What made the nationals: sponsored by PressChoice
UK RETAILERS FAIL TO SEE BOOST FROM OLYMPIC FEEL-GOOD FACTOR
By Jill Treanor and Josephine Moulds
British Retail Consortium data shows August was weakest month for sales growth this year. Data from the British Retail Consortium showed that August was the weakest month for sales growth so far this year. Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, said: “There’s no evidence here of any Olympic boost to retail sales overall. Sadly, apart from April – distorted by Easter timings – August saw the worst sales growth this year”.
LOAN RATES POINT TO EUROZONE FRACTURES
By Ralph Atkins in London
Interest rates paid by companies in the eurozone’s weaker economies have surged, highlighting the bloc’s fragmentation as the European Central Bank loses control of borrowing costs. ECB data on Monday showed Spanish small businesses face the highest bank borrowing costs in almost four years – while interest rates paid by German rivals are at record lows.
FACTORIES BOOST RECOVERY HOPES
By Philip Aldrick, Economics Editor
Britain’s manufacturers have started to show signs of life again after a dismal three month run with better-than-expected figures for August that revitalised waning hopes for the recovery. The closely-watched purchasing managers index (PMI) for manufacturing rebounded from 45.2 in July to 49.5 last month, beating forecasts of 46.1 and delivering the sector’s best performance since April. “The rebound … appears to represent something of a normalisation,” Ross Walker, UK economist at Royal Bank of Scotland, said.
BANKS SLASH JUNIORS’ PAY
By Tim Wallace
Investment bankers’ pay tumbled further this year, with junior staff’s bonuses plunging on poor market conditions, a lack of competition in the sector and sustained pressure to avoid public outrage. Average bonuses fell 25 per cent on the year for analysts in the investment banks’ merger and acquisitions (M&A) units, following a fall of 10 to 20 per cent the previous year, according to Dartmouth Partners.
UK FACTORIES AMONG THE STRONGEST IN EUROPE BUT REMAIN IN RECESSION
By Hugo Duncan
British factories were among the strongest in Europe last month but the sector remains mired in recession. The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index for UK manufacturers – where anything below 50 represents contraction – hit a four-month high of 49.5 in August.
MILLIONS FACE PENSION CRISIS
By Sarah O’Grady
Millions of new pensioners were warned last night that they face a retirement of poverty after weeks of slashed annual payouts. Pension companies have cut rates offered on their guaranteed annuity incomes 24 times since the start of summer. Standard Life is the latest to do so, lopping five per cent off the rate offered to the newly-retired and those approaching retirement.
DIRECT LINE TALKS UP PROFIT HOPES AS INSURER GEARS UP FOR FLOTATION
By Gareth Mackie
Insurance group Direct Line, which is gearing up for a stock market flotation, said on Monday that it expects to become more profitable as it breaks its ties with parent company Royal Bank of Scotland. The UK’s largest car insurer is expected to float next month, if market conditions prove favourable, and chief executive Paul Geddes said the process of separating itself from RBS was now almost complete.
EMPTY SHOP RATE RISES ACROSS BRITAIN AS SPENDING DROPS
An average of 14.6% of shops now remain empty across Britain. The proportion of shops lying empty has increased in every region in Britain bar London between January and June, according to figures compiled by the Local Data Company (LDC). LDC says a dramatic drop in consumer spending, which it calculates is now back at 2002 levels, is partly to blame for the high vacancy rate.
RETAIL FIGURES OFF TRACK AS GAMES HIT SALES
Retail sales fell in August as the success of Team GB in the Olympics failed to have a positive impact on the high street. Retail sales values were down by 0.4% on a like-for-like basis last month.
Apart from Easter it was the weakest month since last November, the British Retail Consortium said. The sporting event gave a mild boost to food sales in the form of party food and drink, the BRC said, but the net effect of the Games was minimal as lower footfall in London hit sales.
PRESSCHOICE DIARY OF ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS EVENTS TODAY
Monitise reports fourth quarter results today. Monitise is as a technology company delivering mobile banking, payments and commerce networks worldwide. It is the largest Mobile Money specialist in the world. The shares have fallen 11% in the past year.
The ONS publish its data on Mergers and Acquisitions involving UK companies for the second quarter of 2012.
The BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor will be issued today. The report will show how the whole UK retail sector performed during August and will reveal the Olympic effect, if any.
Today in 1957 a report chaired by Lord Wolfenden for the government suggested homosexual behaviour between consenting adults should no longer be a criminal offence. However it was de-criminalised in England until 1967. It was de-criminalised in Scotland in 1980 and in Northern Ireland in 1982