Investment & Business News Headlines

Has the positive trend continued? House price latest from Nationwide.

As you are no doubt aware, there have been hints of good news on the UK housing market of late.

Recent data has suggested mortgage approvals have picked up, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has observed an improvement in enquiries at estate agents, and Hometrack reported the lowest fall in its monthly index in ten months in March. But the big one came from Nationwide. It recorded a 0.9 per cent rise in house prices in March.

This morning, all eyes turned back to Britain’s biggest building society. For this morning, its...Read More

Hint of early morning light shines from Japan to High Street

It was a funny day yesterday.

It was a day when good news vied with bad to dominate the economic climate.

This article focuses on the latest reasons for hope to have emerged yesterday. In the next two articles below the focus is on the worrying data.

Let’s begin with the good.

Some really encouraging signs came out of...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2009

Chrysler on the brink; Bank of America boss steps back from brink

It’s been all go in the US corporate sector.

It seems Chrysler could be hours away from bankruptcy. Meanwhile, the fireworks went off at the Bank of America yesterday. But was the bank’s embattled chairman and chief executive able to avoid the rocket?

As you probably know, Chrysler is number three in...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2009

Wage inflation goes negative in UK

In the UK,  average weekly wages saw their biggest weekly fall in 60 years.   According to statistics out from the Office for National Statistics yesterday, average weekly wages in February were £459.10. Back in February last year they were 487.40. That comes in at a fall of 5.8 per...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2009

Wage inflation goes negative in UK

In the UK,  average weekly wages saw their biggest weekly fall in 60 years.   According to statistics out from the Office for National Statistics yesterday, average weekly wages in February were £459.10. Back in February last year they were 487.40. That comes in at a fall of 5.8 per...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2009

Hint of early morning light shines from Japan to High Street

It was a funny day yesterday.

It was a day when good news vied with bad to dominate the economic climate.

This article focuses on the latest reasons for hope to have emerged yesterday. In the next two articles below the focus is on the worrying data.

Let’s begin with the good.

Some really encouraging signs came out of...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2009

Eurozone rates need to fall below zero

The world’s central banks are stoking up inflation, right? They are creating one unholy mess, which can only ever result in the ultimate ascendance of gold, right? Central banks are panicking, and as a result are creating a massive hangover for future generations to deal with, right?

It’s a funny thing,...Read More

Posted Apr 29, 2009

British High Street and US consumers celebrate Easter, but will the party continue?

Yesterday was one of those days when good news seem to strike, from nowhere.

It seems the UK High Street enjoyed its best period over Easter in 15 months.

In the US, consumer confidence has enjoyed a sharp lift, while more evidence has emerged from across the pond to suggest the housing...Read More

Posted Apr 29, 2009

The great GM rescue: bond-holders cry foul, but are they right?

The debate over the future of GM rattles on. Once again we see the company’s shareholders, and now bond-holders also, crying foul. The latest plan put forward is just not fair, they say.

It is difficult to have sympathy with their argument, however.

A common theme of this column is that for it...Read More

Posted Apr 28, 2009

Swine flu: there were winners and losers yesterday

During a press conference in Mexico yesterday in which the Mexican health minister was speaking, an earthquake briefly interrupted proceedings. You couldn’t have made it up. Or at least, if Hollywood made a film about some new killer virus, and introduced an earthquake, the critics would have slammed it.

But in...Read More

Posted Apr 28, 2009

Swine flu, toxic debt, the end of the dollar: is it time to buy gold?

Shakespeare’s Prince of Morocco said that all that glistens is not gold. It seems that Shakespeare’s famous dictum applies to economics too, because, from an economic point of view, when the economy fails to glister, it is usually seen as time to buy gold.

A couple of years ago this column was a fan of...Read More

Posted Apr 28, 2009

But US sees recession deepen

The US economy contracted by a stunning annualized rate of 6.1 per cent in Q1.

The US contraction has now been in full flow for three quarters. In the third quarter of last year the annualized rate of contraction was just 0.5 per cent, so that wasn’t too bad. But the...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2009

Has the positive trend continued? House price latest from Nationwide.

As you are no doubt aware, there have been hints of good news on the UK housing market of late.

Recent data has suggested mortgage approvals have picked up, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has observed an improvement in enquiries at estate agents, and Hometrack reported the lowest fall in its...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2009

But US sees recession deepen

The US economy contracted by a stunning annualized rate of 6.1 per cent in Q1.

The US contraction has now been in full flow for three quarters. In the third quarter of last year the annualized rate of contraction was just 0.5 per cent, so that wasn’t too bad. But the...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2009

Chrysler on the brink; Bank of America boss steps back from brink

It’s been all go in the US corporate sector.

It seems Chrysler could be hours away from bankruptcy. Meanwhile, the fireworks went off at the Bank of America yesterday. But was the bank’s embattled chairman and chief executive able to avoid the rocket?

As you probably know, Chrysler is number three in...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2009

Tesco suffers at hands of cut-price rivals

The mighty Tesco has seen its market share slip.

Last week, the retailer revealed an impressive 10 per cent jump in profits. But now it has emerged that the seemingly invincible retail giant has lost ground to the cut-price retailers.

According to the latest report from TNS, Tesco’s market share has...Read More

Posted Apr 29, 2009

US bank giants fail stress test

You may recall, when Barack Obama and his lieutenant Timothy Geithner revealed their plans to save the banks, an important part of the strategy was a stress test which each bank must undergo. The tests would consider how each bank would survive in the event that the recession worsened, house prices...Read More

Posted Apr 29, 2009

Russia and Brazil sow seeds of doubt over IMF reform

As you know, about the only good thing that came out of the G20 summit was the decision to provide additional funding for the IMF, and to extend more influence to members from the developing world, namely China, India, Russia and Brazil.

Reform of the IMF is actually one...Read More

Posted Apr 28, 2009

Employers plan zero pay rises

According to a report from the British Chambers of Commerce, no less than 58 per cent of all firms are planning pay freezes this year.

It seems that while many believe inflation is the inevitable result of all this government spending and quantitative easing, the news from the workforce says the...Read More

Posted Apr 27, 2009

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