Economics Correspondent
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Aug 9, 2013

Narrowing trade gap fuels British recovery hopes

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s trade deficit narrowed sharply in June while second quarter construction output grew faster than an official estimate, adding to signs the country’s economic recovery is moving onto a more sustainable footing.

The trade gap almost halved to 1.5 billion pounds, helped by a surge in exports to countries outside the European Union. The deficit in goods alone shrank to 8.1 billion pounds from 8.7 billion, its best reading in almost a year.

Aug 6, 2013

From manufacturing to car sales, Britain bounces back

LONDON (Reuters) – British manufacturing grew much more strongly than expected in June, suggesting the country’s recovery is broadening just as the Bank of England prepares to set out its plan for steering the economy back to health.

Car sales also rose, house prices continued to climb and British retailers had their best month since 2006.

Aug 4, 2013

Government subsidies fire up London property hotspots

LONDON, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Tony Richmount is thankful he
procrastinated.

A year ago, the retired engineer from Wimbledon wanted to
sell his house and move to a retirement flat but got cold feet.
That proved to be a stroke of luck. His three-bedroom house,
valued at 600,000 pounds last summer, has just sold for 725,000
pound ($1.1 million).

Property appreciation of 20 percent in a year is far from
unique in parts of London like the leafy south-west
neighbourhood known best for its tennis tournament.

Jul 24, 2013

Pounds and Prejudice: Bank of England puts Jane Austen on banknote

LONDON (Reuters) – British 19th century novelist Jane Austen will become the face of the new 10 pound note, the Bank of England said on Wednesday, defusing criticism that women are under-represented on the country’s currency.

The writer of classics such as “Pride and Prejudice”, “Sense and Sensibility” and “Emma” will replace naturalist Charles Darwin in 2016.

Jul 24, 2013

Government offers extra help for home-buyers as transactions pick up

LONDON (Reuters) – Chancellor George Osborne gave details on Tuesday of a scheme to help riskier borrowers buy their first home, courting controversy at a time when Britain’s housing market is already gathering pace.

The Help-to-Buy scheme, unveiled by the government in March, will enable Britons to buy a house with as little as a 5 percent deposit – a lending practice common before the financial crisis but one that most banks have avoided since.

Jul 23, 2013

UK offers extra help for home-buyers as transactions pick up

LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) – British finance minister George
Osborne gave details on Tuesday of a scheme to help riskier
borrowers buy their first home, courting controversy at a time
when Britain’s housing market is already gathering pace.

The Help-to-Buy scheme, unveiled by the government in March,
will enable Britons to buy a house with as little as a 5 percent
deposit – a lending practice common before the financial crisis
but one that most banks have avoided since.

Jul 19, 2013

Public finances show UK on track for borrowing goal

LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) – Britain’s government remains on
track to meet its politically sensitive budget goals for the
current tax year, data showed on Friday, although a weak economy
is still keeping borrowing at historically high levels.

Deficit reduction is the central economic policy of
Britain’s Conservative-led coalition. When it came to power in
May 2010, Britain’s budget deficit was 11 percent of annual
economic output, one of the highest for a major economy.

Jul 16, 2013

UK inflation rises less than forecast, may have peaked

LONDON (Reuters) – British inflation hit its highest level in more than a year in June but the rise was less than expected, giving the Bank of England a touch more leeway to support the country’s fragile economic recovery.

Tuesday’s reading of 2.9 percent spares new BoE Governor Mark Carney from having to formally explain why inflation is above target, and potentially strengthens his hand to reassure consumers, businesses and financial markets that interest rates are unlikely to rise any time soon.

Jul 16, 2013

UK inflation rises less than forecast in June, may have peaked

LONDON (Reuters) – British inflation hit its highest level in more than a year in June but the rise was less than expected, giving the Bank of England a touch more leeway to support the country’s fragile economic recovery.

Tuesday’s reading of 2.9 percent spares new BoE Governor Mark Carney from having to formally explain why inflation is above target, and potentially strengthens his hand to reassure consumers, businesses and financial markets that interest rates are unlikely to rise any time soon.

Jul 11, 2013

UK’s Osborne dismisses fears of house price bubble

LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) – British finance minister George
Osborne played down concerns that house prices might rise too
quickly because of government measures to help mortgage lending.

Recent surveys suggest government support is stoking
Britain’s housing market, which in recent decades has been
characterised by dramatic price surges followed by strong
corrections.

    • 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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