UK Economics Correspondent, London
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Apr 23, 2015

UK’s Osborne avoids deficit slip-up, retail sales unexpectedly fall

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister George Osborne met his latest deficit reduction target, avoiding embarrassment two weeks before the election, but weak retail sales figures raise the risk that growth has slowed.

Osborne said the budget numbers showed the Conservative-led coalition’s policies were working. The opposition Labour party said his plans for more spending cuts would do serious damage to public services.

Apr 22, 2015

Bank of England upbeat on euro zone, eyes inflation pressures: minutes

LONDON (Reuters) – Bank of England policymakers struck a more bullish tone on the euro zone and the prospects for higher inflation in their latest set of policy minutes on Wednesday, pushing sterling higher, though a rate rise still appears some way off.

Two policymakers said their decision to keep rates at 0.5 percent was again “finely balanced” — suggesting they may soon vote for a rate rise — and others cited factors that may cause record-low inflation to pick up faster than expected next year.

Apr 22, 2015

Bank of England upbeat on euro zone, eyes inflation pressures

LONDON (Reuters) – Bank of England policymakers struck a more bullish tone on the euro zone and the prospects for higher inflation in their latest set of policy minutes on Wednesday, pushing sterling higher, though a rate rise still appears some way off.

Two policymakers said their decision to keep rates at 0.5 percent was again “finely balanced” — suggesting they may soon vote for a rate rise — and others cited factors that may cause record-low inflation to pick up faster than expected next year.

Apr 18, 2015

UK Conservatives aim to sell Lloyds shares to small investors

LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) – British finance minister George
Osborne said on Sunday that he intends to sell billions of
pounds of government shares in Lloyds Banking Group to
small investors if his Conservative Party wins the May 7
election.

Britain’s government put more than 20 billion pounds ($30
billion) of public money into Lloyds at the height of the
financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 – buying 43 percent of the
bank – and has since sold almost half of this back to large
investors.

Apr 18, 2015

Labour pledges to tackle exploitation of migrant workers

LONDON (Reuters) – Opposition leader Ed Miliband said on Saturday that he would set up a new government unit to prosecute employers who exploit migrant workers if his Labour Party wins power in the national election on May 7.

In a major speech on immigration — a widespread concern among Britons that has bolstered the anti-EU United Kingdom Independence Party — Miliband set out how Labour would try to ensure immigrants did not depress British wages.

Apr 18, 2015

UK’s Labour pledges to tackle exploitation of migrant workers

LONDON (Reuters) – British opposition leader Ed Miliband said on Saturday that he would set up a new government unit to prosecute employers who exploit migrant workers if his Labour Party wins power in the national election on May 7.

In a major speech on immigration — a widespread concern among Britons that has bolstered the anti-EU United Kingdom Independence Party — Miliband set out how Labour would try to ensure immigrants did not depress British wages.

Apr 17, 2015

British unemployment rate at multi-year low ahead of election

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy created the largest number of new jobs in nearly a year and unemployment hit its lowest rate since mid-2008, official labor market data showed on Friday, the last such report before a closely fought election on May 7.

Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the numbers, which cover the three months to February, as underlining his government’s “jobs miracle”.

Mar 26, 2015

Bank of Canada says rate cut bought time, suggests April move unlikely

LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada’s January interest rate cut has bought it time to examine the effects of cheap oil on the economy, Governor Stephen Poloz said on Thursday in remarks that could signal the bank will hold rates steady next month.

Poloz allowed the possibility that first-quarter economic growth might come in lower than the bank’s 1.5 percent forecast, and he did not rule out a negative reading, but he also noted growth was expected to bounce back later this year.

Mar 26, 2015

Bank of England to quiz fund managers over short-notice redemptions

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) – The Bank of England said on
Thursday that it planned to quiz British asset managers about
whether they could cope with a flood of investors asking for
their money back in times of market stress.

The central bank said it was concerned that some financial
markets — including those for fixed income assets — may be
less liquid than they looked, but that funds had promised they
could return investors’ money at short notice.

Mar 26, 2015

Bank of Canada says January rate cut bought it time

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada’s January
interest rate cut has bought it time to examine the effects of
cheap oil on the economy, Governor Stephen Poloz said on
Thursday in remarks that underscored the possibility the bank
will keep rates steady next month.

Poloz repeated the bank’s view that the negative effects of
lower oil prices in Canada, a major oil producer, are beginning
to appear and the positive effects will take longer to emerge.

    • About David

      "David keeps a close watch on the UK economy, the Bank of England and the British government debt market. Previously he worked in Frankfurt, covering the European Central Bank and euro zone economy, and in Brussels where he reported on everything from EU summits to Belgian supermarkets."
      Languages:
      English, French, German
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