Investment & Business News Headlines

UK house prices still overpriced, but pity the Canadians

UK house prices may be rising again, but they are still too expensive. Or so is the inference from data published by the OECD this week.

In fact, suggests the OECD, UK house prices to rent are 31 per cent higher than the historical average since 1980, and to income they are 22 per cent above average. That may seem a tad worrying.

But then again in Canada, average prices to rent are 64 per cent over the Canadian long-term average, and price to income is 30 per...Read More

US economy close to shaking off last vestiges of the finance crisis

Apologies in advance for sounding a tad gushing, but the evidence flowing out of the US in the last few days suggests that the US economy is very close to full recovery. The finance crisis of 2008 may be close to being banished to the history books. It may not...Read More

Posted May 31, 2013

To fund a comfortable retirement you need £616,000

So how comfortable will you be when you retire? Are you planning to live off the equity in your home, or sell your business? According to Towry, in order to achieve an annuity paying out £25,783.87 after tax, a non-smoking male looking to take his annuity from age 65 would...Read More

Posted May 31, 2013

UK falls down competitive league table

Cast your mind back to the last 1990s. Back then Germany seemed to be something of a basket case. Economists often put it in the same bracket as Japan. Back in 1997 IMD, a top-ranked business school based in Switzerland, compiled its table of the world’s most competitive countries. Germany...Read More

Posted May 30, 2013

US banks see biggest profits ever: is the US back

Reinvention: that is what the US of A is good at. And data published by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation last night may give the strongest indication yet that the US has reinvented itself, and is now on the road to recovery.

Earnings at US banks during Q1 were $40.3...Read More

Posted May 30, 2013

UK consumers shunning High Street

Britain is a nation of shopkeepers, or so claimed Napoleon Bonaparte. It was not meant as a complement. It appears that today, the UK is a nation of online shoppers. It is not so certain that it is a nation of online shopkeepers, however.

By 2018, claims the Centre...Read More

Posted May 29, 2013

Fed at sixes and sevens

The markets like QE. You could say that in much the same way as you could say the sun is quite hot – that is to say the sun the star, not the ‘Sun’ the newspaper. But what will happen when QE is finally stopped, even reversed? Yesterday may have...Read More

Posted May 24, 2013

China stumbles, Eurozone limps

It appears that the Chinese economy lurched backwards again in May. The Eurozone remained firmly in recession, or is that depression? So much for things looking up!

You may know that the Purchasing Managers’ Indices follow a formula, with any score over 50 meaning expansion; under 50 indicates contraction....Read More

Posted May 23, 2013

US and UK house prices on the mend. One is better than the other.

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, US house prices rose 7.2 per cent in the year to March, after rising in the two previous months. You would need to wind the clocks back to May 2006 to find the last time the annual rate of house price growth was...Read More

Posted May 28, 2013

UK retail sales fall again, but will they rise with the sun?

Was it down to bad weather or was it more ominous than that? UK retail sales fell 1.3 per cent in April after dipping 0.6 per cent the month before. Of late the news on the UK economy has been okay. Not brilliant that is for sure, but much better...Read More

Posted May 22, 2013

SEIS? never heard of it!


“SEIS makes the tax breaks on ISAs look miserly,” or says Jeff Lynn, co-founder and CEO of Seedrs. “Yet,” he says, “few investors have even heard of it.”

Mr Lynn is not wrong. The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme offers investors 50 per cent income tax rate, even if they are...Read More

Posted May 17, 2013

UK drops from down the international wellbeing league

In 2005 the UK was in fifth place. In terms of household disposable income per head, only the US, Luxembourg, Norway and Germany were ahead of us.

Now look at 2011. According to the ONS, the UK is now in 12th spot.

Then the story...Read More

Posted May 16, 2013

BRICs hit wall, and TIMPS move into spotlight

The BRICs are not what they were. Maybe it is time to look elsewhere.

Take news out this morning. According to Capital Economics, growth in GDP across emerging markets may have fallen to a three year low. Other data revealed that the Brazilian economy grew by just 0.6 per...Read More

Posted May 30, 2013

UK house prices still going up

Earlier this week, Hometrack rereleased its latest housing report, this time covering May. This morning it was Nationwide’s turn. And then finally, we have the latest data from the Land Registry. The big snag with Land Registry figure is that it lags behind most of the other reports. So while...Read More

Posted May 30, 2013

EU opts for tax cooperation: will it help?

The penny has finally dropped. When individual countries try to tax companies the results is that the businesses go elsewhere, or hide behind their globalised operation to get around one country’s rules. We demonise Google and Apple, but the truth is that they are operating within the law. And when...Read More

Posted May 29, 2013

US consumers create recovery, or does recovery create US consumers?

The latest news out of the US really was good. But one question remains: is the US engaged in some kind of Ponzi Scheme or is the recovery real?
Here is the idea: you borrow, say, £100 off one set of people, and £200 off another set. You use the...Read More

Posted May 29, 2013

Microsoft’s clever move into advertising

Don’t write-off Microsoft yet. It has patented an application for incentivising people to watch more ads. It’s a clever idea, but may suffer from a fatal flaw.
Errrr. Ads. They are everywhere. Have you ever had the misfortune to watch a programme on the ITV player? If you are interrupted...Read More

Posted May 29, 2013

UK grows on the back of bad old habits

The news on UK plc has been pleasing of late, but two doubts remain. Okay, the UK is expanding again, but it is growing from a very low base and very slowly. Secondly, is it the wrong type of growth?

So here is your starter for ten points: What...Read More

Posted May 23, 2013

Baby boomers not saving enough

Let's hope you are sitting down because this may come as a shock. It turns out that a lot of Brits are not saving enough.

According to Prudential: “One in seven (14 per cent) people planning to retire this year will depend on the State Pension as they have...Read More

Posted May 23, 2013

Peak water?

Two words that fill many economists with dread are ‘peak oil’. The phrase is meant to signify that moment when oil production peaks, and falls into decline. What will happen when that day occurs? Will we see the end of economic growth, or will we barely notice it, so rich...Read More

Posted May 28, 2013

Eurozone still in recession, but is that a hint of promise from Greece?

The recession continues, but maybe there were a couple of bits of good (ish) news lurking in the latest data on the economies that make up the Eurozone.

The Eurozone is still in recession. GDP contracted by 0.2 per cent in Q1 of this year, according to data out yesterday. The...Read More

Posted May 16, 2013

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