Thursday , August 17 2017
Breaking News


UK customs proposals could be negative for Irish agriculture


LONDON: The UK’s insistence on leaving the customs union and following an independent trade policy amounts to a hard Brexit and is potentially very negative for Irish agriculture and the value of our agri-food exports, according to the IFA (Irish Farmers’ Association) President Joe Healy. Healy was commenting on the UK Government’s ‘Position Paper on Future Customs Arrangements’, published earlier ... Read More »

UK CPI inflation unexpectedly holds steady at 2.6% in July

Finland inflation highest since Sep-2014

LONDON: After a quiet day for economic news on Monday, investors have had more to get their teeth into today. The UK inflation data defied forecasts, with the consumer price index remaining steady at 2.6% in July, compared to expectations of an increase to 2.7%. Falling motor fuel prices were offset by higher prices for clothes, utilities and food. But ... Read More »

UK to seek temporary customs deal with EU

free trade deal

LONDON: Britain will propose setting up an interim customs agreement with the European Union after Brexit to allow the freest possible trade of goods. But it will also seek the right to negotiate other trade deals, a possible sticking point in the talks. According to excerpts of a government document to be published on Tuesday setting out Britain’s strategy, the ... Read More »

UK Govt rakes in £3.1bn in summer holiday taxes


LONDON: According to research carried out by the TaxPayers Alliance, the UK Government has raked in £3.1bn in summer holiday taxes. The research is based on all aspects of summer holidays from pre-holiday shopping, Insurance Premium Tax and Air Passenger Duty on flights. Air Passenger Duty has been in the news in Wales of late as Flybe cited it as ... Read More »

Tata Steel completes pension deal for UK business

tata steel

LONDON: Tata Steel today announced clinching of a new agreement that will detach the 15-billion-pound British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) from its UK business. The so-called regulated apportionment arrangement (RAA) signed by Tata Steel with the trustee of the BSPS is expected to clear the way for the Indian steel major’s potential merger with German giant ThyssenKrupp. The BSPS had ... Read More »

UK GDP growth losing momentum


LONDON: Economic growth in the UK appears to be losing a little momentum, weighed down by a sluggish performance in the services sector, according to estimates from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. The think-tank said on Thursday that gross domestic product in the UK grew by 0.2 per cent in the three months to July, after notching ... Read More »

UK exports disappoint as economy limps to end of weak first half


LONDON: Britain’s economy put in a weak performance in June when declines in car manufacturing, construction and exports gave an uninspiring end to the weakest first half of any year since 2012. A year after Britain voted for Brexit, there is still little sign that exporters have gained much by way of competitiveness from the fall in the value of ... Read More »

UK visible trade deficit widens in June


LONDON: The UK visible trade deficit widened to a 9-month high in June, the Office for National Statistics reported Thursday. Trade in goods resulted in a shortfall of GBP 12.72 billion in June compared to GBP 11.31 billion deficit in May. This was the largest shortfall since September 2016. Economists had forecast the deficit to narrow to GBP 11 billion. ... Read More »

Amazon UK halves corporation tax to £7.4m as sales soar to £7bn


LONDON: Amazon UK’s corporation tax bill halved to £7.4m last year despite its retail sales soaring past £7bn. Amazon UK Services – the company’s warehouse and logistics operation that employs almost two-thirds of its 24,000 UK staff – saw its UK corporation tax bill plunge from £15.8m to £7.4m year-on-year in 2016. The cut came despite turnover at the business, ... Read More »

Oil edges higher above $52 before U.S. inventory report


LONDON: Oil rose further above $52 a barrel on Wednesday ahead of a U.S. inventory report expected to show crude stocks dropped for a sixth week, although gains were capped by doubts about compliance with OPEC-led supply cuts. Crude inventories last week fell by 7.8 million barrels, more than expected, but gasoline stocks rose unexpectedly, data from the American Petroleum ... Read More »

U.K. bans paying wages in gold in attempt to curb tax evasion


LONDON: It is no longer legal for employers to pay salaries in gold bullion, ruled an expert tax avoidance panel in the U.K. This was a first attempt to use a new law to curb “morally repugnant” tax avoidance schemes, The Guardian reported. The anti-abuse rule (GAAR) panel, which was put together by former chancellor George Osborne in 2013, announced ... Read More »

UK household wealth rises to £10.5 trillion

profit rises

LONDON: UK household wealth rose by £892bn in 2016 to hit £10.5 trillion following an increase in the value of financial and housing assets, according to research from Lloyds Bank. The research found that wealth held by households increased by £3.9 trillion, or £143,059 per household, in the past decade from £6.6 trillion in 2006. The bank’s measure factors in ... Read More »

UK prepared to sign off on £36bn Brexit exit bill


LONDON: Downing Street has denied reports it is prepared to sign off on a £36 billion Brexit payment to the EU after Whitehall sources were quoted putting a figure on the UK’s “divorce bill” for the first time. Reports suggest the government is willing to make staged payments of up to €40 billion if the EU agreed to open talks ... Read More »

Manufacturing ‘continues to improve and will restore UK economic growth’


LONDON: Manufacturing continues to improve and will help return the UK’s economic output to growth, according to a new report. Output among manufacturers is rising, with more businesses expecting healthy order books in the coming months, said BDO. The business advisers said that in contrast to manufacturing, the services sector continues to contract. Peter Hemington, of BDO, said: “Amidst slowing ... Read More »

UK retail sales slump in July as rising inflation bites

People enter and  exit a Macy's department store in Boston's Downtown Crossing district, Wednesday, July 11, 2007.  As merchants reported their June sales results Thursday July 12, 2007, the disappointments cut across many segments of the retail  industry including Macy's Inc. Macy's suffered a 2.7 percent drop in same-stores sales, worse than the 0.8 percent decline expected. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

LONDON: UK high street sales declined in July as poor weather and rising inflation discouraged shoppers from spending, fresh figures have revealed. Overall like-for-like sales were 0.6% lower compared to the same month a year earlier following a 1.3% increase in June, BDO’s high street sales tracker found. Fashion sales fell 3.5% – its worst July performance since 2009 despite ... Read More »

Turkey, UK sign new export partnership deal


ANKARA: Turkey and the U.K. will provide co-financing for various projects and contracts within the scope of an agreement aiming to strengthen commercial cooperation and increasing investment between the two countries. The U.K. Export Finance Agency (UKEF) and its counterpart in Turkey, Eximbank, signed an agreement on Wednesday, with the U.K. government increasing its support for the British companies trading ... Read More »

UK accounting, legal sector generates £15.5bn of tax receipts

New Zealand meat, wine exports to face uncertainty on U.S border tax

LONDON: The total was made up of £6.4bn in taxes borne, plus £9.1bn of taxes collected, representing 2.5% of all UK tax receipts. The study found the accounting and legal sector collectively generated employment of 693,000 across the UK, or 2.2% of the workforce. Nearly one quarter (23%) of EU employees in the sector are in the UK, and TheCityUK ... Read More »

UK service sector activity edges up in July


LONDON: Activity in the UK’s growth driving service sector edged up in July, following a similar bump in the manufacturing sector and raising hopes the economy has had a solid start to the third quarter.The latest index, based on a monthly survey of service sector firms from IHS Markit, rose from 53.4 to 53.8 in July – slightly ahead of ... Read More »

UK economy to recover next year after GDP growth


LONDON: The UK economy will start to recover in 2018 but will first hit a “trough” for growth this year, an influential think tank has said. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has maintained growth estimates for gross domestic product (GDP) for 2017 at 1.7% after second quarter growth clocked in at 0.3%. It has also held  ... Read More »

Britain’s exports surge to highest level in 7 years


LONDON: Britain’s exports leapt to their highest level in more than seven years last month, providing a huge boost for the UK economy ahead of Brexit. Manufacturing output smashed expectations in July to hit 55.1 under the respected Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI, where a reading above 50 means growth. Foreign demand for British manufacturing increased at the fastest pace since ... Read More »