Economy News

Risk appetite among UK-based companies "hits record high"

British companies are increasingly likely to spend, a survey has showed today The risk appetite among chief financial officers has risen in the first quarter of 2014, hitting 71% - its highest level since 2007. A survey conducted by Deloitte of 126 CFOs showed that there has been a marked reduction in uncertainty about the UK economy coupled with optimism about an improvement in financial conditions.

GDP growth estimate for 2013 revised down to 1.7%

Official figures have shown today that the UK's economy grew by 1.7% in 2013, 0.1% less than the previous estimate of 1.8%.

Initial estimates for GDP growth were put at 1.9% and was cut to 1.8% before today's revision.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed that the UK economy grew by 0.7% in the final quarter of 2013, unchanged from its previous estimate.

Business investment rose 2.4% in the fourth quarter, the ONS confirmed.

Surprise jump in UK retail sales

UK retail sales rose much faster than originally forecast in February, suggesting that the economy's excellent recovery extended into the first quarter of 2014. Sales in February were 3.7% higher than a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said. Economists had expected retail sales to improve, but only by 0.5% in February and 2.5% on the year. The pound rose to $1.6627 after the retail sales data, from $1.6570 beforehand.

UK inflation rate falls to four-year low of 1.7%

Figures show that a fall in petrol prices pushed the UK inflation rate to a new four-year low of 1.7% last month dipping below the Bank of England's 2% target.

It is the second consecutive month that the Consumer Prices Index rate has been below BoE's target.

Inflation measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) fell to 2.7% in February from 2.8% the month before.

Budget 2014: Growth forecasts raised for 2014/15 + Key Business Points

Official forecasts for UK economic growth have been raised for the next two years but cut for later years. The predictions from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) show that gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to rise by 2.7% in 2014, up from a forecast of 2.4% in December. The growth forecast for 2015 has been raised from 2.2% to 2.3% and 2016 has been left unchanged at 2.6%.