UK Economics Correspondent, London
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Jun 6, 2014

IMF tells Britain to act on housing bubble risk

LONDON, June 6 (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund
urged Britain to cool its housing market by reining in risky
mortgages, the strongest warning yet from an international
organisation about the risk of a property price bubble.

So far there have been few signs of a credit-driven bubble
in British house prices, the IMF said.

Jun 6, 2014

IMF tells Britain to rein in riskier mortgages

LONDON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund urged Britain to rein in risky mortgages to cool the housing market, the strongest warning yet from an international organization about the risk of a property price bubble.

The IMF said in its annual report on the country’s economy published on Friday that so far there were few signs of a credit-driven bubble in British house prices.

Jun 5, 2014

Sterling struggles, gilts end losing streak after ECB boost

LONDON, June 5 (Reuters) – Sterling gained ground on
Thursday but failed to hold onto 17-month highs hit against the
euro after a European Central Bank meeting that did little to
dent the single currency’s immediate appeal.

Expectations that the Bank of England will raise interest
rates next year have driven the pound 10 percent higher against
a basket of currencies over the past year.

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.

    • 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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