British factories were among the strongest in Europe last month. The Markit/CIPS Index for UK manufacturers hit a four-month high of 49.5 in August, well above the July reading of 45.2. The news has raised hopes that the longest double-dip recession for more than 50 years may finally be coming to an end.
Daily Mail, p.64, The Independent, p.53
There has also been good news in the legal sector, as Britain’s 100 largest law firms have racked up more than £5bn of annual profit for the first time. The impressive performance was helped by a number of major law firms merging last year.
Daily Mail, p.67
Millions of new pensioners were warned last night that they face a retirement of poverty after weeks of slashed annual payouts. Pension companies have cut rates offered on their guaranteed annuity incomes 24 times since the start of summer. Standard Life is the latest to do so, lopping five per cent off the rate offered to the newly retired.
Daily Express, p.1
The number of ‘underemployed’ – adults who have a job but want to work more hours – has risen by a million since 2008 according to the Trades Union Congress. The young and those in low-skilled roles are among the worst affected, while an estimated 1.4 million are trapped in part-time roles but want to go full-time.
The Guardian p.27, The Times, p.29
British property developers are having to look elsewhere for funding as banks are refusing to do business with them. Looming regulatory changes that will force banks to hold more capital against their commercial property loans, coupled with the effects of the recession, means that property developers are increasingly turning to lending sources in the US.
The Independent, p.52