UK economy

The coalition government led by David Cameron has been criticised for sticking to a strategy of austerity even though the country was expected to suffer a triple dip recession in early 2013. It was also stripped of its prized AAA credit rating in February 2013.

UK agents mixed on Cameron pledge to get tough on dirty property money

British Prime Minister David Cameron wants to stop foreigners buying British homes with 'plundered or laundered cash'. Photo: AP

British property agents have mixed views over Prime Minister David Cameron's pledge of stricter rules on possible money laundering in the country's property market.

Wednesday, 5 August, 2015, 12:01am

Transaction tax would cost British savers 4.4 billion euros, report says

The City of London fears that the planned tax will cause  the values of household holdings of stocks and bonds to drop as prices adjust instantaneously to reflect the levy. Photo: Reuters

A planned tax on financial transactions in 11 euro-zone countries would cut the value of household savings in non-participating Britain by 4.4 billion euros (HK$46.8 billion), a report for the British financial sector said on Tuesday.

18 Feb 2014 - 11:27am

British retail sales rebound in January

The total amount spent in stores last month was 5.4 per cent higher than a year earlier, a sharp improvement on the meagre 1.8 per cent growth recorded for December. Photo: Reuters

British retail sales rebounded last month after a weak December to record their strongest annual growth since April 2011, helped in part by a recovery in the country’s property market, a monthly industry survey showed on Tuesday.

11 Feb 2014 - 2:16pm

British retailers cut prices as household incomes stagnate

Tesco posted a heavy decline in sales in the run-up to Christmas. Photo: AFP

British retailers slashed prices at the fastest rate in at least seven years during the January sales, industry figures showed on Wednesday, highlighting tough trading conditions despite an improving economy.

5 Feb 2014 - 2:49pm

Britain and West can bring jobs, factories back from Asia, Cameron to say at Davos

If David Cameron has his way, perhaps replicas of a royal engagement ring will be made in British rather than Chinese factories. Photo: AFP

British Prime Minister David Cameron will use a speech at Davos on Friday to say Britain and the West have an opportunity to boost their economic fortunes by luring back jobs and factories from Asia, a trend he says is already under way.

24 Jan 2014 - 3:26pm

Financial jobs in London increase for first time in nearly 2 years

Last month, 1,340 new jobs were created in the City financial district, up by two-thirds versus the same month in 2012. Photo: Reuters

The number of new financial services jobs in London rose for the first time in almost two years last month, research showed on Monday, which recruiters said was a sign that banks are starting to think about growth after years of restructuring.

13 Jan 2014 - 4:02pm

British CFOs ready to take on more risk, bank loans

Consumers have accounted for most of the recent growth in the British economy. Photo: AFP

The finance chiefs of Britain’s biggest companies say their appetite for risk has returned, with a poll showing they believe access to bank lending will ease this year, enabling them to expand and hire more staff.

6 Jan 2014 - 4:47pm

British service sector hiring at fastest rate since 2007

The service sector accounts for about 75 per cent of Britain's economic output. Photo: AFP

British service-sector firms are hiring new staff at the fastest rate in six years and are planning to ramp up investment as the country’s economic recovery gathers momentum, a survey showed on Tuesday.

26 Nov 2013 - 1:37pm 1 comment

British firms reluctant to hire despite record-high confidence levels

Stronger economic growth in the next few years will not be accompanied by big rises in employment, says the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Photo: EPA

British businesses are reluctant to ramp up hiring quickly even as their confidence levels hit record highs, a survey showed on Monday, bolstering the Bank of England’s argument that unemployment is likely to fall only slowly.

11 Nov 2013 - 11:44am

British wages rise but lag inflation

"Incomes continue to lag behind living costs," says Markit economist Tim Moore. Photo: EPA

Britons’ incomes edged up for the first time in three months in October as the labour market strengthened, although pay growth still lagged far behind inflation, a survey showed on Monday.

21 Oct 2013 - 3:23pm

London Olympics brought in HK$117b for Britain

The Olympic cauldron is raised during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Photo: SCMP

The British government claimed yesterday that last year's Olympic Games in London gave the economy a massive boost, even while acknowledging that some of the investment might have happened anyway.

An official report said the Games brought £9.9 billion (HK$117 billion) to the British economy, more than the £8.92 billion cost of staging the event.

20 Jul 2013 - 3:16am

Britain takes knife to 2015 public spending to tame deficit

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will give details on where the axe will fall as he announces 11.5 billion pounds (HK$137.7 billion) of spending cuts in the 2015/16 fiscal year. Photo: AFP

Britain’s finance minister George Osborne will unveil on Wednesday his plans for another round of government spending cuts as he tries to keep his deficit-reduction drive on track and free up cash for fresh investment.

26 Jun 2013 - 1:56pm

Thatcher's none-too-splendid legacy

Margaret Thatcher

Baroness Thatcher was finally laid to rest this week. In her declining years, she was a sadly rusted version of her "Iron Lady" image, a reminder of the wisdom of the eminent neurologist Oliver Sacks, who said, "I don't know whether there are any good ways to die".

20 Apr 2013 - 3:23am 1 comment

Britain awaits tough new budget

Protestors wearing wearing masks, suits and holding copies of the traditional red ministerial box to represent Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne on budget day, walk across Parliament Square. Osborne is expected to stick to his guns and deliver a tough budget later on Wednesday. Photo: AP

Britain’s government was on Wednesday set to unveil plans to grow the country’s recession-threatened economy, despite insisting on greater state savings as it struggles to meet its deficit-reduction target.

20 Mar 2013 - 11:19am

IMF calls on Britain to ease austerity drive

UK Finance Minister George Osborne has rejected an International Monetary Fund suggestion that Britain should ease up on its austerity drive, saying it could endanger the country’s credibility. Photo: AFP

The IMF’s chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, has urged Britain to lessen the pace of its austerity programme because of the risk it may fall back into recession this year.

Speaking on BBC radio, Blanchard said Britain’s annual budget statement due in March would be a good time for finance minister George Osborne to “take stock” of his programme of deep spending cuts and tax hikes.

25 Jan 2013 - 11:45am