LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s public finances improved in November helped by fines paid by banks for a foreign exchange scandal, giving some respite to finance minister George Osborne as he tries to show voters he can keep on bringing down the deficit.
Separately, retailers reported booming sales, underscoring how consumers are propelling Britain’s strong economic recovery.
LONDON (Reuters) – British retail sales surged at their fastest annual rate in more than a decade last month, as U.S.-style “Black Friday” discounts drove record sales growth at electrical and department stores.
Strong economic growth and a recent drop in the price of essentials such as food and fuel appears to be finally starting to translate into higher spending on big-ticket items by many households, after years of falls in disposable income.
LONDON (Reuters) – British workers’ earnings grew more than inflation again in October, giving a bit more help to Prime Minister David Cameron to tackle criticism of a cost-of-living crisis ahead of national elections in May.
Official data released on Wednesday also showed the unemployment rate did not fall as expected but remained unchanged at 6.0 percent in the three months to October, matching its lowest level in six years.
LONDON (Reuters) – British inflation fell unexpectedly to its lowest level in more than 12 years in November, further easing a squeeze on consumers and leaving the Bank of England under no pressure to raise interest rates soon.
Reflecting a slide in global oil prices that has pushed down inflation around the world, and raised concerns about deflation in some countries, the consumer price index rose by an annual 1.0 percent in November, compared with 1.3 percent in October, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday.
LONDON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – The Bank of England said on
Thursday that it wanted to cut the number of monetary policy
meetings it holds to eight a year from 12, and that from August
2015 it would publish minutes of its discussions immediately
after policy decisions.
British finance minister George Osborne said he backed the
changes, which are the biggest adjustment to the organisational
framework for BoE monetary policy decisions since the central
bank gained independent power over policy in 1998.