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Oct 25, 2014

UK’s Labour suffers setback as leader in Scotland quits

LONDON (Reuters) – The head of Britain’s opposition Labour party in Scotland has unexpectedly quit, further unsettling the party in one of its heartlands and posing a new problem for leader Ed Miliband ahead of national elections in May next year.

Johann Lamont told a newspaper she was standing down with immediate effect. She slammed “dinosaurs” among Labour’s leadership in London who were out of touch with how Scotland had changed even though voters had rejected independence last month.

Oct 23, 2014

UK’s rebounding economy sees slowing industrial orders, retail sales

LONDON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Britain’s brisk economic recovery
is showing more signs of cooling after shoppers bought less,
exporters took a hit from Europe’s slump and banks approved the
fewest mortgages in more than a year.

Data released on Thursday underscored why the Bank of
England is signalling that it is in no rush to raise interest
rates, even as Britain’s economic growth continues to outpace
that of most other industrialised nations.

Oct 22, 2014

Bank of England minutes add to signs rate hike on back burner

LONDON (Reuters) – Most Bank of England policymakers are firmly against raising interest rates, seeing little evidence of inflation pressures while the slowing euro zone poses growing risks, minutes of their latest meeting showed.

The majority of the Bank’s rate-setters saw good reasons to keep rates at their record low of 0.5 percent at their Oct. 7-8 meeting, which was held even before signs emerged of deeper problems in Britain’s key exports markets in Europe.

Oct 15, 2014

Bank of England’s Weale: Jobless fall still best guide to wage pressure

HULL England (Reuters) – The Bank of England should pay heed to the swift pace at which Britain’s unemployment rate is falling as it considers when to start raising interest rates, says a top policymaker at the central bank who has already voted for rate hikes.

Martin Weale also said the BoE should not take too much comfort from a sharp fall in British inflation because it had been “significantly depressed” by sterling’s appreciation and by falling oil and commodity prices around the world, something the central bank would look into next month.

Oct 15, 2014

UK jobless rate falls again, recovery shows signs of cooling

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s strong labor market recovery is showing signs of cooling, even as the unemployment rate once again fell more than expected in the three months to August.

Job creation was its weakest since the spring of last year and there was a sharp slowdown in the pace at which the number of people claiming unemployment benefit is falling.

Oct 14, 2014

UK inflation slides in Sept, market sees delayed rate hike

LONDON (Reuters) – British inflation slowed sharply in September to its lowest level in five years, further reducing pressure on the Bank of England to start raising interest rates even as the economy grows strongly.

Consumer prices rose by a weaker-than-expected 1.2 percent on the year in September, down from 1.5 percent in August, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday.

Oct 9, 2014

Europe risks, U.S. caution could delay British rate rises

LONDON (Reuters) – The risk of a new recession in the euro zone and caution from the U.S. Federal Reserve are weighing on expectations of the timing of a first increase in British borrowing costs, potentially delaying it.

The Bank of England, as expected, kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low at 0.5 percent on Thursday, the level at which it has sat since the financial crisis.

Oct 9, 2014

Europe risks, U.S. caution weigh on chances of British rate rise

LONDON (Reuters) – The risk of a new recession in the euro zone and caution from the U.S. Federal Reserve are weighing on expectations of the timing of a first increase in British borrowing costs, potentially delaying it.

The Bank of England, as expected, kept interest rates at a record low on Thursday, leaving Bank Rate at 0.5 percent, the level at which it has sat since the worst of the financial crisis five-and-a-half years ago.

Oct 3, 2014

Deficit challenge looms before election

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement of tax cuts has exhilarated his Conservative Party, but the sobering question of who can be trusted with Britain’s public finances remains the key to next year’s general election.

    The upbeat message from Cameron on Wednesday has added to questions about the credibility of Chancellor George Osborne’s plan to wipe out the budget deficit by 2020.

Oct 2, 2014

Deficit challenge looms for UK parties before election

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement of tax cuts has exhilarated his Conservative Party, but the sobering question of who can be trusted with Britain’s public finances remains the key to next year’s national election.

The upbeat message from Cameron on Wednesday has added to questions about the credibility of finance minister George Osborne’s plan to wipe out the budget deficit by 2020.