Economics Correspondent
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Apr 2, 2013

UK manufacturing shrinks for 2nd month, mortgages fall

LONDON, April 2 (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.

Mar 22, 2013

Fitch poised to cut UK’s AAA rating soon

LONDON/NEW YORK, March 22 (Reuters) – Britain looked poised
to lose its AAA rating from a second ratings agency after Fitch
Ratings warned on Friday it was likely to downgrade the country
in the coming weeks, citing high government debt levels and weak
growth.

A month since Britain was downgraded by Moody’s, Fitch put
the country on review and said a downgrade was a heightened
possibility. A decision is due by the end of April, Fitch said
in a statement.

Mar 21, 2013

Budget deficit and retail data offer rare positive news

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain had a far smaller-than-expected deficit in February and retail sales got a boost, data showed on Thursday, a fillip for Chancellor George Osborne a day after he released dismal economic forecasts.

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

Mar 21, 2013

British budget deficit and retail data offer rare positive news

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain had a far smaller-than-expected deficit in February and retail sales got a boost, data showed on Thursday, a fillip for finance minister George Osborne a day after he released dismal economic forecasts.

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

Mar 12, 2013

Fall in manufacturing fans UK triple-dip recession fears

LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) – British manufacturing output
fell in January at the fastest pace since June, reinforcing
fears that the economy has tipped into its third recession since
the 2008 financial crisis.

The decline in manufacturing, and downbeat GDP estimates
from a respected thinktank, will add to pressure on finance
minister George Osborne to come up with measures to revive
growth in his annual budget next week.

Mar 12, 2013

Fall in UK manufacturing fans triple-dip fears

LONDON (Reuters) – British manufacturing output fell in January at the fastest pace since June, reinforcing fears that the economy has tipped into its third recession since the 2008 financial crisis.

The unexpected decline in manufacturing will put further pressure on Chancellor George Osborne to come up with measures to revive growth in his budget statement next week.

Mar 8, 2013

Cameron put on spot by watchdog over austerity remarks

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron was reprimanded by a budget watchdog on Friday for claiming that it did not see his austerity agenda as a drag on Britain’s economy.

In a speech on Thursday, Cameron said his deficit-cutting agenda was not responsible for the country’s depressed growth rate which was instead caused by the financial crisis, the euro zone’s problems and higher oil prices – a view he said was endorsed by the independent watchdog.

Mar 8, 2013

Cameron put on spot by OBR over austerity remarks

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron was reprimanded by a budget watchdog on Friday for claiming that it did not see his austerity agenda as a drag on Britain’s economy.

In a speech on Thursday, Cameron said his deficit-cutting agenda was not responsible for the country’s depressed growth rate which was instead caused by the financial crisis, the euro zone’s problems and higher oil prices – a view he said was endorsed by the independent watchdog.

Mar 7, 2013

Bank of England holds fire on more stimulus for ailing economy

LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England decided not to restart its main stimulus program for Britain’s ailing economy on Thursday as the government stuck to its deficit-cutting pledge and said the BoE should support growth.

The British central bank’s decision is likely to have been close-run. Last month, three officials – including governor Mervyn King – voted to buy a further 25 billion pounds ($38 billion) of government bonds.

Mar 7, 2013

Bank of England faces knife-edge decision on bond buys

LONDON, March 7 (Reuters) – The Bank of England will make
clearer on Thursday where its priorities for nursing Britain’s
ailing economy lie, with opinion split evenly on whether it will
unveil another round of bond buying after a policy meeting.

In the past week, dismal data on bank lending and
manufacturing has been accompanied by a softening of rhetoric
from the central bank, and a willingness to consider new and
unconventional policy options to kickstart growth – despite the
fact that inflation remains well above target.

    • 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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