Meg

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UK economic growth confirmed at 0.8%

<b>The UK economy grew by 0.8% in the first three months of 2014, official figures have confirmed, as households spent more and firms lifted investment.</b><p>The latest figures confirm the initial estimate from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and also confirm the economy grew 3.1% from a year …

Human Geography

EU and US restart transatlantic trade talks

<b>It would be the biggest trade deal of all, involving the world's two biggest developed economies - and it is very controversial.</b><p>American and European trade negotiators get back to business on Monday, as they work for a new trade agreement, called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, …

Is the UK becoming more productive?

<b>Well, well, well. UK productivity - the output of British workers - may be improving at long last.</b><p>That is the implication of the latest survey of business conditions by the Bank of England's agents, and it is the hope of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).<p>Why does that matter?<p>Well it means …

Bank of England

Scottish Power hit with price gap penalty by Ofgem

<b>Scottish Power has been hit with a £750,000 penalty by regulator Ofgem following an investigation into price differences between payment methods.</b><p>Suppliers can charge different prices if customers pay in different ways, such as by cheque every quarter or by a cheaper monthly direct debit.<p>This should …

Customers

The Independent | News | UK and Worldwide News | Newspaper

The main opposition leader had been barred from the race<p>The paper could have earned Hawking a Nobel Prize, his co-author says<p>Monty Python star …

Barclays Bank fined £26m for gold price failings

<b>Barclays Bank has been fined £26m by UK regulators after one of its traders was discovered attempting to fix the price of gold.</b><p>The trader, who has been sacked, exploited weaknesses in the system to profit at a customer's expense, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said.<p>The incident occurred in …

Investing

Britain's richest 1% own as much as poorest 55% of population

ONS figures reveal growing wealth disparity and north-south divide, with nation's top 10% owning 44% of household wealth<p>Britain's richest 1% have accumulated as much wealth as the poorest 55% of the population put together, according to the latest official analysis of who owns the nation's £9.5tn …

Zero tolerance

BRITAIN’S flexible labour market was a boon during the economic slump, helping keep joblessness down and then, when the recovery began, allowing …

Economics

A troubled union

<b>The Euro Crisis and its Aftermath.</b> By Jean Pisani-Ferry. <i>Oxford University Press; 206 pages; $29.95 and £20.</i> Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk<p><b>European</b> …

Europe

Not so fair trade

BUYING ‘Fairtrade’ coffee is not really helping the very poor, new research suggests. By comparing living standards in Fairtrade-certified producing …

UK £50bn better off thanks to quantitative easing, says economist

Bank of England senior economist says QE has had bigger impact on GDP than initially thought<p>Britain's economy is £50bn better off as a result of the Bank of England's decision to pump in money in the wake of the global financial meltdown, one of its most senior economists has argued.<p>The Bank's …

UK GDP growth: what the economists say

Official figures show that the economy grew by 0.8% in the first quarter and experts predict 3% growth for 2014 as a whole<p>Britain's economy grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2014. This was below expectations of a 0.9% increase in GDP but better than the 0.7% achieved in the fourth quarter of …

UK unemployment figures: what the economists say

'There still appears to be plenty of slack in the labour market which is keeping a lid on pay growth ...'<p><b>Samuel Tombs, UK economist at Capital Economics</b><p>“While the economic recovery is creating jobs at a rapid pace, there still appears to be plenty of slack in the labour market which is keeping a …

Europe's economic crisis is getting worse not better, says Caritas report

Survey shows increase in the number of new poor in seven countries and challenges the official European Union discourse<p>Far from being over Europe's economic crisis is getting worse with disturbing levels of poverty and deprivation being noted among children and youth, says a report compiled by the …

George Osborne hails reforms as key to economic recovery

Chancellor lauds creation of more than 1.3m posts as tax and welfare changes 'encourage jobs growth' across Britain<p>George Osborne will claim on Monday that the changes to the UK's taxes and welfare system are the most significant for two decades and will drive the UK's economic recovery by …

IMF warns slow economic recovery will keep interest rates at historic lows

Diagnosis of IMF's World Economic Outlook predicts low interest rates for several years in rich countries<p>A slower-than-expected recovery across the global economy will keep interest rates in rich countries at historic lows for several years, the International Monetary Fund has warned in its World …

The four economic charts of the day you really need to see

1. China’s economy slows<p>Economic output hit 7.4% year-on-year in the first quarter. That’s the slowest rate since the third quarter of 2012. But Chinese stocks rallied on expectations the government would respond to the slow growth by pumping in more stimulus.<p>2. UK unemployment hits five-year …

Economics

Surge in British companies' marketing spend points to economic recovery

Spending on advertising, sponsorship, public relations and other promotional items increases for sixth consecutive quarter<p>British businesses are on a marketing blitz, with an influential industry report revealing the biggest surge in spending since records began 14 years ago.<p>In a sign that …

The Economic Problem With Solar Power; And The Solution

I fear that Noah Smith is being a little unkind to the Koch brothers here. No, not because I have any contact with them, nor because I’m just generally a neoliberal running dog lickspittle. But because they have in fact identified a real problem with solar (and certain other home generation …

Dead roots lurk beneath the green shoots of Britain's economic recovery

Austerity has worked, apparently. House prices are soaring and George Osborne tell us that the economy is thriving. But look beneath the surface and it's a different story<p>• Hard Times: from the big recession to the small society - interactive<p>How big a deal is it when a rich society gets a bit …

How to play Europe’s economic recovery

Old Mutual Global Investors European Equities head Kevin Lilley discusses Europe’s economic recovery and his top three stocks<p>Kevin Lilley, head of European equities at Old Mutual Global Investors revealed his top three stocks are Banco Popular, <b>Renault</b> and Pandora A/S.<p>He said that banking had …

Europe

China: the world's new economic model army?

China isn't just a threat to US economic dominance – but the whole western democratic paradigm for success<p>According to research carried out by the International Comparison Programme for the World Bank, China is moving close to becoming as large an economy as the US. Its research, published last …

UK 'great recession' almost over, says thinktank

Economy will regain pre-recession peak in next few months but GDP and output per capita has long way to go, says NIESR<p>Britain is finally shaking itself free of the grip of the "great recession", a leading thinktank has claimed, as it said the economy was on the cusp of returning to its pre-crisis …

The UK government must think small to bring about big economic change

Policymakers have been reluctant to adopt ultra-micro projects, but they are an antidote to the failed 'trickle-down' model<p>Don't look now, but the political language is changing. Once, the phrase "rebalancing the economy" was the cornerstone of coalition economics; shifting energy from finance to …

Economic recovery was held back by changes to tax system, says thinktank

Institute for Fiscal Studies chief accuses coalition of creating a 'more complicated, less efficient and less transparent' tax system<p>The government has held back the recovery with a string of policy changes that have made the tax system "more complicated, less efficient and less transparent", …

Eurozone economic growth loses momentum

<b>Eurozone economic growth lost momentum in the first three months of 2014, official figures show, with the growth rate unchanged from the previous quarter at 0.2%.</b><p>That was weaker than many economists had expected.<p>German growth picked up pace, with the economy expanding by 0.8%.<p>But France and Italy …

Economics