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Mar 31, 2015

UK growth revised higher at end of 2014, boosted by exports

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy expanded at a faster pace than previously thought at the end of last year, helped by strong growth in exports, a boost for Prime Minister David Cameron before a national election on May 7.

Finance minister George Osborne also seized on data on Tuesday that showed household incomes rising at the fastest annual pace in more than four years.

Mar 30, 2015

Bank of England to stress test banks for global slump scenario

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s seven biggest lenders will have to show they can cope with a global economic slump triggered by a sharp slowdown in China and a crash in the euro zone in this year’s round of stress tests conducted by the Bank of England.

Britain decided to introduce annual stress tests for its banks after the 2007-09 financial crisis which required taxpayers to pump 66 billion pounds ($98 billion) into Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Mar 27, 2015

Bank of England, stung by scandals, flags market concerns

LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England is warning about potential irregularities in financial markets on a regular basis as it tries to address the problems that dragged it into recent market scandals, a senior BoE official said.

Chris Salmon, executive director of markets at the BoE, also told Reuters that more rigid rules of engagement for the central bank’s staff inevitably meant that traders would offer them less information, but the Bank would still be able to do its job.

Mar 27, 2015

Interview – Bank of England, stung by scandals, flags market concerns

LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England is warning about potential irregularities in financial markets on a regular basis as it tries to address the problems that dragged it into recent market scandals, a senior BoE official said.

Chris Salmon, executive director of markets at the BoE, also told Reuters that more rigid rules of engagement for the central bank’s staff inevitably meant that traders would offer them less information, but the Bank would still be able to do its job.

Mar 26, 2015

UK retail sales improve in Feb, boding well for economy

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) – British retail sales rose at
the fastest pace in three months in February, beating
expectations and suggesting Britain’s consumer-led economic
recovery remains strong ahead of national elections in May.

Retail sales rose 0.7 percent last month, their best growth
since November and up from 0.1 percent in January, the Office
for National Statistics said on Thursday. Economists polled by
Reuters had expected growth of 0.4 percent.

Mar 20, 2015

UK public finances improve in February, leaving Osborne on course for target

LONDON (Reuters) – Chancellor George Osborne could beat his government borrowing target for this year after public finances improved sharply last month, bolstering his pitch to voters ahead of a national election in May.

The Office for National Statistics said public sector net borrowing, which excludes state-controlled banks, totalled 6.9 billion pounds in February, down 34 percent from a year earlier.

Mar 20, 2015

UK public finances improve, leaving Osborne on course for target

LONDON (Reuters) – Chancellor George Osborne could beat his government borrowing target for this year after public finances improved sharply last month, bolstering his pitch to voters ahead of a national election in May.

The Office for National Statistics said public sector net borrowing, which excludes state-controlled banks, totalled 6.9 billion pounds in February, down 34 percent from a year earlier.

Mar 20, 2015

Think tank sees “remarkable” change of tack by Osborne

LONDON (Reuters) – Chancellor George Osborne has shown a “remarkable” change of approach on public finances, a leading think tank said on Thursday, a day after Osborne scaled back his austerity plans for the end of the decade.

Paul Johnson, head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the eye-catching fiscal number in a pre-election budget announced by Osborne on Wednesday was a big cut to the size of a budget surplus in the 2019/20 financial year.

Mar 19, 2015

UK think tank sees ‘remarkable’ change of tack by Osborne

LONDON (Reuters) – British Chancellor George Osborne has shown a “remarkable” change of approach on public finances, a leading think tank said on Thursday, a day after Osborne scaled back his austerity plans for the end of the decade.

Paul Johnson, head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the eye-catching fiscal number in a pre-election budget announced by Osborne on Wednesday was a big cut to the size of a budget surplus in the 2019/20 financial year.

Mar 19, 2015

Osborne woos voters with earlier end to austerity

LONDON (Reuters) – Chancellor George Osborne sought to court voters ahead of a tight May 7 election by pitching an earlier end to his austerity drive and cautious tax cuts against a backdrop of faster economic growth.

Osborne said Prime Minister David Cameron’s government had saved Britain’s economy and would bring down national debt earlier than forecast with a 22 billion-pound sale of state-owned bank assets.