News

Waiting for the whole truth on industrial strategy

Borrowing from Lawrence of Arabia’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, has today announced her ten pillars of industrial strategy.  Ten is a nice round number and looks tidy on the... Read more

Tongue tied

At CES, the world’s largest consumer electronics show that got the year off to a futuristic start, 2017 was billed as the year of voice recognition. For some reason, perhaps related to the advance of... Read more

Tidal power

Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) received backing yesterday for a pilot lagoon project in Swansea.  The tides are predictable and the source of an estimated 10GW of currently untapped energy around the UK coastline.[1]  However, environmentalists... Read more

Brutality and brutalism

Actually, the word ‘brutalism’ in architecture is derived from the French word ‘brut’ meaning ‘raw’ since it was Le Corbusier who popularised the use of raw concrete in his iconic buildings.  But it is a... Read more

Strip show

Better known for casino hotels like Caesar’s Palace and the Venetian, the Las Vegas Strip is abuzz with innovation this week.[1]  It hosts the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) where LG has revealed wafer thin televisions... Read more

Dreaming of a green Christmas

25 December 2016 was something of a landmark for UK electricity.  As turkeys roasted and the Queen transmitted her seasonal message, British homes were powered up by more renewable energy than ever before.[1]  Though demand... Read more

Leading UK house buyers up the garden path

The Government has started 2017 with a firm pledge on housing: today's announcement to build new starter homes on brownfield sites will surely please those who have long advocated this alternative to building on the Green Belt.[1]... Read more

Dark matter

Rockfire is resisting the temptation to feel smug.  In November, it highlighted the beneficial effects of bacteria and just one month later, deep sea bacteria are the heroes of this week’s medical news. They form... Read more

Building with a light touch

Incorporating photovoltaic (PV) material into buildings has been an aspiration of ecologists and architects since the development of the first solar PV modules.  In Spain, photovoltaic glass modules have been used for a while in... Read more

More medical marvels

In a week when deep sea bacteria have provided an improbable cure for prostate cancer sufferers, it seems that the medical community is bending over backwards to bring more good news. For those of us... Read more

Song of ice and fire

Geothermal energy is based on an alluring idea: that the earth’s crust maintains a constant heat generated by the fiery molten core, 4000 miles below.  Three or four miles from the surface, this heat might... Read more

Anaerobic digestion revisited

Following Rockfire’s earlier study of food waste, it is heartening to see that Oxford-based Agrivert has been forging ahead with the completion of anaerobic digestion plants in South Wales and North London. [1]   These two... Read more

The drone dilemma

Just in time for Christmas, a ripple of delivery excitement is moving through the e-commerce market.  Amazon has made Richard B. of Cambridgeshire a happy man by dropping his online purchase on his lawn within... Read more

The year of the U-turn

Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May,  has made quite a number of U-turns since she took office: grammar schools, workers on boards and registers of foreign workers are just three of the areas where she has... Read more

Old gold

In a world in which a 90 year old widower goes to work in a Devon café because he is bored at home [1], it is undeniable that we are living longer.  Not everyone, however,... Read more

Safely curious

In a recent post, Rockfire examined new developments in the world of online education and mentioned Azoomee, the latest start-up from the entrepreneurial team that brought us renewable resource, Clean Energy Pipeline. Both Azoomee and... Read more

Donald denies

On a day when scandal-rocked Sports Direct reported plummeting profits in the same breath as an order for a new corporate aeroplane, it was tempting, yesterday, to cast Donald Trump as a paragon of economic... Read more

Space Travel

Followers of Richard Branson and Elon Musk are fully aware of their efforts to take commercial flights into space. Virgin Galactic completed its first successful solo glide above the Mojave desert this week, the first... Read more

Commercial property looking for investors

Mixed messages from the commercial property market.  In the same day that the Bank of England and Savills report declining interest from foreign investors in the UK market for office, retail and industrial space,[1], Northern... Read more

More Investment Needed in Security

Since Rockfire last reported on cyber security, 26,500 National Lottery accounts have been accessed by ‘credential stuffing’. [1] This involves the copying and pasting of usernames and associated passwords from one system to another.  Since... Read more

Home Truths

The Autumn Statement pleased the social housing sector.  With £4.55bn set aside for affordable homes, 70% of which is destined for London, the Government plans to finance 90,000 homes in the capital and a further... Read more

From Gas Lamps to LEDs

Unless you are a dog , it is unlikely that you pay much attention to lamp posts and street lights.  But they are all around.  There are an estimated 7.5m of them in the UK... Read more

Wireless waste

Smart bins have been in fairly widespread use now for about a decade.  You can find them in Scandinavia of course but also in  major cities in the UK while France has humanised its version to... Read more

Backing bacteria

Bacteria are in the news this week.  Specifically the Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus which likes to insert itself into another bacterium, munch its way through its host and, fully lunched up, burst forth to repeat the procedure with... Read more

Autumn Statement

The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered his first and last Autumn Statement on Wednesday.  He closed his presentation with the announcement that there will now be just one budget per year “in... Read more

New building materials

The Building Societies Association (BSA) published a report on 17th November, recommending off-site construction as its answer to the UK housing shortage [1], an option previously explored by Rockfire in an article on 1st November.... Read more

Patient Capital

Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, addressed the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Conference in London this morning.  Speaking after her Business Secretary, Greg Clark, had warmed up the audience by reassuring them that Britain... Read more

UN Climate Change conference

Neatly timed to coincide with the UN Conference on Climate Change in Marrakech, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) announced that 2016 will be the hottest year on record [1].  Over 10,000 attendees and 100 signatories... Read more

Death knell for coal

"We see clear winners for the next 25 years – natural gas but especially wind and solar – replacing the champion of the previous 25 years, coal.” Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International... Read more

A Tale of Two Mavericks

There are strange forces at work. Meg Whitman and Michael Bloomberg are just two of the former Republicans who switched political allegiances rather than vote for Donald Trump in this week’s US elections. Ms Whitman... Read more

Hackers’ Heaven

Monday was the turn of Tesco, specifically Tesco Bank, to humble itself before its horrified customers, 15% of whom lost money over the weekend as an as-yet-unidentified cyber villain concentrated an attack on the bank’s... Read more

A quick, cheap fix for housing?

Since Rockfire looked at potential Build to Rent and brownfield solutions to the UK housing shortage, the Government has announced that it sees modular, factory-built houses as an important element in the plan to meet... Read more

Taking the sting out of the mosquito

Bill Gates was in London on Wednesday for the Annual Meeting of his Grand Challenges initiatives.  He indicated – subtly enough to avoid outcry or litigation – that Britain’s vote to leave the European Union... Read more

Build to rent

UK home ownership is at its lowest rate for 30 years [1], the Government needs to build 300,000 homes each year [2] or, if the population looks set to reach 80 million by 2040, it... Read more

The Study of Stupidity

“We spend a great deal of time studying history which, let’s face it, is mostly the history of stupidity". For a man with impaired speech, Professor Stephen Hawking is a master of the bon mot. ... Read more

Online Education | An Investment Opportunity

A small percentage – less than 0.4% - of school children in the UK are home schooled. [1]  But that number is rising and the list of accomplished people who were home-schooled  goes some way... Read more

Cutting through the exabytes

The world is so short of engineers that countries around the globe are steering more children towards the study of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.  But Data Scientists are in even shorter supply... Read more

Naturally Cool

There is a dark irony in using air conditioners to combat rising temperatures when those very systems are contributors to global warming. So, too, are refrigerators, aerosols and foams. All emit hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), gases that,... Read more

Hospital Robots

What is to become of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS)? The 55,000 doctors who are referred to as ‘junior’ despite having anything up to ten years’ work experience, have just lost their appeal for better... Read more

Smartening up the Meters

A decade ago, the UK government of the day decided that Britain’s households should become more energy efficient and a first step was to replace what Centrica referred to as the nation’s ‘dumb’ meters with... Read more

UK Housing Shortage

With or without immigrants, the UK housing supply is failing to keep up with demand. For the past twenty years, housing stock has Increased annually by 100-170,000 dwellings but that is only half the required amount.[1]... Read more

Biofuels for air travel

Following two decades of debate, the aviation industry yesterday announced the first sector-specific pledge on cutting emissions.[1]  191 countries have signed up to the agreement, formalised at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)’s 39th Assembly... Read more

To frack, apparently

As Rockfire observed on 27 September, the debate around shale gas and its extraction by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has been growing heated over the past fortnight. Yesterday, Communities’ Secretary Sajid Javid approved the first horizontal... Read more

Reasons to be cheerful

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its World Economic Outlook for October and forecast that the world’s seven major economies would grow by 1.6% this year. Of these seven, the UK led the... Read more

An Economy that Works for Everyone

Greg Clark, the genial Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) had a half hour slot in which to set out his wares at the Conservative Party Conference 2016 this morning but... Read more

Blue Gold

Black gold became a fashionable term for oil when the gas-guzzling West sat up and took note of rapidly diminishing reserves of the precious fossil fuel.  No wonder, then, that water should now receive the... Read more

National Grid gas sale bodes well for renewables

It remains unclear why British Prime Minister Theresa May put the brakes on the construction of Hinkley Point C, as soon as she entered office in July, only to approve it two months later.  Some... Read more

To Frack or not to Frack?

Nuclear energy was today temporarily displaced as chief ‘thorn in the side’ of renewable energy as 27,500m3 of US-produced shale gas arrived in the UK. Shale gas is broadly unpopular in the UK as a... Read more

Getting in on the gas act

Earlier this month, General Motors (GM) pledged to generate 100% of its global energy requirements from renewable sources by 2050. Apple, which already uses renewable energy to power 93% of its worldwide operations, also announced... Read more

Why would Apple want to buy McLaren?

As recently as May, an article in Business Insider[1] reported that Apple would never make the grade in the automotive market without hiring respected leaders from the industry. Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motors,... Read more

More on the Northeast Asian Supergrid

As Rockfire reported on Monday 19 September, Japan, South Korea and China, with Russia, are developing an interconnected, ultra-high velocity (UHV) regional grid to help guarantee their power supply by permitting the cross border transfer... Read more

Opportunities for investment in the water sector

Ofwat, the water regulator, announced yesterday that competition was coming to the water sector.  As recession-proof industries go, water has to be hard to beat, so this is exciting news for private investors.  Initial indications... Read more

Towards a more stable energy market

Nuclear, supported by renewables, storage and interconnection, with a nod to carbon capture, seem to be the blend of choice for solving the UK’s future power problems. As Britain’s offshore wind capacity scales up with... Read more

Why is Britain going nuclear?

On Thursday morning, 15th September, the government of Mrs May announced that it would, after all, support the Hinkley Point nuclear plant, despite indications to the contrary when the project’s progress became the first potential... Read more

Rockfire switched on to environment

Rockfire Capital’s announcement, this week, that it has bought Swindon Solar Farm, has generated plenty of press coverage, as much for the substantial generating capacity of the farm as for reinforcing the prevailing mood of... Read more

Rockfire Capital acquires Swindon Solar Park

13 September 2016 - Rockfire Capital (“Rockfire”), a specialist investment management company, has announced that it has acquired Swindon Solar Park, one of the UK’s largest operational solar PV projects, from WELink Energy (U.K.) Ltd... Read more

British firm Oxitec may have the solution to the Zika virus

The Zika virus is no longer a Brazilian problem.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared it a public health emergency [1] and Singapore has now joined Miami as an area of particular concern [2]. ... Read more

Envision adds light touch to electric vehicle charging in Malaga

Vienna-based European Smart Cities[1] recognises Malaga as a city with a ‘smart environment’, with particular approval applied to ecological awareness and a nod to its clean air quality and sustainable resource management Malaga has worked... Read more

Still no clear direction on new UK energy policy

As the Prime Minister gathered her cabinet to discuss the UK’s departure from Europe, both camps in the Hinkley Point debate seemed keen to draw her attention to the other great conundrum of the summer.... Read more

BELECTRIC wins in National Grid storage auction

With Hinkley Point looking less likely to happen each day, Friday’s report from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit [1] was a timely reminder of the alternatives available to the UK as it plans for... Read more

Energy from food waste – Rockfire Capital looks at the figures

As the Notting Hill Carnival prepares to generate enough waste to fill 25 double decker buses, the team at Rockfire has decided, in the wake of its article on anaerobic digestion, which cited the 200... Read more

Processing efficiencies in the pipeline for anaerobic digestion

Birmingham-based biodegradable plastics firm, Aquapak, has developed a polymer that could solve the waste sorting problems faced by local authorities in the UK. We produce 200 million tonnes of waste per year in the UK.... Read more

Uber leaves China, takes on India and enters the driverless vehicle race

In a corporate world where disruption is part of the job description, transportation company, Uber, has been doing more than its fair share of disrupting over the past few weeks. Following reported losses of $2bn... Read more

The sugar tax – not sweet enough for anyone

The UK has this morning approved a long-mulled sugar tax. But, at least for now, it will affect only producers of fizzy drinks and juices that have a high sugar content. Makers of other food... Read more

Clean tech win for UK as world’s largest windfarm gets the go-ahead

The new UK government started its term in office by putting approval for the Hinkley Point nuclear plant on hold. Yesterday, it gave the green light to the world’s largest offshore windfarm off the east... Read more

BHP Billiton’s reasons to be cheerful, despite $6.4bn loss

BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company by market capitalisation, reported a loss of $6.4bn today, triggering an initial drop in its share price and contributing to an early slide in the FTSE 100 index.... Read more

Battery improvements fuel Tesla’s future

Tesla has been much in the news recently. Following the merger of its operations with sister company Solar City, it has announced a move into solar roofing. And now the Dutch regulator, RDW, has included... Read more

Oil prices resist sustained rise

Oil prices rose 4% yesterday, following a show of solidarity with other oil-producing nations by Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih. Brent crude hit a three-week high of $46.66 on Friday morning, as markets reacted... Read more

Gilt yields continue to fall

Bond prices are up following the Bank of England’s stimulus package announced on 4 August. Some market commentators felt that the measures did not go far enough. Darren Bustin, of Royal London Asset Management, is one of... Read more

Pound drops 1.5% against the dollar following interest rate cut

As the FTSE 100 Index gained 1.6% following the Bank of England’s stimulus package on 4 August, the pound slid 1.5% against the dollar. So, what provoked the plunge? After all, economists had been predicting... Read more

Bank of England cuts UK interest rate to 0.25%

As widely predicted, the Bank of England has cut the UK interest rate to an all-time low of 0.25%, following seven years at 0.5%. Not so widely predicted was the bundle of additional measures announced... Read more

Shrinking UK business activity adds to pressure for BoE action

The UK services industry declined at its fastest pace in July since 2009, following Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Bank of England (BoE) officials met to decide how to support the economy, after the... Read more

Japan launches £207b stimulus package

Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has approved a ¥28 trillion (£207 billion) stimulus package today, in the latest effort to fix Japan’s slow economy. The money will be spent on upgrading ports, welfare, to speed... Read more

Bank of England set to cut UK interest rates

The Bank of England (BoE) is expected to cut UK interest rates on Thursday, for the first time in seven years. The decision will be made by BoE Governor, Mark Carney, when the monetary policy... Read more

Rolls-Royce share price takes off, despite profit fall

British aerospace engineer Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc’s share price has surged more than 14% despite an 80% fall in pre-tax profits. Rolls-Royce, which makes Airbus Group SE’s long-range jetliners and engines for Boeing Co, said underlying pre-tax profit... Read more

UK GDP picks up by 0.6% in Q2

UK GDP picks up as economy growth has exceeded expectations, rising by 0.6% in the second quarter of 2016, compared to the first three months. The growth confirms the UK economy is robust, despite the... Read more

Solar Impulse 2 completes its first round-the-world journey

Solar Impulse 2 has completed the first round-the-globe fuel-free flight by a solar powered airplane, after landing in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. The journey took 16 months, and demonstrated the potential of renewable energy. Swiss... Read more

Drop in UK retail sales biggest in six months

UK retail sales posted the largest monthly decline in six months in June, the office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed. The recent cold, wet weather is mostly to blame for the sharper-than-expected fall. Keith Richardson,... Read more

UK unemployment falls to its lowest for a decade

The UK unemployment rate has fallen to below 5%, its lowest level since 2005, official figures show. The figures were taken just before the UK’s decision to leave the EU, and some economists are warning... Read more

British inflation rises higher than expected in June

British inflation accelerated higher than forecast in June, matching one of the highest levels seen over the last 18 months, influenced by a surge in airfares. Consumer prices rose to 0.5% year-on-year in June, higher... Read more

British banks pay as low as 0.01% interest to savers

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed that some savings and cash accounts in Britain are paying as low as 0.01% interest. The FCA has published the data showing the lowest interest rates offered by... Read more

China records surprising second-quarter GDP growth

China’s economy grew 6.7% in the second quarter, beating expectations. Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted it to dip to 6.6%. This growth rate is likely to ease the pressure on Beijing to enforce more... Read more

Bank of England leaves interest rates unchanged

The Bank of England (BoE) left its benchmark interest rate unchanged today, as it waits for more evidence of the negative impact of Brexit, despite noting the likelihood of a “significantly lower path for growth”... Read more

UK solar reaches record high

UK solar has reached a record high, providing nearly a quarter of the country’s electricity demand. Solar industry experts estimate that the UK has nearly 12GW of solar panels – enough to power the equivalent... Read more

George Osborne plans to cut corporation tax

Chancellor George Osborne has pledged to cut corporation tax below 15%, to encourage businesses to continue investing in the UK, in an effort to give the economy a post-Brexit boost. In an interview with the... Read more

Mark Carney signals Interest rate cuts in July/August

The Bank of England (BoE) is set to unveil interest rate cuts following the UK’s vote out of the EU. Governor of the BoE, Mark Carney, stated a downturn was on its way, and Britain... Read more

US, Canada and Mexico set new 2025 target for clean energy

The leaders of the US, Mexico and Canada have announced a pledge to obtain 50% of their energy from renewable sources by 2025. The renewable energy sources include wind, solar, hydro and other carbon free... Read more

Solar power forecast to experience sixfold growth

Research from the International Renewable Energy Agency has shown that solar’s share of global power generation stands to expand as much as sixfold by 2030, with “world electricity demand expected to grow by more than... Read more

UK will overcome challenges ahead

Amid financial turbulence following the EU referendum, Chancellor George Osborne sought to reassure the financial sector and the wider public that the UK economy’s resilience would overcome the challenges ahead (1). "Our economy is about... Read more

Solar Impulse 2 completes transatlantic crossing

Today at 5:38am UTC, Solar Impulse 2 touched down in Seville, after completing the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by a solar-powered aircraft (1). The four-day crossing marks the latest part of the Solar... Read more

Top marques for classic cars

Over the past decade, returns to investors in classic cars have vastly outperformed leading hedge fund managers (1). The Knight Frank Luxury Investments Wealth Report shows annual growth for classic car investments of 17% for... Read more

UK government borrowing

The ONS figures showed that net borrowing, excluding state-owned banks, was £9.7bn in May this year, down from £10.1bn in May 2015. The ONS also revised its forecast for the full year to £74.9bn. Although... Read more

High-street sales

May saw a modest rebound in high street sales according to industry figures, helped by warm weather as shoppers stocked up on summer supplies (1). Key drivers for May’s sales were children’s clothes & footwear,... Read more

Construction sector slowdown

The UK’s construction sector has suffered its first drop in new orders in more than three years, as the uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum and weakness in the global economy have prompted firms to hold back on... Read more

US and China clash over cheap steel imports

Beijing has accused the US of damaging trade after Washington levied new duties of up to 450% on specific steel imports from China. It was the latest move by the US against cheap steel imports... Read more

Eurozone agrees ‘breakthrough’ deal with Greece

As a result of the talks in Brussels, a deal has been reached to further unlock €10.3 billion in loans from Greece’s international creditors (1). During talks lasting into the small hours of Wednesday, Eurogroup... Read more

AXA to divest tobacco interest

The world’s largest insurer, AXA Group, is to sell out of around €1.7 billion (£1.4 billion) worth of tobacco securities, as it seeks to cut its conflicts of interest. The move is an attempt to support... Read more

Japan vs U.S. – Yen intervention showdown

Japan’s plans of direct intervention to stem the yen’s rise against the US dollar risk strong repercussions from the US, an adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has warned. During the G-20 meeting in Washington... Read more

Bayer makes takeover bid for Monsanto

German life sciences company, Bayer, has made an unsolicited takeover approach to Monsanto, the world’s largest seed maker, with a market value of $42 billion, according to a statement released by Monsanto. Bayer’s takeover approach... Read more

Japan avoids recession

According to government data released on Wednesday, Japan’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annualised pace of 1.7% during the first three months of 2016. This is a rebound from the 1.7% economic contraction... Read more

UK Inflation lower than forecast

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that UK inflation has fallen to 0.3% since September 2015, driven largely by cheaper air fares and lower clothing prices (1). This is contrary to the Bank of... Read more

Oil prices rise

Oil prices have reached a six-month high following worldwide supply disruptions. Brent Crude futures jumped 2.5% on Monday, trading at $49.05 per barrel, the highest price since November 2015. The increase is widely attributed to... Read more

Apple announces first quarterly revenue reduction since 2003

The first reduction in quarterly revenues for over a decade has been revealed in Apples Q2 results. Apple released financial results for the second quarter of 2016, recording quarterly revenue of $50.6bn and quarterly net... Read more

Saudi Arabia – Beyond Oil

Saudi Arabia has announced ambitious ‘Thatcherite’ economic reform, to reduce dependence on oil profits. On Monday, King Salman bin Abdulaziz announced cabinet backing for the Saudi Vision 2030 plan. The plan details sweeping economic reforms... Read more

BHS to file for administration

One-time UK high street icon, BHS, has announced that it will file for administration today. The announcement follows a breakdown in negotiations with sports retailer Sports Direct for the sale of some of BHS’s 164... Read more

Part Nationalisation of Tata Steel

The government has announced that it is willing to take a minority stake in Tata Steel’s UK operations in order to attract a buyer for the business. If a buyer cannot be found in the... Read more

Mitsubishi scandal

Mitsubishi’s share price hits record low after the revelation of the company overstating fuel efficiency data. On Wednesday 20 April, Japan’s 6th biggest car manufacturer, Mitsubishi Motors, admitted to falsifying fuel economy data for more... Read more

UK Unemployment Data

UK Unemployment has risen for the first time since mid-2015. Experts are questioning if this is linked to economic uncertainty ahead of the EU referendum. The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show... Read more

Argentina returns to the bond market

Argentina makes its return to the international bond market for the first time since its default in 2001. The sale of sovereign bonds marks the end of 15 years of exile, as a result of... Read more

Chinese growth at 6.7%

The Chinese economy grew at an annual rate of 6.7% in the first quarter of 2016, slightly lower than the previous quarter but within the government’s targeted range of 6.5-7.0%, as strong performance from housing... Read more

UK inflation reaches 15-month high

UK inflation reached a 15-month high in March, according to the latest official Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The monthly CPI rose by 0.5% in the month... Read more

UK domestic demand drops in Q1

According to the latest figures released from the British Chambers of Commerce’s (BCC) Quarterly Economic Survey, domestic demand dropped for both manufacturing and services for the first three months of the year. The survey, which... Read more

World Bank refocusing its financing efforts towards tackling climate change

The World Bank is increasing spending to assist developing countries in the fight against climate change. The Climate Change Action Plan is designed to help countries meet their Paris COP21 pledges and manage climate impacts.... Read more

House price growth

UK house price growth to March was 10.1% on an annualised basis, according to the latest Halifax figures. Average house prices rose to £214,811 in March, up 2.6% from the month before. House prices in... Read more

Pfizer and Allergan abandon merger

Pfizer and Allergan cancelled their $160bn merger. This follows proposed amendments to US tax laws to prevent tax-inversion details that US companies have been using to move to low-tax jurisdictions. Under the proposed acquisition, Pfizer... Read more

IMF warns on global growth

Christine Lagarde, Head of the International Monetary Fund, has warned that governments must urgently pursue more accommodative economic policies to support a weakening and unstable global economy. Lagarde warned that persistent low growth could become... Read more

Business plans on hold pending UK referendum

Britain is putting investment plans on hold as big companies become increasingly nervous about the outcome of the EU referendum. Investment expectations and recruitment has fallen to a three-year low, and appetite for risk has... Read more

UK GDP Results

UK GDP grew by 0.6% in the fourth quarter of last year, up from a previous estimate of 0.5%, according to figures released by the ONS. The UK’s worsening current account, however, increased uncertainty about... Read more

Fed hints at interest rate hikes but urges caution

The US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen has said the Fed should proceed cautiously before raising interest rates, having contributed to the decision to delay a rate hike twice this year. Global uncertainty, including China’s... Read more

Bank of England tightens buy-to-let market

The Bank of England (BoE) has announced new rules for banks underwriting buy-to-let mortgage contracts, in a bid to curb the market. In a statement released today, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), who is responsible... Read more

UK car manufacturing up 13%

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said the number of cars built in the UK last month increased by more than 13% compared to a year earlier. The total number built in... Read more

BHS creditors approve rescue deal

BHS is close to securing a lifeline from Gorden Brothers, as its creditors backed a rescue package which will reduce the company’s rent obligations and allow the retailer to walk away from some stores (1).... Read more

UK inflation stays at 0.3%

The UK’s inflation rate remained at 0.3% in February, unchanged from January figures, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) [1]. Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected to see a slight... Read more

Markit to merge with IHS

Two of the world’s biggest financial data companies have agreed to merge, creating a £9bn company that will extend the financial markets’ infrastructure [1]. London based Markit and American group IHS have said the merger... Read more

Demand in UK housing market

Despite a 5% fall from January figures, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reported a strong year-on-year growth, after low mortgage rates were implemented and demand for homes fuelled lending [1]. Mortgage lending jumped 30%... Read more

Norway cuts interest rates and warns it might go negative

Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, has cut interest rates to record lows, with warnings that they could go into negative territory in a bid to revive the economy following the crash in oil prices. The... Read more

Budget 2016 announcement

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has today announced the 2016 Budget. Some of the key highlights were that corporation tax will be cut to 17% to help small businesses, with the headline rate being... Read more

Sainsbury’s reports first quarterly sales growth in two years

Sainsbury’s has released its first quarterly sales growth in two years, growing by 0.1%, as the supermarket is expected to make a new bid for Home Retail Group later this week. The majority of the... Read more

Eurozone industrial output

Data from Eurostat showed that Eurozone industrial production increased by a greater than forecast 2.1% in January across the 19-member euro area, reversing negative growth from December and November (1). It is the highest monthly... Read more

UK public inflation expectations drop

The British public’s expectation for inflation over the next 12 months fell to its lowest in more than 16 years, according to a Bank of England (BoE) survey on Friday. More than 4,000 people were... Read more

European Central Bank announce new economic stimulus

The European Central Bank (ECB) has announced further measures in order to stimulate the Eurozone economy today. The announcement comes after disinflation in the economy, putting pressure on ECB President, Mario Draghi, to take action.... Read more

UK industrial output strengthens

Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that UK factory output rebounded in January, after falling in December. Manufacturing output rose 0.7% in the month, following a fall of 0.3% in December.... Read more

Bank of England warns of Brexit risks

Bank of England (BoE) Governor, Mark Carney, has said Britain's membership of the EU has reinforced the "dynamism of the UK economy" [1]. After a meeting with other European Union leaders last month, David Cameron... Read more

Global economy may be set for a downfall, according to BIS

The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) has put out a warning for global financial markets, as governments run out of monetary policy options, according to its latest quarterly report. In two separate notes, BIS economists... Read more

UK car registrations highest since 2004

British car registrations rose 8.4% to 83,395 units last month, marking the highest number since February 2004, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) [1]. Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: "February... Read more

UK house price growth accelerates in February

House price growth in Britain picked up speed last month, as investors sought buy-to-let properties ahead of the new tax rules, according to Nationwide figures released on Thursday. House prices were up 4.8% in February,... Read more

London is new ‘soft power’ capital

According to Deloitte LLP, London is now the ‘soft power’ capital of the world, generating more high-skilled jobs than any other major city. Since 2013, London has created 235,000 new high-skilled jobs, and now employs... Read more

UK manufacturing dips to three-year low

Factories in Britain had their weakest month in almost three years, in February, as demand slowed and exports fell, according to a survey published on Tuesday. Rob Dobson, Senior Economist at Markit, said: "The near-stagnation... Read more

Amazon and Morrisons strike food supply deal

Hundreds of Morrisons fresh and frozen food products will be available to order from Amazon in the coming months, after the US online retailer struck its first supply deal with one of the UK’s ‘big... Read more

RBS hit by $2bn loss

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group says it will take longer than anticipated to resume shareholder pay-outs, after reporting its eight consecutive annual loss. The net loss narrowed to £1.9bn ($2.8bn) in 2015, from £3.5bn... Read more

UK economy grew in fourth quarter of 2015

GDP for the UK has grown by 0.5% in the last quarter of 2015, a rise of 1.9% year-on-year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) [1]. In terms of the global economy, Britain... Read more

Mortgage approvals at two-year high ahead of buy-to-let tax

British banks approved the highest number of mortgages in almost two years in January, as investors prepare for the increase of stamp duty for buy-to-let properties and second homes, coming into force from April. The... Read more

Bank of England makes contingency plans for Brexit

The Bank of England (BoE) Governor, Mark Carney, says the Bank is looking at setting out a contingency plan for Britain if it were to leave the EU following the referendum this summer. Although the... Read more

Home Retail Group shares soar as Sainsbury’s is outbid

Shares in Home Retail Group leapt 12%, following an offer of £1.4bn by South African retail group Steinhoff International Holdings [1]. This took shares to a value of 172p at close on Friday, just below... Read more

UK retail sales growth at highest in 2 years

UK retail sales rose following a disappointing December, thanks to a boost in demand for clothing and technology. The 2.3% jump in the volume of sales, the highest recorded in nearly two years, was almost... Read more

Calls for urgent action to boost global economic growth

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) is calling for urgent action to be taken by world leaders in a bid to tackle slowing growth. This comes after the slowest level of global growth... Read more

Record employment although wage growth is slow

British wage growth slowed in the final quarter of 2015, official data by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.1%, the lowest level in 10 years. The... Read more

UK inflation rose 0.3% in January

Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that UK inflation rose by 0.3% in January, signifying a 12-month high. Annual inflation, as measured by CPI, has been below the Bank of... Read more

UK house prices hit all-time high

Data released by property site Rightmove suggests that UK property asking prices have hit an average all-time high of £299,287, marking a 2.9% national increase from January. This outpaces the previous average all-time high price... Read more

Eurozone GDP grows as expected

The European Union's statistics bureau, Eurostat, says the Eurozone has grown at a rate of 0.3% in the last quarter of 2015, the same rate of growth as in the third quarter, due to industrial... Read more

Johnston Press confirms talks to buy the i newspaper

The newspaper group Johnston Press has confirmed it is in advanced discussions with the Lebedev family to buy the i newspaper in a £24m deal. The listed group has said the deal would create the... Read more

Bank of England’s deputy monitoring credit growth

The Bank of England has said it will consider steps to protect financial stability if household debt rises quicker than the rest of the economy. British household debt, measured as a share of income, has... Read more

UK trade deficit widens

The UK trade deficit worsened from £8.58bn in the third quarter, to £10.35bn in the fourth quarter of 2015, as the slowdown in emerging markets growth and depressed oil prices hit exports. In total, the... Read more

Ex-bank boss urges scrappage of high-denomination banknotes

Former Standard Chartered Chief, Peter Sands, is urging governments to consider scrapping €500, $100, CHF1,000 and £50 notes to help prevent corrupt payments. Sands has argued that the elimination of high-denomination banknotes will assistance in... Read more

Bank of England vote to keep interest rates on hold

The Bank of England (BoE) has cut its forecast for economic growth and unanimously voted to keep interest rates at 0.5% for at least another year [1]. Markets and economists believed that rates would rise... Read more

House prices increase by 9.7% in the year to January

UK house prices have increased by 9.7% in the year to January, up from 9.5% a month earlier, according to the Halifax House Price Index. The average cost of a house is now £212,430 [1].... Read more

UK services firms defy expectations amid global economic worries

Britain’s services sector has remained unscathed, despite growing worries about the global economy last month. The Markit/CIPS services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) edged up to 55.6 in January, a level it has surpassed only once... Read more

Sainsbury’s agrees £1.3bn deal to buy Home Retail Group

Sainsbury’s has preliminarily agreed to purchase the Home Retail Group, the owner of Argos, for £1.3bn, with an aim to take on rival company, Amazon. Britain’s second-largest supermarket has proposed to pay Home Retail shareholders... Read more

UK mortgage approvals hit a high in December

According to the latest Bank of England Money and Credit report, the number of mortgage approvals hit 70,837 in December, compared with 70,424 in November and an average of 69,462 over the previous six months... Read more

Bank of Japan slashes interest rates

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) has lowered its interest rates to -0.1%, an action that has surprised markets, in a bid to encourage borrowing [1]. The Bank made the decision to adopt negative interest rates in... Read more

Latest GDP figures show annual growth is weakest in nearly three years

The UK economy has grown by 0.5% in the final quarter of 2015, up from 0.4% from the third quarter and in line with economists’ predictions. Annual growth has slowed to 1.9%, compared to the... Read more

Oil prices likely to stay low throughout 2016, says World Bank

The World Bank has lowered its forecast for oil prices this year, saying crude will continue to trade at depressed levels throughout 2016. The Bank has played down the likelihood of further falls, with the... Read more

Electric cars get share of £40 million government fund

Four towns and cities in the UK have been given a share of a £40 million fund in order to promote electric cars, as part of a government drive to promote a greener economy and... Read more

Russian economy hit by oil prices and a weak currency

Russia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell by 3.7% in 2015, according to preliminary estimated figures released by the Federal Statistics Service [1]. Retail sales were down by 10% and capital investment fell by 8.4%, marking... Read more

European Central Bank President rejects recession fears

President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, has said coping with the refugee crisis will boost growth and quash fears of a global market recession. He said it’s important that European countries work... Read more

UK car production at highest levels in 10 years

Figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that UK car production hit a record 10-year high in 2015. The SMMT said a record number of vehicles were exported last... Read more

UK unemployment at lowest levels in a decade

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that UK unemployment has fallen unexpectedly to its lowest level in almost a decade, with wage growth slowing less than economists had forecast. Unemployment fell to 5.1%,... Read more

China’s GDP growth slowest in 25 years

Official figures released show China’s economy has grown at its slowest pace since 1990, bringing about fresh fears following the permutation of the global capital markets. Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on... Read more

More jobs to be axed as steel industry crisis intensifies

The latest Tata Steel job cuts mean more than 5,000 jobs have been lost under the pressure of cheap Chinese imports [1]. Tata has recently cut another 1,050 jobs from sites across the country, including... Read more

BT takeover of EE

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given the final clearance for BT’s contentious £12.5bn takeover of EE, Britain’s largest mobile phone network. The regulator does not expect that the takeover would lead to a... Read more

Possibility of the ECB cutting inflation target

Economists from the Swiss financial group UBS said there is a grim outlook for growth in Europe for the coming years, which could lead the European Central Bank (ECB) to lower its target for inflation... Read more

Potential Sainsbury’s to buy Argos deal has prompted a mixed reaction

After an attempt by Sainsbury’s to buy Home Retail in November was rebuffed, it was announced last week that the grocer has until 2 February to make a firm offer for the company, or not... Read more

Oil prices at their lowest in almost 12 years

An emergency meeting has been called by some members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) group, regarding the declining price in oil. OPEC’s President Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said a meeting to discuss... Read more

Taylor Wimpey report record profits as housing demand increases

Taylor Wimpey has benefited from the government’s policies on housing following the Autumn Statement, as the average selling price for houses rose 8% in 2015. End of year profits of £225m marked a record operating... Read more

US jobs growth strong despite global volatility

Non-farm payrolls increased by a seasonally adjusted 292,000 in December. Non-farm payrolls increased by a seasonally adjusted 292,000 in December. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a strong finish for the year, with about 200,000... Read more

World Bank issues economic warning for 2016

A flagship report by the World Bank has highlighted concerns that a synchronised slowdown in the biggest emerging markets could be intensified by a predicted spell of financial turmoil. There is potential that the so-called... Read more

Eurozone growth reaches four-month high at the end of 2015, survey suggests

The purchasing managers’ index survey suggests that the Eurozone reached a four-month high in terms of economic growth at the end of December 2015 (1). Some of the Eurozone’s most troubled economies have turned their... Read more

Brexit risk predicted to be nearly 50%

Analysts at Societe Generale have predicted there is a 45% chance that Britain will vote to leave the European Union later this year, potentially inflicting “significant economic damage” over the next decade [1]. A decision... Read more

Sharp falls on the Chinese stock market causes a weakness in global markets

The opening session of 2016 saw China’s stock exchange fell by 7% on Monday, forcing exchanges to implement the 7% circuit-breaker mechanism for the first time and causing a knock-on effect on stock markets around... Read more

Savers warned about compensation changes

UK savers may have to move their money around in the New Year so that they are guaranteed a fully protected deposit in the event of their bank defaulting. The new rules, which will come... Read more

UK growth down to 0.4% for third quarter

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the economy has grown at a rate of 0.4% in the third quarter this year, more slowly than predicted. The figures account for over 70%... Read more

Concerns for economy as household debt rises to £40bn

UK families are expected to run up £40bn of debt this year (1), as the UK Government has borrowed a further £66.9bn to date in the current financial year, despite pledges to move to a... Read more

Oil prices at their lowest since 2004

The price of oil has fallen by more than two thirds to the lowest level since the summer of 2004. Oil prices have fallen due to higher production as demand has slowed. Brent crude prices... Read more

Bank of England to get new powers on buy-to-let lending

The government is due to discuss new powers that will allow the Bank of England to lead the rapidly growing buy-to-let mortgage market. Chancellor George Osborne is hoping this will prevent landlords exacerbating movements in... Read more

UK unemployment rate falls, as pay growth slows but job creation increases

The UK unemployment rate has fallen to a near 10-year low of 5.2% (1). Between 2014 and 2015, the country also saw the job creation rate grow at its fastest rate for 20 years (2).... Read more

UK inflation rates rise in November

The inflation rate in the UK rose above zero last month, with prices rising by 0.1%; a positive move for the first time since July. Sharply falling commodity prices means inflation has been suppressed during... Read more

Paris climate deal

UK business lobby group CBI has welcomed the Paris Agreement climate deal that was made at the United Nations talks in Paris on Saturday night. Carolyn Fairbairn, the Director-General, has stated that the agreement “heralds... Read more

Bank of England to hold interest rates at 0.5%

The Bank of England has voted to keep interest rates at a record low until the second half of 2016. Last month, out of the nine rate-setters of the MPC, eight-to-one voted to hold interest... Read more

UK’s north and south divide widens

It is predicted that London’s economy will outpace the rest of the UK for at least the next three years, expanding the north-south divide further. This is despite the UK Chancellor George Osborne’s ‘Northern powerhouse’... Read more

Kinder Morgan cuts dividend by 74%

Just four days after warning that its pay-out was under review, Kinder Morgan, North America’s largest operator of gas and oil pipelines, has slashed its dividend by 74% (1). Kinder Morgan needs to cover payments... Read more

Japan avoids technical recession with a revised growth of 1%

Last month, figures indicated that Japan, the world’s third largest economy, shrank at an annual pace of 0.8% (1). However, recently released data suggests that the economy grew at an annual pace of 1%, cementing... Read more

Diesel scandal reduces VW car sales by 20%

November saw a 20% fall in Volkswagen car sales in the aftermath of the diesel emissions scandal. Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that 12,958 VWs were registered in November... Read more

India offers to cut coal use

India has said it will cut back on investments in coal if it is provided with sufficient funding for renewables, after a new climate deal is due to be made in Paris next week. Set... Read more

Near zero Eurozone inflation gives ECB stronger case for fresh stimulus

Inflation in the Eurozone remained at 0.1%, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said on Wednesday. Economists expected that the rate would rise to 0.2%. The European Central Bank (ECB) targets a rate of... Read more

RBS and Standard Chartered appear weakest of biggest banks in stress test

The Bank of England has said that all seven of Britain's biggest banks are strong enough to survive another major recession, although Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered were close to failing the annual... Read more

Start of climate talks in Paris

The UN’s COP21 climate change talks began today in Paris. Delegates from 195 countries are due to finalise an agreement to cut global emissions and reduce reliance on fossil fuels in an effort to combat... Read more

Chinese stocks fall following investigations into top brokerages

China has clamped down further on malpractices in its securities industry after it emerged that three of its biggest brokerages are under investigation for alleged rule violations (1). Citic Securities Co, Guosen Securities Co and... Read more

Tesco to settle US lawsuit for $12m over accounting scandal

Tesco has agreed to pay $12m (£8m) to settle a US lawsuit over the accounting scandal last year, which led to significant weakness in the company’s share price. US owners of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs),... Read more

Key points from Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement

George Osborne has delivered his first Autumn Statement as the Chancellor of a Conservative government. In previous years, his hands have been tied by the Liberal Democrats, a junior partner in the previous coalition government.... Read more

Election of Argentinian President Macri brings optimism to investors

The election of Mauricio Macri as Argentina’s next president has brought wide optimism among investors, as the centre-right mayor of Buenos Aires pledged to restore order to the stagflation-plagued economy. Dollar bonds issued by Argentina... Read more

Morocco builds world’s largest solar farm

Morocco will open the first phase of what will be the world’s largest solar farm at Ouarzazate later this month. It is part of Morocco’s pledge to source 42% of its energy from renewables by... Read more

ABN Amro listing raises more than €3 billion for Dutch government

The initial public offering (IPO) of bank ABN Amro has raised €3.3 billion ($3.5 billion) for the Dutch government, as 20% of ABN Amros’ market capitalisation was listed in Europe’s bank IPO since the financial... Read more

Federal Reserve October meeting minutes

The Federal Reserve (Fed) released minutes from the October monetary-policy meeting, which showed that most members believe it will be appropriate to raise rates in December provided “economic data continued to improve and there were... Read more

Bank of England Official states market rate expectations could be wrong

The Bank of England’s Deputy Governor has pushed back against expectations that interest rates will rise in 2017, warning that the path implied by markets could be misleading. The Bank of England’s Deputy Governor has... Read more

EasyJet posts record profits for sixth consecutive year

EasyJet has posted record profits for a sixth consecutive year as the airliner benefited from strong growth in passenger numbers and falling fuel prices. Pre-tax profits rose by 18% to £686m, which was slightly below... Read more

Japan slips into “quintuple dip” recession

Japan has slipped into recession for the fourth time since the financial crisis, as GDP fell by 0.2% in the third quarter of the year. The contraction follows a 0.7% fall in the second quarter;... Read more

US private equity firm buys Northern Rock mortgages worth £13bn

The government has sold £13bn of the mortgage assets it attained after saving Northern Rock during the financial crisis [1]. The group overseeing the sale on behalf of the government, UK Asset Resolution (UKAR), has... Read more

Rolls-Royce share price descends as demand declines

Rolls-Royce’s share price fell by more than 20% after the British engine maker issued its fourth profit warning in just over a year [1]. Rolls-Royce pointed to a sharp drop in the number of corporate... Read more

British businesses not perturbed by threat of Brexit

British business owners remain unfazed by the threat of a British exit from the European Union, according to a survey this week from the Telegraph Festival of Business [1]. According to the study, some 70%... Read more

Oil oversupply forecast until 2020

As the push for cleaner fuels and greater efficiency offsets the effects of lower prices, the oil market will remain oversupplied until the end of the decade, according to the International Energy Agency. It is... Read more

Steel industry calls for action on Chinese imports

An emergency meeting has been called by the European Economy Ministers to discuss the crisis in the steel industry, at the UK’s request. The industry is demanding tougher action against cheap Chinese imports, which the... Read more

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is made public for the first time

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal has been made public for the first time. Bringing together 12 Pacific Rim countries, the Trans-Pacific Trade partnership (TTP) is now the world’s largest trade agreement. It includes the likes... Read more

National Grid calls for companies to reduce power usage

The National Grid has, for the first time, resorted to their emergency powers to instruct companies to reduce their electricity usage in an attempt to avoid blackouts. The scale of Britain’s energy supply crunch was... Read more

Historical summit to be held in Singapore by Taiwan and China leaders

The first ever meeting of the leaders of China and Taiwan is to take place in Singapore on Saturday with the aim to ‘focus on relations across the Taiwan Straits’ (1). Since Taiwan broke away... Read more

New financiers for £1.5bn Galloper windfarm enables project to go ahead

On Friday it was announced by RWE Innogy that the construction of a £1.5bn windfarm off the Suffolk coast was to proceed in November, after three new partners have agreed to back the project. This... Read more

Britain is warned about leaving the EU

Voters are due to decide whether the UK should remain within the European Union by the end of 2017 and opinion polls are said to favour the UK leaving the bloc. Trade representative Michael Froman... Read more

Bank of England considering alternative to LIBOR

The Bank of England will clarify how markets will adopt the proposed alternative interest rate benchmark after banks were fined billions of dollars for trying to rig the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Chris Salmon,... Read more

UK GDP weaker than expected in Q3

The British economy grew by 0.5% in the third quarter of the year, weaker than originally forecast. Analysts were expecting a 0.6% increase following Q2, down from 0.7% previously. Retail sales surged in September increasing... Read more

Greece to increase privatisation

As Greece scrapes together the money for the third payment bailout, the revival of the privatisation program may help to rebuild creditors’ trust. Greece is aiming to lease 14 regional airports and a majority stake... Read more

FCA boss assures City firms on future regulation

Tracey McDermott, the acting Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority has assured City firms earlier this week that the regulations come into force since the financial crisis in 2007/2008 would not be substantially added... Read more

Banks to help customers move to rivals in new competition shake up

Banks in the UK will soon be forced to guide customers to opposing banks, in an attempt by the competition watchdog to strengthen competition. Banks in the UK will soon be forced to guide customers... Read more

Emerging markets are in and out of fashion

Over the past few years, emerging markets’ popularity has varied. The International Monetary Fund has forecast that 2015 will be the fifth successive year in which economic growth in emerging markets has slowed [1]. The... Read more

Steel workers brace for heavy job cuts

Tata Steel is due to announce later today 1,200 job cuts at its plants in Scunthorpe and Lanarkshire. The job losses at Tata are from an area of the company that failed to sell earlier... Read more

UK Government mitigates financial regulation regime

Senior managers are now subject to a ‘duty of responsibility’ rather than trying to prove they have done the correct thing. Top bank bosses will now face scrutiny under new regime which intends to make... Read more

UK banks could be forced to hold £3.3bn

The Bank of England has warned larger banks that they may need to set aside £3.3bn as extra capital as a results of proposals for riskier investments. This move intends to give banks more clarity... Read more

UK unemployment drops to 5.4pc – the lowest in 7 years

The unemployment rates have dropped to figures not seen since 2008, in the three months to August this year. The Office for National Statistics has said Britain's unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent, down from... Read more

Government sell off final Royal Mail stake

The Government has sold off 13pc of its Royal Mail shareholding and gifted the final 1pc to postal service employees. The sale has risen just over £591m, contributing to the total raise of £3.3bn and... Read more

Volkswagen to face MPs after emissions scandal

The managing director of Volkswagen Group UK, Paul Willis will appear before the transport select committee to answer questions regarding the emissions cheating scandal. Volkswagen has admitted that 11 million of its vehicles worldwide are... Read more

FTSE likely to have biggest weekly rise in years

Leading shares are on course for their biggest weekly rise in nearly four years and there is hope that central banks will continue to support a struggling global economy. There were concerns following the weakness... Read more

Bank of England to probe new bank tax

The Bank of England are set to scrutinise George Osborne’s new bank tax rates, after MP’s have urged them to consider the implications for competition in the sector. Bailey, who runs the Bank of England’s... Read more

Tesco profits fall by more than half

Tesco’s share price has fallen this morning as the retailer revealed it has struggled to show signs of improvement a year after its profit dip. Profits at Britain’s biggest retailer crashed from £779m to £354m... Read more

UK employment figures expected to improve

The latest data has predicted to show a drop in unemployment and annual earnings growth, with the economy growing strong in the second quarter in the labour market, running close to 3pc. The figures have... Read more

Co-op bank to escape FCA & Bank of England fines

Regulators are likely to let off the Co-Operative Bank from paying penalties, as a large fine could compromise the bank’s position. This comes after a long-running investigation into its near collapse two years ago. The... Read more

House prices are up but sales are slow

Lloyds bank estimates that 155,000 Britons moved house in the first half of the year, compared to 171,700 in the same period of 2014 [1], marking a fall of 9%. Despite this decline, the number... Read more

German Finance Minister in favour of bridge loan for Greece

According to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung Daily, Germany’s Finance Ministry favours a bridge loan for Greece, in order to give its creditors sufficient time to negotiate a comprehensive third bailout. “A program that should last three... Read more

Super Thursday: a big day for the Bank of England

Today the Bank of England will release its decision on interest rates, the monetary policy committee minutes and the quarterly inflation report with its view on the state of the UK economy. These will be... Read more

Greece in need of wide debt relief to avoid depression

Greece’s economy will be suffering from the austerity measures demanded from its creditors and could remain trapped in a permanent depression unless it receives a substantial debt relief, according to the National institute of Economic... Read more

Government cuts further stake in Lloyds

The UK Government has sold a further 1% stake in Lloyds Banking Group, reducing its total holdings to 13.99%. Chancellor George Osborne has said; “it’s fantastic news that we’ve sold more shares in Lloyds bank.... Read more

HSBC’s pre-tax profit up 10% whilst it agrees Brazilian unit sale

HSBC has announced that its profits climbed 10 per cent to $13.6 billion in the first 6 months of this year, up from $12.3 billion a year ago. The results have come a little over... Read more

Shell to axe 6,500 jobs as oil price slump continues

The oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has announced plans to cut 6,500 jobs as part of cost cutting plans to counter falling oil prices. Capital expenditure will be reduced by $3 billion, a further reduction... Read more

Bank of England Deputy Governor tells City tougher banking rules must stay

The Guardian has reported that a senior policymaker at the Bank of England; Sir John Cunliffe, has said that regulations imposed on the banking sector since the 2008 financial crisis must not be relaxed in... Read more

UK economy grows 0.7% in second quarter

UK economic growth has accelerated to 0.7% in the second quarter of the year, helped by a big jump in oil and gas production, official figures have shown. This compares with growth of 0.4% in... Read more

Stocks in China suffer sharpest fall since 2007

The Chinese stock market has suffered its worse one-day fall in eight years after a day of panic selling, which has raised concerns about the health of the world’s second largest economy. The stock plunged... Read more

UK retail sales fall in June

UK retail sales have unexpectedly fallen in June according to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which showed the annual rate of sales growth slow down to 4% last month from 4.7% in... Read more

TSB reports drop in first half year profits

TSB Banking Group, which is in the process of being sold to Spanish bank Banco Sabadell, has reported that its first-half year profits have slumped by 44%, allegedly caused by a lower average of loan... Read more

Is it time for Germany to leave the Eurozone?

Pressure has been put on Germany to help end the Eurozone’s dysfunction. If they do not choose to comply, the only option for them may be to exit. Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble has received... Read more

Gold prices hit a 5 year low

Gold has fallen to its lowest price for more than five years, falling by more than 4% in a matter minutes as the prospect of higher interest rates in the United States sent commodity prices... Read more

Greek debt crisis: banks reopening

The Greek banks have finally reopened today after being closed for three weeks, although capital controls still remain in place and payments abroad will not be possible. The stock market will also remain closed until... Read more

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warns interest rates will rise in the New Year

Interest rates could finally start to rise by the end of this year, providing long awaited relief for savers. Carney told businesses and consumers that Threadneedle Street would have to respond to the economy’s stronger... Read more

George Osborne strikes deal with Juncker over Greek loans

The Telegraph has reported that British Taxpayers will not be left exposed for another Greek bailout, George Osborne hopes, under a compromise struck with Jean-Claude Junker. George Osborne has stated that he would block any... Read more

UK wage growth at 5 year high

UK wage growth rose at its fastest pace in five years in the quarter to May, though an unexpected increase in the unemployment rate pushed down the pound on Wednesday [1]. According to the Guardian,... Read more

UK retail sales growth strongest in 18 months

British retail sales saw some of their strongest annual growth in 18 months last June, with the summer heatwave driving the boost with outdoor toys and warm weather clothing flying off the shelves. According to... Read more

Mark Carney to appear before MPs after raising concerns about the economic outlook for the UK

The Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, will face questions from the newly formed Treasury Select Committee on Tuesday, to discuss matters concerning the outlook for interest rates and the precarious situation in Greece. This... Read more

General Electric terminates $3.3bn deal with Electrolux after Department of Justice case

General Electric (GE) has pulled out of a deal to sell its appliance business to Electrolux AB for $3.3bn, causing the Swedish manufacturer’s shares to plummet. It comes after the US Department of Justice opposed... Read more

Greek debt crisis: what Greece is prepared to do to stay in the Euro

Greece’s Government has submitted its reform proposals to European creditors in a final bid to secure a third bailout and avoid Grexit (the possibility of Greece leaving the Eurozone). Eurozone finance ministers will examine the... Read more

China bans major shareholders from selling their stakes

China’s securities regulator has banned shareholders with stakes of more than 5% from selling shares for the next six months. This has been put in place to cease a plunge in stock prices. The China... Read more

UK property prices the highest since records began following surge

The UK property market has surpassed the £200,000 barrier for the first time in June, since records began in 1983. This was following an unexpected surge of 1.7% in monthly house prices, according to Halifax.... Read more

Osborne announcing Summer Budget 2015

The upcoming Summer Budget 2015 is due to be announced by the Chancellor, George Osborne on Wednesday. It is expected that the focus will be on housing benefit, tax credits and incentives for employers to... Read more

Greece votes no

Greek voters have decisively rejected the terms of an international bailout. The final result of the referendum was published by the interior ministry with 61.3% voting ‘no’ and 38.7% voting ‘yes’, with a turnout of... Read more

One in four people over the age of 65 are owed money by their children

According to an article published by the Telegraph, nearly one in four pensioners are owed thousands of pounds by their grown-up children and many still live at home. A study found that 23% of retirees... Read more

Mark Carney says the Bank of England is ready to take whatever action necessary to protect Britain

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has warned that the crisis in Greece has moved very quickly, and could pose significant risks to the UK economy after bailout talks broke down. However despite this, Carney... Read more

Greece defaults on IMF after 11th hour attempt to agree new rescue deal

Greece has become the first developed country in history to default on the International Monetary Fund. The nation failed to make a €1.5 payment to the IMF on time and has consequently thrust the Eurozone... Read more

Greece in last minute talks

A Greek Government official confirmed on Monday that Athens would not make the €1.6bn loan instalment and explained that late-payers do not get a grace period [1]. No developed nation has ever officially defaulted on... Read more

Greek banks to remain

Greek banks will not open until 7 July in an attempt to avoid a financial panic after the referendum, with ATM withdrawals limited to €60. The Greek Government decided on Sunday night that it had... Read more

Interest rates predicted to rise in 2016

Andrew Oxlade has reported in the Telegraph that the market predicts the first rise in the UK Bank Rate around May or June 2016 with the conensus of economist views pointing to March. According to... Read more

London’s listings market gets revival

According to the Telegraph, the conservative general election victory has reinvigorated London’s listings market sufficiently to beat expectations for the previous quarter. The amount raised from new share listings on London's main stock market this... Read more

Record number of new UK business set up this year

There were 581,000 new companies created last year and 2015 is expected to be another record-breaking year, with more than 600,000 expected to launch. According to Think Tank, new technology has made it easier and... Read more

Greek debt crisis: A crucial 48 hours

Senior Eurozone leaders are insisting they are closer to breaking five months of stalemate over the Greek bailout. They are due to meet today back-to-back to devise a plan to keep Greece in the Eurozone... Read more

Cash payments begin to die out

The Payments Council announced recently that for the first time, UK consumers are making more non-cash payments than cash ones. The figures published in May show that the total number of cash payments made by... Read more

RBS to repay customers after computer glitch

The Royal Bank of Scotland said that 600,000 payments had not been processed due to a computer systems failure. This fault had affected customers at RBS, NatWest, Ulster Bank and Coutts businesses which left thousands... Read more

UK wage growth hits four year high

A surge in earnings growth might be even stronger than official data have shown, with British workers enjoying the largest pay rises since the middle of 2008. Average weekly earnings for the period February to... Read more

UK businesses under risk as Greece stands out on the edge of a possible exit from the Euro

As Greece stands on the edge of default and a possible exit from the Euro, British businesses are now beginning to weigh the potential impact of this. Although Britain’s exports to the country are small... Read more

Greece on the Grexit

The Telegraph has reported that Greece is on the brink of economic meltdown, after Germany poised to push the country out of the Eurozone. With the embattled country set to default on a €1.5 billion... Read more

UK wages rising at fastest rate since October 2007

According to the Office of National Statistics, wage growth in the UK is picking up. Employment figures for April due later this week are expected to show the biggest rise in real wage growth for... Read more

Murdoch prepares to set down as CEO of Fox

Rupert Murdoch’s long-held plan to step down as chief executive of 21st Century Fox is now being realised, allowing his son James to step up to the job at the $70 billion media empire. The... Read more

George Osborne to sell off RBS

The Financial Times has reported that George Osborne is to start selling the state’s £32 billion stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland at a loss, telling a City audience that delay would be bad... Read more

UK trade deficit narrows to £1.2 billion

A “dramatic” narrowing in the trade deficit is set to boost the UK economy. A jump in exports helped Britain’s trade gap narrow to its smallest for a year, raising hopes that overall economic growth... Read more

UK retails sales cool off due to poor may weather

UK retail sales growth slowed down last month as the lack of sunny weather dented demand for new clothes and shoes, whilst falling prices continued to knock takings at the grocers, leaving overall retail sales... Read more

CBI cuts UK growth forecasts

The CBI has cut its growth forecasts for the UK and warned of further risks to the economy but said the government should not delay its push to fix the public finances. The CBI predicted... Read more

Greece defaults on IMF payment

Today, Greece has taken the drastic step of missing a €300 million payment to the International Monetary Fund and raised fears about the future of Europe’s single currency. The Athens Government will have until 30... Read more

Macron and Sigmar call for EU reform

The French and German economy ministers, in a joint statement to be published in newspapers today, have called for a strengthened Eurozone with a common budgetary mechanism to avoid the kind of debt problems Greece... Read more

UK construction sector bounces back after the election

New data has shown that UK construction rebounded in May after a two year low in April, after uncertainty over the general election led developers to be more cautious with their spending decisions. According to... Read more

Mortgage approvals hit six-year high

The number of mortgage applications given the green light increased by 6,131 from March to April, the biggest jump in six years and an early sign that the UK housing market is bouncing back after... Read more

HSBC boss to announce thousands of job cuts

HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s largest bank, will announce a plan next week to cut thousands of jobs, Sky News reported, citing unidentified people close to the matter. It was the Chief Executive, Stuart Gulliver, who... Read more

The emergency budget- what is it?

George Osborne will reveal his next budget in less than 4 months on 8 July. He is expected to reveal how the government plans to cut £12 billion from Britain’s welfare bill when he announces... Read more

Moodys: Osborne wont balance until 2019

George Osborne will struggle to balance the books by 2019, according to Moody's. As summarised by The Week, the chancellor's commitment to post a budget surplus is unlikely to be met be the end of... Read more

UK consumers at their most upbeat for nine years

According to Reuters, British consumer confidence surged this month to its highest level in a year as more households expected their finances to improve in the coming 12 months, a survey showed on Thursday. The... Read more

Ex RAF head warns Cameron to guarantee minimum level of defence spending

The former head of the RAF has said that David Cameron must guarantee a minimum level of defence spending. Before the election neither the Conservatives nor Labour committed to meeting the 2 per cent target... Read more

Inflation falls to zero in February – what does this mean for the British economy?

Inflation fell to zero for the first time on record in February, as falling oil prices, a supermarket price war and cheaper books, toys and games pushed Britain closer to deflation. According to The Financial... Read more

Greece warns it is set to default on debt repayment loans

The interior minister has said that Greece cannot make a repayment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) due on 5 June as it does not have the money. Greece has threatened to default a total... Read more

UK budget deficit narrows in April

A sharp fall in Whitehall spending and lower interest bills on government debt helped narrow Britain’s public sector budget deficit in April. The Office for National Statistics said public sector net borrowing, excluding state-controlled banks,... Read more

Pound soars as British holidaymakers take advantage of deflation

The Telegraph has reported that the pound has jumped on signs that the UK economy could be bouncing back from a disappointing first quarter as holidaymakers hit the high street in anticipation of the holiday... Read more

UK inflation turns negative

The main measure of UK inflation turned negative in April for the first time on record, with the rate falling to -0.1%. It is the first time Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation has turned negative... Read more

Osborne warned by Tory councils that a fresh round of cuts could devastate local services

Tory-run councils have united with Labour and Lib Dem-run local authorities to warn another round of budget cuts are ‘not an option.’[1] Council bosses have warned Osborne that any more cutbacks could seriously damage local... Read more

Pound surges to strongest level this year as industry surges

According to the Telegraph, the pound has posted its biggest jump against the dollar since 2009, as industry surprised economists in March, growing more swiftly than had been expected.[1] Official figures showed industrial output beat... Read more

When will UK interest rates rise?

The Bank of England is anticipated to announce today in its first post-election policy decision that interest rates are to stay on hold at 0.5%. The inflation report will be accompanied by the publication of... Read more

UK-wide property prices set to outstrip London

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has said that house prices outside London are likely to outperform those in the capital in 2015 for the first time in six years. UK house prices... Read more

UK factories expand at fastest rate in 8 months

The British manufacturing sector grew at the fastest rate in 8 months in March, and have expanded for 24 consecutive months. According to the Telegraph, the expansion was driven by a rise in new business... Read more

Firms failing to pay national minimum wage are named and shamed

The Government has named and shamed nearly 50 employers for illegally paying some staff less than the minimum wage - including childcare nurseries, restaurants and a 99p store. The employers, which owe a total of... Read more

The confederation of business industry sets out 100 day plan of action for the next government

Business leaders have set out their priorities for the next government. Business leaders have set out their priorities for the next government, warning that whatever form the government takes after the May election, the new... Read more

Osborne set to meet deficit target

Britain's public finances improved in February leaving government borrowing down a third from a year earlier. The Government raised £4.2 billion in self-assessed income tax for the last month, helping borrowing fall by £3.5 billion... Read more

Budget 2015: Osborne announces crackdown on tax evasion and avoidance

Government measures to penalise tax evasion and avoidance – including a fresh tax targeted at the likes of Google and Amazon- have been unveiled as part of plans that could bring in an extra £3.1... Read more

UK trade deficit narrows

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the UK trade deficit narrowed to £616 million in January from £2.14 billion in December, marking the deficit as at its smallest level for more than 14... Read more

UK growth strengthens despite dip in business investment

According to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), UK growth will strengthen this year. Strong consumer spending and the performance of the dominant service sector have made British businesses increasingly confident about their prospects over... Read more

Budget 2015 Predictions

George Osborne is preparing to deliver his final Budget speech before the general election George Osborne is preparing to deliver his final Budget speech before the general election, and political watchers are already scrutinising media... Read more