Business News – 28th April 2017

UK economy slows

The UK economy grew by just 0.3% at the start of the year, the slowest growth rate since the first three months of 2016, according to official figures. The Office for National Statistics said that the slower pace in the January-to-March period was due mainly to the service sector, which sank to 0.3% growth against 0.8% at the end of 2016. In the last quarter of 2016, gross domestic product increased by 0.7%.

BBC news

Personal insolvency figures expected to rise

The number of  personal insolvencies is expected to have increased in official figures released on Friday. Experts predict there will be around 23,000 to 24,000 cases recorded across England and Wales during the first quarter of 2017 in figures released by the Insolvency Service.Previous figures show there were 22,852 personal insolvencies in the fourth quarter of 2016. Three types of personal insolvency make up the official figures – bankruptcies, debt relief orders (DROs) and individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs). Ruth Duncan, president of the Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA) and an insolvency specialist at RNF Business Advisory Ltd, said: “It is predicted that the total number of personal insolvencies is likely to be between 23,000 and 24,000. However, with the economy continuing to be reasonably buoyant as interest rates remain historically low, it is likely that the next statistics due in July will show a levelling out of personal insolvencies.”. The last figures released by the Insolvency Service showed the number of people being tipped into insolvency jumped by 13% last year, prompting some experts to warn the tide may have turned for household finances. Some 90,930 personal insolvencies were recorded across England and Wales last year, rising 13.1% from 2015. It was the first time since 2010 that the number had increased year-on-year.

YAHOO Finance

SMEs fear loss of EU workers

A report from the Federation of Small Business (FSB) has found that 59% of SMEs with EU workers are worried about finding skilled staff and 54% are concerned about growing their business after Brexit. The study also found UK small firms say they would consider relocating abroad (13%), reducing operations (13%) or even closing down (8%) if Brexit creates additional barriers to recruiting EU citizens. Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, said it is “vital that the Home Office engages with small businesses as early as possible on the design of a new immigration system to ensure affordability and ease of use.”

Tax Donut

Consumer confidence stable

The GfK consumer confidence for April has remained stable – dropping one point from the previous month. Joe Staton, of GfK, said: “Consumers continue to remain positive about their personal finances.”

The Independent, Page: 59   The Sun

Britain top European destination for FDI

Figures from the OECD show that Britain has climbed to the top of the league table for foreign investment in Europe, bringing in $253.7bn (£197bn) in 2016 – the highest level of inflows since 2005. The inflows are up from £33bn the previous year and mean the UK’s FDI is second only to the US in the OECD club of 35 rich economies. Maria Borga, senior statistician at the OECD’s investment division, said the sharp increase was a sign of “confidence in the economy.”

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1

Theresa May urged to break promise not to raise taxes

Britain will be condemned to running a permanent deficit if Theresa May does not break a promise not to raise taxes, former head of the Treasury Nick Macpherson has warned.

Financial Times, Page: 1

HMRC’s £5m tax probe into football is ‘just the beginning’

HMRC’s investigations into allegations of tax irregularities at West Ham and Newcastle football clubs is just the start of a crackdown on tax avoidance in football, Kyle Phillips at Howard Kennedy told the Standard. The probe is thought to concern transfers between English and French clubs, image-rights payments and payments to football agents. The paper notes that EY estimates that the Premier League is responsible for generating £2.4bn in tax and so this latest HMRC investigation into the possible avoidance of £5m is relatively small. Ex-Newcastle midfielder Sylvain Marveaux is reportedly among four people arrested in France yesterday, it has emerged.

The Daily Telegraph, Sport, Page: 6   The Times, Page: 68   Evening Standard, Page: 70    Daily Mail, Page: 91   The Independent, Page: 77    The Sun, Page: 21   Daily Mirror, Page: 19   The Guardian, Sport, Page: 5   Independent i, Page: 64

 Concerns over tax office closures

MPs have voiced their concern about controversial plans by HMRC to close a number of offices to transform the way it collects tax. The Public Accounts Committee said it did not believe the reduction from 170 offices to 13 regional hubs in city centres, would save as much money as predicted. The union representing staff said the Government should now halt the closure plans. HMRC had claimed the move would save £300m by 2026 and £80m a year after that, but MPs said they thought this unlikely considering the cost of the relocating had risen by at least £150m.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1   Daily Mail, Page: 13   Yorkshire Post, Page: 4

FS firms ‘biggest target of cyber attacks in 2016’

The financial services industry was attacked by cyber criminals more than any other sector globally in 2016, according to new figures from IBM Security


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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.