UK Economics Correspondent, London
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Apr 25, 2014

Retail sales point to robust first-quarter growth, mortgage lending slows

LONDON (Reuters) – Retail sales unexpectedly chalked up modest growth in March, bucking weak industry data and adding to signs that a consumer-led economic recovery is taking hold.

Bank lending data also pointed to improved consumer morale, showing the first annual growth in personal loans since the depths of the financial crisis, although fewer mortgages were approved as banks readied tighter lending rules.

Apr 25, 2014

UK retail sales point to robust Q1 growth, mortgage lending slows

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) – British retail sales
unexpectedly chalked up modest growth in March, bucking weak
industry data and adding to signs that a consumer-led economic
recovery is taking hold.

Bank lending data also pointed to improved consumer morale,
showing the first annual growth in personal loans since the
depths of the financial crisis, although fewer mortgages were
approved as banks readied tighter lending rules.

Apr 23, 2014

Britain’s budget gap narrowest since financial crisis

LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) – Britain’s hefty budget deficit
has fallen to its lowest since the financial crisis, official
data showed on Wednesday, helping the government argue it is
delivering on a key economic pledge a year before a national
election.

The Bank of England, meanwhile, indicated it was not
hurrying to raise interest rates, even if its members are
somewhat divided about the economic outlook.

Apr 17, 2014

Fed bond buying twice as effective on growth as BoE’s – research

LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) – Bond purchases by the U.S.
Federal Reserve have been twice as effective at boosting
economic output as those by the Bank of England, research by a
BoE policymaker showed on Thursday.

The findings are likely to be of interest to the European
Central Bank, which is weighing whether to start an asset
purchase programme in the euro zone to ward off the threat of
deflation.

Apr 15, 2014

UK inflation hits new four-year low, house prices continue rise

LONDON (Reuters) – British inflation fell to its lowest in over four years in March, easing pressure on living standards and raising the prospect that prices may now be rising by less than wages for the first time in years.

The sharp decline in Britons’ living standards since the financial crisis – due to a mix of tax rises, high inflation and meager wage growth – has become a key political battle ground, a year before national elections.

Apr 13, 2014

Long-delayed new town an emblem for UK’s housing hole

EBBSFLEET, England (Reuters) – Where Britain’s first new town in over 40 years is due to be built there is little more than a gaping hole – a symbol of the huge housing shortage successive governments have failed to fill.

For almost 10 years the project has languished, first as developers worried about its scale and then as the financial crisis hammered the construction industry.

Apr 10, 2014

Scottish independence would delay UK return to triple-A status: Fitch

LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom would need longer to recover the triple-A debt rating it lost last year if Scotland votes for independence in September, ratings agency Fitch said on Thursday.

Fitch said London’s promise to honor all existing United Kingdom debt in the event of independence and seek recompense from the new Edinburgh government would raise the United Kingdom’s debt burden as a share of gross domestic product by almost 10 percentage points.

Apr 4, 2014

ECB models trillion euro asset purchase program: newspaper

CERNOBBIO, Italy/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank has modelled the effects of buying a trillion Euros of assets to ward off deflation, a German newspaper reported on Friday, a day after the ECB’s president said radical policy action might be needed.

ECB President Mario Draghi said on Thursday the central bank had achieved unanimity that asset purchases, also known as quantitative easing, might be needed to tackle inflation if it proved persistently low.

Apr 4, 2014

G20 summits have “limited relevance” for markets – ECB research

FRANKFURT, April 4 (Reuters) – Regular meetings of the
world’s leaders and central bankers have little short-term
impact on financial markets, despite extensive media coverage,
according to research published by the European Central Bank on
Friday.

ECB researchers looked at how the price of shares and bonds
changed after meetings of the Group of 20 (G20) between November
2007 and September 2013 – a time when the body was at the heart
of global efforts to lessen the impact of the financial crisis.

Apr 3, 2014

ECB says ready to act if “lowflation” lingers too long

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is ready to deploy anything in its monetary policy toolbox if inflation stays too low for too long despite keeping interest rates steady on Thursday, its president said.

The ECB held its main interest rate at a record low of 0.25 percent and the rate for bank deposits at central banks at zero,

    • 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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