UK Economics Correspondent, London
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Feb 11, 2015

BOJ’s Sato sees moderate recovery, nervous over debt

LONDON (Reuters) – Japan’s economy is likely to keep recovering at a modest pace, Bank of Japan policymaker Takehiro Sato said on Wednesday, but he said any doubts about the government’s fiscal policy could dampen the impact of central bank stimulus.

Sato, one of four BOJ board members who have opposed the bank’s 80 trillion yen ($665 billion) a year stimulus drive, said the biggest risk to Japan was that investors might demand a higher premium to hold its huge stockpile of government debt.

Feb 5, 2015

UK house prices jump unexpectedly in January – Halifax

LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) – British house prices jumped
unexpectedly last month, recording their biggest rise since May
2014, but mortgage lender Halifax said it still expected the
overall pace of house price rises to slow this year.

Halifax said that house prices rose 2.0 percent in January
from the month before, up from a 1.1 percent increase in
December and far outstripping the 0.1 percent average increase
forecast in a Reuters poll.

Feb 4, 2015

British think tank sees pressure to hike taxes after election

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s major political parties are likely to face heavy pressure to raise taxes to balance the budget after May’s election, contrary to their stated plans, a leading think tank said on Wednesday.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies, a non-partisan body whose analyses of Britain’s public finances are closely watched, said the fiscal tightening planned over the coming years was deeper than in any of 32 other advanced economies it had looked at.

Jan 27, 2015

British growth slows, but 2014 still fastest in seven years

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economic growth slowed more than expected in the final three months of last year, but with annual growth still at its fastest since 2007 the data gave ammunition to both sides of the political divide heading into May’s election.

Tuesday’s data showed some loss of momentum. Growth in the third quarter fell to 0.5 percent from 0.7 percent in the third, slower than the 0.6 percent growth most private-sector economists had expected in a Reuters poll.

Jan 13, 2015

UK’s Osborne urges ECB to do ‘whatever it takes’ to hit price target

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain urged the European Central Bank to take all necessary steps to fight off the risk of deflation, a week before ECB policymakers meet to discuss whether to embark on an unprecedented government bond buying program.

Finance minister George Osborne, in a speech to be delivered on Wednesday, distinguished between Britain — where inflation has just hit a 14-year low of 0.5 percent — and the euro zone where inflation has been lower for months.

Jan 13, 2015

British inflation tumbles to lowest level in over 14 years

LONDON (Reuters) – British consumer price inflation plunged to its lowest level since May 2000 last month and looks set to fall further, easing a squeeze on consumers and leaving the Bank of England under no pressure to raise interest rates soon.

Reflecting a slide in global oil prices, the rate of consumer price inflation halved to an annual 0.5 percent in December from 1.0 percent in November, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday.

Jan 7, 2015

UK car sales to level off after hitting 10-year high

LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Britons bought nearly 2.5 million
new cars last year, the most in a decade and almost 10 percent
more than in 2013, as economic optimism and cheap finance
cemented the country’s position as the brightest auto market in
Europe.

Sales should rise again this year, but much more slowly as
pent-up demand starts to ebb and motorists face the risk of
higher taxes after May’s national election, an industry body
said.

Jan 7, 2015

MP criticises overseers of Bank of England during crisis

LONDON (Reuters) – Officials charged with overseeing the Bank of England failed to hold the central bank to account during the 2007-09 financial crisis and may have made matters worse, a senior MP said on Wednesday.

The central bank published nearly 500 pages of minutes of meetings of its Court, a body which was meant to help set strategic direction and act as a check on its governor, who at the time of the crisis was Mervyn King.

Jan 7, 2015

Lawmaker criticises overseers of Bank of England during crisis

LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Officials charged with overseeing
the Bank of England failed to hold the central bank to account
during the 2007-09 financial crisis and may have made matters
worse, a senior British lawmaker said on Wednesday.

The central bank published nearly 500 pages of minutes of
meetings of its Court, a body which was meant to help set
strategic direction and act as a check on its governor, who at
the time of the crisis was Mervyn King.

Jan 6, 2015

UK services growth dips to 19-month low

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economic recovery softened further as growth across services companies slowed sharply during December to its lowest level since mid-2013, a survey showed on Tuesday.

Sterling slipped to a 17-month low against the dollar after the Markit/CIPS UK Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a closely-watched monthly survey, suffered its steepest decline in more than three years.

    • 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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