• According to the British Retail Consortium, high street prices increased by just 0.6% in January – the smallest rise since November 2009. However many products were actually cheaper than a year earlier as store chiefs launched massive post-Christmas sales. The price of clothing in this year’s January sales was 7.7% lower than during last year’s bargain season.
• University cities led by Cambridge have clinched the top slots in a league table assessing Britain’s best places to do business. Oxford and Edinburgh take the second and third places in Santander’s Town and City Index which ranks conurbations by measuring the health of enterprises, local talent, connectivity, costs and wellbeing. The study looked separately at the 32 London boroughs where Westminster tops the list and Barking & Dagenham bring up the rear.
• Boris Johnson has renewed calls for London to control £1.3 billion of stamp duty receipts to boost house building. The mayor of London wants the government to allow City Hall to retain all receipts from stamp duty. Currently they go to the Treasury. Mr Johnson believes this will enable City Hall to borrow on the capital markets to fund housing, regeneration and infrastructure. He will say the move would ensure London can build the million homes it needs by the mid 2030s.
• Men are being put off from applying for jobs in primary schools because working with young children is seen as a “woman’s profession” according to research from Nottingham Trent and Bedfordshire universities.