking to bring their services to small businesses as they invested £40 million in the KPMG Enterprise programme, a subscription-based cloud platform for accountancy support.
This investment is designed to target growth in the mid-market, of which smaller firms hold the majority market share.Read more >>
The International Consumer Electronics Show 2015 (CES 2015) held a dazzling array of wearable tech which is set to be the trend of 2015.
It seems wearable technology is set to be the big trend of 2015, as companies displayed a vast variety of every imaginable wearable gadget to command the centre-stage at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES)this year.
While the CES is not always the most reliable guide, it does reveal what industry leaders believe the next desirable gadget is for consumers. Indeed, this coming year we can expect wearables designed for everything, from calorie counters to meditation aids, and for them to start coming in forms other than watches and glasses.Read more >>
CFOs see the UK as a good place to do business, according to Deloitte’s latest CFO survey.
Prospects for UK earnings growth and business investment in 2015 are positive, according to Deloitte’s latestsurvey of 119 chief financial officers (CFOs) of UK companies. The vast majority of those surveyed view the UK as a good place to do business.
Most of the CFOs surveyed expect wages to increase by around 2.9 per cent in 2015, which is much faster than current levels of inflation, meaning workers can expect their pay packets to be worth more.Read more >>