Business News – 11th May 2017

Major global economies showing strength  

The OECD has said all key measures for the world’s biggest economies show they are growing at a stable or accelerating pace. The group of 35 OECD countries overall are showing stable growth with an index score of 100.1, while the eurozone is at 100.4, the five major Asian economies at 99.5 and the G7 at 100.1. Britain’s index score currently stands at 99.7. It has been rising steadily since mid-2016 and is currently at its highest level since late 2015.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 8

SMEs optimistic but nervous over rising costs

The latest Business Barometer from Close Brothers found that almost half of SME leaders now believe the UK economy is on an upwards trend, with 21.7% saying they expect their business to perform more strongly over the next 12 months, against 11.8% who expect contraction or closure. The biggest worry for 24.4% of them is coping with the cost of the national living wage while 23.3% cite business rates as their main concern. Almost a third of respondents said late payments were a problem for their firms and 65% of these said they suffered cash flow problems as a result.

Yorkshire Post, Business, Page: 6

 Clinton boss loses second firm

Gifts and cards firm iCandy has gone into administration. The firm was started by Clinton Cards founder Clinton Lewin five years ago. FRP Advisory were called in after tough High Street trading piled pressure on the business. FRP blamed the collapse on a slowdown in consumer spending and a sharp rise in business rates.

Daily Mail, Page: 73    The Times, Page: 47   Independent i, Page: 41  

Labour’s general election manifesto leaked

A leaked copy of Labour’s draft manifesto shows Jeremy Corbyn is planning to nationalise industries such as energy, the rail and postal networks and will seek to introduce a 20:1 pay ratio cap for businesses. As part of a £250bn tax and borrowing plan, the party would also introduce pay bargaining and union recognition across the workforce, achieved through a transfer of power to unions via a new Ministry of Labour, and phase out tuition fees. Companies could also be hit by a plan to fine businesses who pay their staff too much money and there would be income tax rises for those earning more than £80,000 a year. Labour will also rule out a “no deal” Brexit, refuse to set a migration target and drop the Great Repeal Bill. The Telegraph’s Jeremy Warner says the manifesto is “outright dangerous” and “legally impossible” while the paper’s Tim Stanley says the party is throwing away the biggest Brexit bargaining chip Britain has.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 1    The Daily Telegraph   The Daily Telegraph   The Guardian, Page: 1, 11   The Times   Daily Mail, Page: 1, 6   The Independent, Page: 3   Daily Mirror, Page: 1, 4-5

Taxes will rise whoever wins, says Anthony Hilton

If, by some fluke, the Standard’s Anthony Hilton suggests, Jeremy Corbyn were to win the election then taxes would be expected to rise. “What most people seem not quite to have worked out yet, is that they are equally likely to rise if he loses,” he adds. Though the government says it understands the need for greater spending on infrastructure and skills to create a better environment for business and growth, Hilton says, in the Prime Minister’s first 300 days “nothing has happened” and Brexit is likely to “bite.”

Evening Standard, Page: 38

Interest rates expected to stay at 0.25%

City analysts expect no change to interest rates by the BoE today, citing slower than expected first quarter GDP growth, muted earnings growth, a tricky start to Brexit negotiations and the snap election called by Theresa May.

The Independent, Page: 45

The importance of professional auditing services

The advantages for SMEs of using external auditors are considered by Business Matters. Doing so improves credibility as the business demonstrates a commitment to compliance, while the benefits of having an external audit in terms of streamlining financial processes make the extra costs worthwhile.

Business Matters

Edmonds demands £50m over HBOS fraud

TV presenter Noel Edmonds has demanded £50m in compensation from Lloyds Banking Group for “public humiliation and damage to his reputation” caused by the fraudulent activities of its HBOS Reading arm. Six former employees at the branch were jailed for a scam targeting SMEs which drove them into debt before asset-stripping them.

The Guardian, Page: 3   Independent i, Page: 5   Financial Times, Page: 1, 3   Daily Mail, Page: 29    The Independent, Page: 12   The Times, Page: 21

Divorce slices £3,100 off pensions

Divorcees can expect substantially lower retirement incomes, according to a study prepared by insurance giant Prudential. Individuals who haven’t been through a divorce can expect pension pots to generate average annual incomes of £19,400, if retiring this year. This compares with divorcees, whose annual retirement income will average £16,300. Prudential pensions specialist Clare Moffat explained the financial impact of divorce can be “devastating in the short and longer-term”.

City AM

Payment delays and insolvencies are predicted to rise

Atradius has reported that payment delays and insolvencies are predicted to rise in the consumer durables retail sector this year. While payment delays and insolvencies have been relatively stable over the last six months, the Atradius report shows a weaker picture for the six months ahead. Growing economic uncertainty, expected to impact consumer spending, and higher import costs are the primary factors behind the deteriorating outlook and Atradius is warning manufacturers, suppliers and retailers to take extra measures to protect themselves.

FCA warns about spate of fake emails

The Financial Conduct Authority has warned about fake emails purporting to be from the regulator. There has been a reported increase in the number of emails coming from with the subject “Overdue balance” and from with the subject “FCA business update” or “Blacklisted FX firms”. The FCA said firms and individuals receiving these emails should delete them without opening them.


Previous News pages

Business News – 10th May 2017

Business News – 9th May 2017

Business News – 8th May 2017

Business News – 5th May 2017

Business News – 4th May 2017

Business News – 3rd May 2017

Business News – 2nd May 2017

Business News – 28th April 2017

Business News – 27th April 2017

Business News – 26th April 2017

Business News – 25th April 2017

Business News – 24th April 2017

Business News – 21st April 2017

Business News – 20th April 2017

Business News – 19th April 2017

Business News – 18th April 2017.