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May 17, 2011

UK inflation jumps in April, deepens BoE dilemma

LONDON, May 17 (Reuters) – British annual inflation hit a
2-1/2 year high last month and core prices rose at a record
pace, deepening the policy dilemma for the Bank of England as it
keeps interest rates low to support a sluggish economy.

Consumer prices rose a bigger-than-expected 4.5 percent
year-on-year, the fastest pace on increase since October 2008,
propelled by soaring travel costs around Easter and higher duty
on alcohol and tobacco.

May 16, 2011

Rising inflation to highlight Bank’s policy dilemma

LONDON (Reuters) – Inflation in Britain probably resumed its climb in April, forcing a public explanation from the Bank of England and highlighting the tough job Bank recruit Ben Broadbent faces when he joins next month.

Consumer price figures due at 9:30 a.m. are forecast to show annual inflation crept up to 4.2 percent after a surprise drop to 4.0 percent in March.

May 13, 2011

Construction data may be understating UK recovery

LONDON, May 13 (Reuters) – Friday’s upward revision to
first-quarter construction data narrows the gap with industry
surveys but won’t eliminate suspicions that the official data is
still understating the strength of Britain’s recovery.

The Office for National Statistics said on Friday that UK
construction activity shrank 4 percent in the first three months
of the year, less than an initially estimated 4.7 percent fall
but still acting as a powerful drag on the economy which has
stagnated at best since September. [ID:nAHLCGE7H0]

May 12, 2011

Home repossessions nudge higher in Q1 – CML

LONDON (Reuters) – The number of homes repossessed by lenders across the country rose in the first three months of the year, ending five consecutive quarterly declines, industry figures showed on Thursday.

The figures chimed with government data showing a rise in the number of court possession orders in suggesting that public sector cutbacks and squeezed household budget were taking an increasing toll.

May 8, 2011

Salmond ups ante on Scottish fundraising powers

LONDON (Reuters) – Emboldened by a landslide election win, Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond called on Sunday for the Scottish parliament to have immediate borrowing powers to help sustain the region’s recovery.

Salmond’s pro-nationalist party won an overall majority in the devolved parliament for the first time, and wants greater fiscal autonomy for the region before calling a referendum on Scottish independence.

May 8, 2011

Lib Dems to speak out in government after drubbing

LONDON (Reuters) – Nick Clegg pledged on Sunday to take a tougher line on issues like health service reform and tax breaks for the poor after a drubbing in local elections.

The Lib Dems suffered their worst result in local elections for two decades and saw their hopes of voting reform dashed in polls last week, prompting some supporters to question the merit of the year-old coalition with the larger Conservative Party.

May 8, 2011

UK’s Lib Dems to speak out in govt after drubbing

LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) – Britain’s Liberal Democrats, the
junior partner in the coalition government, pledged on Sunday to
take a tougher line on issues like health service reform and tax
breaks for the poor after a drubbing in local elections.

The Lib Dems suffered their worst result in local elections
for two decades and saw their hopes of voting reform dashed in
polls last week, prompting some supporters to question the merit
of the year-old coalition with the larger Conservative Party.

May 7, 2011

Senior Lib Dem attacks Conservatives after defeat

LONDON (Reuters) – A senior member of the junior coalition partner on Saturday called the dominant Conservatives “ruthless, calculating and thoroughly tribal” after crushing defeats in a referendum and local elections.

Conservative and Liberal Democrat leaders promised to work together after the divisive referendum on electoral reform which pitted the coalition partners against each other and heightened strains within the deficit-cutting government.

May 4, 2011

RBS, Lloyds sale must not be for short-term gain – MP

LONDON (Reuters) – Selling Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and Lloyds (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research) stakes with the principal aim of making a short-term financial gain would be wrong, the head of an influential parliamentary committee told Reuters.

RBS and Lloyds, which were bailed out and part-nationalised during the credit crisis, issue first-quarter trading updates later this week, with many investors still focussing on when the UK may sell its stakes in the banks.

Apr 28, 2011

Royal wedding no tonic for fragile UK recovery

LONDON (Reuters) – Tourist trade may rocket and sales of memorabilia soar but Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton is unlikely to provide the boost to Britain’s economy that the government hopes.

The Confederation of British Industry reckons an extra public holiday typically costs the economy around 6 billion pounds ($10 billion) in lost output.

    • About Christina

      "Christina Fincher is an economics correspondent based in London. She joined Reuters 12 years ago and has spent much of that time covering financial markets -- foreign exchange, fixed income and credit. Prior to that she worked as a translator for FT Information, where she worked with both French and Italian."
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