News headlines for 27th December 2012

 

Personal Finance
Boxing Day spending put at nearly £3bn as millions of armchair bargain hunters join in the festive frenzy online. The high street is also recording record sales with Selfridges in London taking £1.5m within a hour of opening, tourists from China said to be the top spenders. The Selfridges website crashed and and it had to apologise to shops via Twitter.

A lack of interest from young savers could spell the end for pensions says the Centre for Policy Studies. Private pensions will not exist by 2050 as young people have no interest in saving money they cannot obtain for decades. It is suggested that 24-34 year olds should save into Isas which they can dip into if needed. Research found that just 12 per cent of people in their twenties and early thirties were paying into a pension. Young people should only invest in workplace pensions if their employer was making sizable contributions and if they were 40 per cent taxpayers meaning they get more tax relief. A recent study shows a third of young people expected to retire on £30,000 a year.

Business
The British economy has failed to gain traction in 2012 after the north-south divide has widened between house prices, employment and fears over finances. Figures from the Centre for the Modern Family found that people living in he north were likely to have struggled to cope financially in the past 12 months. Nearly 40 per cent of northerners surveyed by the Scottish Widows think-tank reported that life for them had worsened in the past year, compared to 30 per cent in the south.

Property
Southend or “Sarfend”, once charmingly called the armpit of England by actress Helen Mirren, tops house price table with the biggest recorded rise in house prices this year. All five town that topped the Halifax survey were within commuting distance from the the capital with the average selling price in the Essex seaside town rising by 14.8 per cent to £189,418 by the end of 2012. The Halifax conceded that the figures concealed considerable local differences with nine out of the ten towns seeing the biggest declines located outside of the South of England. The north-south house price divide is set to persist in 2013.

Recruitment
More people in the retail sector have lost their jobs in the second half of 2012 says R3, which represents insolvency specialists. And British executive are increasingly in demand for temporary roles overseas where they can make £1,200 a say or more as corporate guns for hire says a survey of 1,000 interim managers.

The death of a legendGerry-Anderson
Thunderbirds…has gone. Producer Gerry Anderson has died aged 83. Despite his success which included Captain Scarlet and Joe 90, Anderson was said to have detested working with puppets and always wanted to make live action films instead.

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