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News Tag: spending cuts

October 24, 2011

Markit: Household finances continue to be squeezed

by Kay Mitchell
The Markit Household Finance Index (HFI) has today published a gloomy report as families’ finances were slightly worse in October than in September. Meanwhile, Markit’s HFI, which measures prospects for finances over the coming year, dived to 34.5 this month, from September’s reading of 42.2. The reading represented the lowest in the survey’s history and remains way below the 50 level which ...

October 12, 2011

UK unemployment soars to 17-year high

by Kay Mitchell
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed UK unemployment rose sharply in the three months to August – rising to a 17-year high. The ONS said unemployment rose by 114,000 in the three month period to 2.57 million, taking the unemployment rate to 8.1% - higher than forecasts. In comparison, unemployment in the US stands at 9.1%, Japan’s unemployment rate is ...

September 12, 2011

IFS warns of tough times for UK households

by Kay Mitchell
A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned that households will be squeezed for the next decade as they suffer from the harsh spending cuts introduced by the Government. It said households are suffering one of the worst attacks on their finances since the Second World War and that the impact of ‘the Great Recession’ is only ...

September 7, 2011

Leading economists urge Coalition to drop 50p tax rate

by Kay Mitchell
A group of twenty leading economists have called on the Coalition Government to scrap the top 50p tax rate as it is damaging the UK economy. The request comes at a time when many experts believe the economy could be heading towards a double-dip recession and the rate should be dropped in order to boost growth. The group of high ...

August 30, 2011

UK Q2 economic growth figures unchanged, US revised down

by Kay Mitchell
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed the UK economy grew by 0.2% in the April to June period – unchanged from a previous estimate published last month. A third and final estimate will be available next month. However, growth for the second quarter slowed from the 0.5% growth posted in the first quarter. On an annual basis, meanwhile, there ...

August 12, 2011

Survey reveals squeeze on households

by Kay Mitchell
The British Retail Consortium's (BRC) latest consumer confidence survey has revealed how consumer shopping habits have changed due to the Government spending cuts and the rise in the cost of living. According to the survey released by the BRC and Nielsen, almost one third of those questioned feel that they have no cash left over once essential bills have been paid. 71% have changed ...

August 11, 2011

Chancellor warns of tough and long recovery ahead

by Kay Mitchell
Speaking in the House of Commons today, Chancellor George Osborne has warned that the UK can expect a long and tough recovery. His speech came as he defended the Government’s tough spending cuts, which many have been critical about – even suggesting they could push the UK back into recession. However, the Chancellor believes that the "swift, decisive" spending cuts and ...

July 13, 2011

IMF: Italy must introduce spending cuts

by Kay Mitchell
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is urging Italy to introduce austerity measures to lower the country’s debt. Its warning comes as there are fears that the euro zone’s third largest economy could be dragged into the euro zone’s debt crisis as it has the second highest sovereign debt ratio in the region. As a result, the Government is now pressing ahead with a ...

July 6, 2011

Report suggests pension age will have to rise to 70

by Kay Mitchell
A report by accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has waned that the pension age may have to rise to 70 by 2046 in order to deal with Britain’s debts. Current plans introduced by the coalition Government will see the state pension age lifted to 66 for both men and women by 2020. The pension age will then be lifted to 67 ...

June 29, 2011

Greek parliament approves fresh austerity measures

by Kay Mitchell
Greece’s parliament has today approved the fresh round of austerity measures – designed to save the country from defaulting on its debts. The measures were one of the conditions of the next instalment of its bailout loan. MPs passed the measures by 155 votes to 138. The latest austerity measures will according to Prime Minister George Papandreou, get Greece “back on its feet”. He ...

June 6, 2011

IMF provides assessment for UK economy

by Kay Mitchell
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has today published its annual assessment for the UK economy and is estimating growth of 1.5% this year, down from 1.7% in April. The estimate is roughly in line with other forecasts for the UK economy with the British Chambers of Commerce expecting growth of 1.3%, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development estimating 1.4% but a ...

Concerns for UK economy as many call for “Plan B”

by Kay Mitchell
Some of Britain’s top economists are calling for Chancellor George Osborne to come up with a plan B for the UK economy. It has been suggested that the Chancellor’s massive spending cuts are too harsh for the fragile economy and a plan B on economic policy is required. The comments come shortly after the OECD’s chief economist, Pier Carlo ...

Vince Cable talks of tougher laws for strike action

by Kay Mitchell
Business Secretary Vince Cable is to address delegates at the annual conference of the GMB union today and is expected to warn them that co-ordinated strike action may lead to tighter union laws. The warning comes after union leaders said strike action could take place at the end of this month as 750,000 teachers, civil servants and other public ...

April 6, 2011

M&S reports better than expected sales

by Kay Mitchell
British retailing giant Marks and Spencer (M&S) has today reported like-for-like sales, which strip out new store openings, grew 0.1% in the 13 week period to 2 April. The figures were marginally better than expected and sent shares up 13.3p today to 353.5p. The 127-year-old retailer which sells clothes, food and homewares said general merchandise fell 3.9% but this was offset by a ...

Halifax reports 0.1% rise in March house prices

by Kay Mitchell
Halifax reports 0.1% rise in March house prices
The Halifax has today revealed UK house prices crept up by 0.1% last month compared with February, when prices dropped 0.9%. The latest house price rise takes the average cost of a UK home to £162,912, the Halifax said. Meanwhile, in the three months to March, prices dropped 2.9% compared with the same period a year earlier. However, despite the monthly ...

March 29, 2011

UK Q4 economic growth figures revised upwards

by Kay Mitchell
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed the UK economy contracted by 0.5% in the October to December period – slightly better than the second estimate of 0.6% but unchanged from the first estimate. Economists had expected the figures to remain unchanged. Today’s estimate is the third and final reading and the GDP figure for the January to March ...

March 24, 2011

Next warns of challenging times ahead

by Kay Mitchell
Next, which is Britain’s second largest fashion retailer, has today said consumers are tightening their purse strings in the face of soaring inflation and Government spending cuts. The retailing giant announced record profits but has warned of challenging times ahead for the High Street. It shares jumped 5% earlier today after posting record profits of £551 million for the 2010 year - 9% ...

March 23, 2011

Sainsbury’s hit by tough trading environment

by Kay Mitchell

March 16, 2011

OECD cuts UK growth estimates

by Kay Mitchell
Influential think tank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), has cut its forecast for UK economic growth. The Organisation estimated growth this year of 1.5%, down from its November prediction of 1.7%. The reduction was attributed to Government spending cuts, which will hamper growth. However, the OECD described the cuts as "ambitious and necessary". In comparison, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility's forecast ...

March 7, 2011

CBI calls for economic growth focus

by Kay Mitchell
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is urging Chancellor George Osborne to provide a "relentless focus" on economic growth and job creation when he presents his annual budget later this month. In a letter to the Chancellor, the business lobby group said action must be taken in order to boost the economic recovery. Over recent months, many business groups and economists have ...