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Monday newspaper round-up: UK high street, BHP Billiton, electricity bills

Mon, 16th Apr 2018 07:26

(ShareCast News) - Dismal weather kept consumers away from the high street last month, prompting the steepest drop in shopper numbers since the end of 2010. The number of people visiting shops in March dropped 6% compared with the same month last year after strong winds and snow hit the UK. A survey of Visa card users indicated that consumer spending slid 2% in March, rounding off a poor start to the year for the retail sector. - Guardian

A homeowner in a housing complex in London with Grenfell-type cladding has been told the value of her 475,000 home has collapsed and is now just 50,000. Galliard Homes, the developer of the 11-block complex in New Capital Quay in south-east London, is facing a 30m-40m bill to replace the cladding and is currently locked in a legal dispute over who should pay.-Guardian

The Bank of England has privately warned lenders that the withdrawal of its 127bn cheap funding scheme poses a "systemic risk" to Britain's financial system. The Term Funding Scheme (TFS) was launched by Bank Governor Mark Carney after the Brexit vote to help keep interest rates low in the real economy, with most lenders gorging themselves on the available funds. - Telegraph

BHP Billiton could gain two years' breathing space on a huge compensation claim from prosecutors in Brazil over a mining disaster that killed 19 people in 2015. A deadline for striking a new deal with authorities falls on April 20, with BHP and its Brazilian partner Vale hoping to seal an agreement that will for the first time include the government and both state and federal prosecutors. - The Times

The Commonwealth's business chief has said it would be a "dereliction of duty" if Britain failed to boost exports to member states and persuade them to formally commit to free trade. Pulling together an agreement that endorses trade without tariffs or barriers would be "not that difficult", Lord Marland, chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, said. - The Times

Annual household electricity bills could rise by almost 200, or a third, by 2025 because of increasing wholesale prices and green subsidies, leading analysts have warned. The upward pressure will force the government to increase its energy price cap repeatedly, according to the findings by Aurora Energy Research. This will leave ministers, who condemned leading suppliers last week for increasing energy bills, with the "politically awkward" reality of their own policies forcing up the level of their cap. - The Times

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