UK Economics Correspondent, London
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Feb 19, 2014

UK allows Scotland to issue its own debt – at a price

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s government granted Scotland the power to raise debt in its own name on Wednesday, in a move aimed at showing Scots that they can enjoy some benefits of independence while remaining part of the United Kingdom.

Scotland votes in September on whether to dissolve the 307-year-old union with England, and last week British Chancellor George Osborne said an independent Scotland would be unable to keep the pound, independence campaigners’ preferred option.

Feb 18, 2014

UK inflation undershoots Bank of England target for first time since 2009

LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters) – British inflation fell below the
Bank of England’s target last for the first time in over four
years last month, reinforcing the bank’s message that there is
no rush to raise interest rates.

Consumer prices rose 1.9 percent on the year in January,
slowing from December’s rate of 2.0 percent, making it the
smallest increase since November 2009, the Office for National
Statistics said.

Feb 16, 2014

BoE’s Carney: jobs, incomes, wages to be factored into any rate rise

LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England will only start to increase interest rates when a range of measures suggest the economy is operating at closer to full capacity, central bank governor Mark Carney said in an interview broadcast on Sunday.

On Wednesday the BoE said it would look at a broader range of measures of slack in the economy than just the unemployment rate when considering whether to raise borrowing costs, and that it was in no rush to raise rates.

Feb 14, 2014

Strongest house-building since 2008 lifts UK fourth-quarter construction

LONDON (Reuters) – British construction output rose modestly in the fourth quarter of 2013, led by the greatest amount of new housing since the first quarter of 2008, providing some evidence that builders are responding to rising property prices.

The country’s construction sector – which accounts for 6.3 percent of gross domestic product – has benefited from a sharp pick-up in the housing market which has been supported by government-sponsored schemes and record low interest rates.

Feb 14, 2014

Strongest housebuilding since 2008 lifts UK Q4 construction

LONDON, Feb 14 (Reuters) – British construction output rose
modestly in the fourth quarter of 2013, led by the greatest
amount of new housing since the first quarter of 2008, providing
some evidence that builders are responding to rising property
prices.

The country’s construction sector – which accounts for 6.3
percent of gross domestic product – has benefited from a sharp
pick-up in the housing market which has been supported by
government-sponsored schemes and record low interest rates.

Feb 12, 2014

Bank of England hints at 2015 rate rise, blurs guidance

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – The Bank of England hinted on
Wednesday that interest rates may need to start rising in just
over a year as it broadened its guidance on when it will
consider the economy to be healthy enough to cope with higher
borrowing costs.

The BoE sharply revised up its forecasts for growth over the
next three years, recognising the surprise transformation of
Britain’s growth prospects in 2013.

Feb 12, 2014

Bank of England hints at 2015 rate rise, slack in economy to be focus

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – The Bank of England hinted on
Wednesday that interest rates may need to rise in just over a
year after it sharply revised up its forecasts for economic
growth over the next three years.

It also announced an update to its “forward guidance” policy
laying out the likely path for rate changes, saying it will
focus on a range of measures of the spare capacity, or slack, in
Britain’s economy.

Feb 12, 2014

Bank of England’s Carney to take second stab at rate guidance

LONDON (Reuters) – Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will try on Wednesday to come up with a more credible commitment to keeping interest rates at a record low, after the Bank’s previous guidance was overtaken by a plunge in British unemployment.

In August, shortly after arriving from his native Canada, Carney persuaded the other eight BoE policymakers to make an unprecedented pledge to keep rates on hold until unemployment fell to 7 percent. The Bank said that would take three years.

Feb 11, 2014

UK retail sales show fastest annual growth since 2011

LONDON (Reuters) – British retail sales rebounded last month after a weak December to record their strongest annual growth since April 2011, helped in part by a recovery in the country’s property market, a monthly industry survey showed on Tuesday.

The British Retail Consortium, a trade body, said the total amount spent in stores last month was 5.4 percent higher than a year earlier, a sharp improvement on the meagre 1.8 percent growth recorded for December.

Feb 11, 2014

UK retail sales show fastest annual growth since 2011 – BRC

LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) – British retail sales rebounded
last month after a weak December to record their strongest
annual growth since April 2011, helped in part by a recovery in
the country’s property market, a monthly industry survey showed
on Tuesday.

The British Retail Consortium, a trade body, said the total
amount spent in stores last month was 5.4 percent higher than a
year earlier, a sharp improvement on the meagre 1.8 percent
growth recorded for December.

    • 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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