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Jan 27, 2015

After 5 years of coalition, UK faces even messier government

LONDON, Jan 27 (Reuters) – When Britain’s coalition
government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats took power in
2010, bookmakers put its chances of surviving a full five-year
term at little more than 50-50.

The alliance — Britain’s first coalition since World War
Two — survived battered but intact in the run-up to this year’s
election. But the country now faces more complicated scenarios
after May 7.

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 23, 2015

British retail sales show surprise gain in December on food, fuel

LONDON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – British retail sales unexpectedly
rose in December as shoppers flocked to supermarkets and bought
more fuel as oil prices fell, providing a boost for the
country’s economic recovery that has shown signs of softening.

Economists had expected sales to be weaker after a
U.S.-style Black Friday sales bonanza sent shoppers scurrying
for bargains in November.

Jan 14, 2015

UK’s Osborne says need to decide on sale of RBS stake soon after election

LONDON, Jan 14 (Reuters) – British finance minister George
Osborne said he would need to decide quickly about a sale of the
government’s stake in the bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland
after May’s election, adding he hoped to be able to
recover taxpayers’ money.

Osborne also gave more details of his plans to fix
Britain’s public finances, saying he would hand independent
budget forecasters the power to say when the government could
stray from running a surplus if the economy ran into trouble.

Jan 11, 2015

Chelsea back in pole position but not top form

LONDON (Reuters) – Chelsea may have restored some breathing space over Manchester City with a 2-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday but they have not regained the form that made them runaway title favourites earlier in the season.

Goals in each half from Oscar and Premier League top scorer Diego Costa (15) kept up the London club’s record of winning every home league game this term.

Jan 10, 2015

Soccer-Chelsea back in pole position but not top form

LONDON, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Chelsea may have restored some breathing space over Manchester City with a 2-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday but they have not regained the form that made them runaway title favourites earlier in the season.

Goals in each half from Oscar and Premier League top scorer Diego Costa (15) kept up the London club’s record of winning every home league game this term.

Jan 8, 2015

Britain should drop RPI link for inflation bonds, review says

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s government should stop using a discredited measure of inflation for selling index-linked bonds which is costing taxpayers billions a year, an official review said on Thursday.

The review, carried out by Paul Johnson, head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank, also urged Britain to replace the Consumer Price Index as its main inflation measure with another index, the CPIH, which includes more housing costs.

Dec 23, 2014

UK households drive economy, current account deeper in red

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy relied more heavily on spending by households for growth in the third quarter despite a fall in take-home incomes, underscoring the challenges of getting the recovery onto a sounder footing.

In another disappointing sign for policymakers, business investment was weaker than in an earlier reading of how Britain’s economy fared from July to September.

Dec 22, 2014

Top bankers need to take cyber threat seriously: BoE

LONDON (Reuters) – Top British bankers and other senior executives in the financial services industry are not taking the risk of cyber attacks seriously enough, financial policymakers at the Bank of England say.

Cyber crime costs the global economy $445 billion a year and the bill is rising, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Dec 19, 2014

UK public finances improve in November, helped by forex fines

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s public finances improved in November helped by fines paid by banks for a foreign exchange scandal, giving some respite to finance minister George Osborne as he tries to show voters he can keep on bringing down the deficit.

Separately, retailers reported booming sales, underscoring how consumers are propelling Britain’s strong economic recovery.