UK Economics Correspondent, London
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Jun 5, 2014

UK house prices show biggest monthly jump in 11 years: Halifax

LONDON (Reuters) – British house prices had their biggest monthly jump in more than 11 years in May, figures from mortgage lender Halifax showed on Thursday, putting further pressure on the Bank of England to guard against risky lending.

House prices leapt by 3.9 percent, their biggest one-month rise since October 2002 and far outstripping forecasts of a rise of 0.7 percent after two months of falls.

Jun 4, 2014

UK labor market tightest in four years, new data show

LONDON (Reuters) – Slack in Britain’s labor market has fallen to a four-year low and wages may be about to pick up, an analysis by the country’s statistics agency showed on Wednesday, suggesting an interest rate rise could be moving nearer.

Last year the Bank of England said it would only consider raising rates when unemployment hit 7 percent. But after joblessness hit that level far sooner than forecast, the central bank said it would look at a broader range of data before tightening policy.

Jun 4, 2014

UK’s house price-income gap widens in London and south

LONDON, June 4 (Reuters) – The gap between house prices and
home-buyers’ income in London and some other areas of England
has widened sharply from before the financial crisis, according
to official data likely to catch the eye of the Bank of England.

Average house prices in the capital were equivalent to more
than five times the annual income of those taking out new
mortgages in the first three months of 2014, the Office for
National Statistics said, well above levels in late 2007.

May 30, 2014

ECB and BoE set out proposals to boost EU securitization

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank and the Bank of England set out proposals on Friday to boost the market for asset-backed securities in the European Union and help the flow of credit to smaller businesses.

The ABS market slumped after the 2008 financial crisis but is now seen as necessary to help build a stronger economy by providing credit to firms that are too small to raise investment funds direct from capital markets.

May 30, 2014

Sex and drugs worth 10 bln pounds to UK economy, statisticians say

LONDON (Reuters) – They already know what rock’n'roll is worth, so now Britain’s statisticians are getting to grips with sex and drugs in a bid to give a broader view of the size of the economy.

The fruit of their research is that sales of illegal drugs and sexual services add around 10 billion pounds ($16.7 billion) to Britain’s economic activity each year, making up just under 1 percent of total economic output.

May 30, 2014

GfK consumer morale hits 9-year high as growth broadens

LONDON (Reuters) – British consumer sentiment hit its highest level in more than nine years this month, adding to signs that the economy is strengthening and raising questions about how much longer the Bank of England will keep interest rates on hold.

The picture of a strengthening recovery was bolstered by other releases on Friday which also showed growing confidence among consumers and growth spreading through the economy.

May 29, 2014

UK GfK consumer morale hits nine-year high as growth broadens

LONDON (Reuters) – British consumer sentiment hit its highest level in more than nine years this month, adding to signs that the economy is strengthening and raising questions about how much longer the Bank of England will keep interest rates on hold.

The picture of a strengthening recovery was bolstered by other releases on Friday which also showed growing confidence among consumers and growth spreading through the economy.

May 29, 2014

Sex and drugs worth $16.7 bln to UK economy, statisticians say

LONDON, May 29 (Reuters) – They already know what
rock’n'roll is worth, so now Britain’s statisticians are getting
to grips with sex and drugs in a bid to give a broader view of
the size of the economy.

The fruit of their research is that sales of illegal drugs
and sexual services add around 10 billion pounds ($16.7 billion)
to Britain’s economic activity each year, making up just under 1
percent of total economic output.

May 28, 2014

Opposing Scottish independence camps both appeal to voters’ pockets

EDINBURGH/LONDON, May 28 (Reuters) – The debate over whether
Scots will be better off if they break away from the United
Kingdom intensified on Wednesday, as pro- and anti-independence
camps both claimed Scots would be at least 1,000 pounds ($1,700)
a year richer.

Scotland holds a referendum on Sept. 18 over whether to end
its 307-year union with England, and as that date moves nearer
the number of people who are still undecided exceeds the
majority who want to retain the union.

May 27, 2014

Bank of England’s Carney says bankers should be less selfish

LONDON, May 27 (Reuters) – Bankers should think less about
personal gain and more about the health of the rest of the
economy, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a conference on ‘inclusive capitalism’ organised
by the City of London – which was also addressed by former U.S.
President Bill Clinton and Britain’s Prince Charles – Carney
said bankers needed to rebuild public trust.

    • 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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