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May 15, 2013

Bank of England’s King offers parting optimism on UK economy

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) – Bank of England Governor Mervyn
King offered some rare good news for Britain’s economy on
Wednesday when he presented his final set of economic forecasts
before stepping down after more than 20 years at the bank.

For the first time in years, the central bank predicted that
growth would be faster and inflation lower than it expected
three months earlier, though King still warned the recovery
could not be taken for granted.

May 15, 2013

Bank of England offers ray of hope for UK economy

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s central bank lifted a bit of the gloom hanging over the economy on Wednesday, delivering a slightly improved outlook for inflation and growth for the first time since the financial crisis.

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King, presiding over his last Quarterly Inflation Report before he hands the reins to Mark Carney, said the better figures did not mean the recovery was secure.

May 8, 2013

Former UK central bankers say mortgage scheme fuels debt risk

LONDON (Reuters) – Two former Bank of England policymakers criticized on Wednesday a flagship government scheme to boost mortgages, saying it would encourage more risky lending in an economy already overburdened with debt.

Former deputy governor Rachel Lomax described the Help-to-Buy initiative as a “short-term political fix” and a “hair of the dog” approach – a reference to treating a hangover with more alcohol.

May 3, 2013

UK recovery optimism grows, helped by services sector

LONDON, May 3 (Reuters) – Britain’s economy may be finally
gaining some ground, with stronger-than-expected growth in the
dominant services sector capping a week of relatively upbeat
economic news.

The services sector – which accounts for around
three-quarters of Britain’s economy – grew at its fastest pace
in April since last summer’s Olympics, boosted by the strongest
increase in new orders in almost a year.

Apr 30, 2013

UK’s Osborne urges BoE bank regulators to focus on recovery

LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) – A new Bank of England body to
regulate Britain’s financial system should ensure it does not
impede an economic recovery while it works for longer-term
stability, finance minister George Osborne said on Tuesday.

The Financial Policy Committee has operated on an interim
basis since June 2011, and some bankers have criticised its push
for lenders to hold more capital, which they say reduces their
ability to provide credit to British firms and households.

Apr 23, 2013

UK to extend flagship credit scheme to boost lending

LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) – Britain will announce a
shake-up of its Funding for Lending Scheme on Wednesday in the
hope of getting more credit flowing to small and medium-sized

The Bank of England said it would make an announcement at
0500 GMT. It gave no further details but sources familiar with
the scheme said it would be extended both in scope and duration.

Apr 23, 2013

UK budget deficit barely falls in 2012/13, more pain ahead

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s budget deficit barely fell in the last 12 months despite a government austerity drive, official data showed on Tuesday, pointing to further pain to come.

The fact borrowing fell at all will be some comfort for finance minister George Osborne, after a week when the International Monetary Fund cast doubt on his policies and ratings agency Fitch stripped Britain of its triple-A status.

Apr 23, 2013

Slight fall in UK borrowing gives relief to Osborne

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s budget deficit fell slightly last year, official data showed on Tuesday, saving the country’s embattled finance minister some embarrassment as criticism of his austerity program mounts.

The Office for National Statistics said public borrowing, excluding some effects of bank bailouts and a one-off Royal Mail pension transfer, was 114.2 billion pounds in the 2012-13 tax year, equivalent to 7.37 percent of national output.

Apr 19, 2013

Fitch strips UK of triple-A rating, austerity debate deepens

LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) – Britain’s credit standing took
a further blow on Friday when Fitch Ratings became the second
major international agency to strip the country of its top-notch
credit rating.

The move is an embarrassment for Britain’s Conservative-led
government which promised to protect the country’s rating when
it took power in 2010, and will heighten the debate about
whether austerity is still the right approach.

Apr 2, 2013

UK manufacturing shrinks for second month

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s manufacturing activity shrank for a second consecutive month in March, a survey showed on Tuesday, leaving the country’s more resilient services sector as the best hope of avoiding a new recession.

The Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers’ index came in at 48.3, only slightly above February’s surprisingly poor reading of 47.9, and a touch weaker than the consensus forecast.

    • 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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