UK Economics Correspondent, London
Andy's Feed
Apr 10, 2015

UK economy heading for first-quarter slowdown as election approaches

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economic growth probably slowed in early 2015, official data showed on Friday, potentially making it harder for Prime Minister David Cameron to persuade voters to trust his party to run the economy.

Industrial output barely grew in February, hit by a big fall in oil and gas production, and construction output shrank, according to official data that was weaker than forecast.

Apr 9, 2015

UK trade deficit worsens in February

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s trade deficit widened more than expected in February, official figures showed on Thursday, suggesting the strong pace of economic recovery could cool slightly ahead of next month’s election.

The trade in goods deficit widened to a seven-month high in February and the value of monthly exports hit a more than four-year low. Furthermore, trade data for January was revised to show a weaker start to the year than previously thought.

Apr 9, 2015

UK trade deficit worsens in Feb as exports sag to 4-year low

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s trade deficit widened more than expected in February, official figures showed on Thursday, suggesting the strong pace of economic recovery could cool slightly ahead of next month’s national election.

The trade in goods deficit widened to a seven-month high in February and the value of monthly exports hit a more than four-year low. Furthermore, trade data for January was revised to show a weaker start to the year than previously thought.

Apr 7, 2015

Bank of England to keep close eye on UK current account deficit

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s large current account deficit could damage market sentiment towards the country if the economic environment deteriorates, the Bank of England said on Tuesday.

Minutes from the BoE’s Financial Policy Committee meeting on March 24 showed members were worried about Britain’s current account deficit, noting it was high by historical standards.

Mar 31, 2015

UK growth revised higher at end of 2014, boosted by exports

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy expanded at a faster pace than previously thought at the end of last year, helped by strong growth in exports, a boost for Prime Minister David Cameron before a national election on May 7.

Finance minister George Osborne also seized on data on Tuesday that showed household incomes rising at the fastest annual pace in more than four years.

Mar 26, 2015

UK retail sales improve in Feb, boding well for economy

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) – British retail sales rose at
the fastest pace in three months in February, beating
expectations and suggesting Britain’s consumer-led economic
recovery remains strong ahead of national elections in May.

Retail sales rose 0.7 percent last month, their best growth
since November and up from 0.1 percent in January, the Office
for National Statistics said on Thursday. Economists polled by
Reuters had expected growth of 0.4 percent.

Mar 24, 2015

Scotland’s Salmond targets Westminster seat for next nationalist push

INSCH, Scotland (Reuters) – Scotland may have said ‘No’ to independence last year, but Alex Salmond, who has campaigned for 30 years to break away from the United Kingdom, believes a tie-breaker British election next month could offer a chance to put the question again.

Since Scots voted 55-45 percent to preserve the United Kingdom in last September’s referendum, the country has seen a surge in nationalism. At the same time Britain’s two biggest political parties Labour and the Conservatives are neck and neck, watching a wider disaffection splinter their support.

Mar 24, 2015

Britain sees no inflation in Feb for first time on record

LONDON (Reuters) – British inflation vanished last month, hitting zero for the first time on record, official figures showed on Tuesday.

The annual rate of consumer price inflation dropped to zero percent, from 0.3 percent in January, the Office for National Statistics said, keeping a rate rise by the Bank of England firmly off the table for now.

Mar 20, 2015

UK public finances improve in February, leaving Osborne on course for target

LONDON (Reuters) – Chancellor George Osborne could beat his government borrowing target for this year after public finances improved sharply last month, bolstering his pitch to voters ahead of a national election in May.

The Office for National Statistics said public sector net borrowing, which excludes state-controlled banks, totalled 6.9 billion pounds in February, down 34 percent from a year earlier.

Mar 20, 2015

UK public finances improve, leaving Osborne on course for target

LONDON (Reuters) – Chancellor George Osborne could beat his government borrowing target for this year after public finances improved sharply last month, bolstering his pitch to voters ahead of a national election in May.

The Office for National Statistics said public sector net borrowing, which excludes state-controlled banks, totalled 6.9 billion pounds in February, down 34 percent from a year earlier.