U.K. unemployment falls but hiring spree stalls to 15-month low: Unemployment in Britain has continued to decline over the past three months, but at the slowest pace since mid-2013, raising fears that the hiring spree is starting to slow.
Ultra-wealthy in Britain exceed 10,000 individuals, find researchers: The U.K. is home to more than 10,000 “ultra-high net worth individuals” – people with assets of £20 million or more – with only the U.S. and Germany having higher numbers, says a new report.
Dunstone backs online estate agent HouseSimple: Carphone Warehouse Founder Sir Charles Dunstone has given £5 million backing to online estate agent HouseSimple, in the latest assault on the property selling sector from a disrupter.
IMF lowered growth forecasts It lowered its expectations for global growth by 0.3 percentage points for both 2015 and 2016 and said that low oil prices will not be enough to boost the world economy. (FT)
Swissie casualties Last week's violent swing in the Swiss franc continues to wreak havoc. A leading European foreign exchange filed for administration and a Danish bank admitted to facing heavy losses. The UK's Financial Conduct authority has also asked currency brokers to report on the impact the Swiss move had on their balance sheets, in an attempt to assess the damage on the industry. (FT)
Denmark's rate cut The Danish central bank cut interest rates to a record low in anticipation of currency speculators on the hunt for their next target after Switzerland ditched its defence of the franc. Investors have been eyeing up Denmark's strict peg to the euro since the cap was ended on the franc-euro exchange rate. (FT)
Average rents increased by 3% during the course of 2014, despite falling by 0.1% on a monthly basis, the latest Buy-to-Let Index from Your Move and Reeds Rains has revealed. The average rent paid across England & Wales stood at Â£767 in December, up from Â£745 in December 2013, but down marginally from the average of Â£768 recorded in November. Nonetheless, such strong annual growth reflects growing demand and a divergence from usual norms, with rents typically falling in December. Even though that happened, it was by much less than usual, with both demand and rents higher than normally expected. This overall improvement has helped boost average annual returns to 11.1% - equating to Â£18,893 over the 12 months - slightly lower than the 12.0% yield registered in November but far higher than December 2013 when total returns stood at 9.2%.
According to The Independent, the North-South divide in England has widened significantly in the past decade, with southern English cities driving the economic recovery while many in the North lose jobs and stagnate. Citing a report, the newspaper wrote that for every 12 new private sector jobs created in cities in the South over the past 10 years, one private sector job has disappeared in the rest of Britain.
The Guardian has said that nearly four out of 10 households with children, or 8.1 million people, live below an income level regarded by the public as the minimum needed to participate in society, according to new research commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The number of those on less than the so-called minimum income threshold in 2012/13 was up by more than a third from 5.9 million in 2008/09, the charity says.
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