The Bank of England has upgraded its outlook for the British economy for the first time in five years. In his final inflation report before retirement Sir Mervyn King forecast stronger growth and weaker inflation than in February. King blamed weak global growth, and particularly the Eurozone, for the delayed British recovery. However, the FT leader argues the BofE cannot rest on its laurels. The economy may be going in the right direction but it is powered by the worng fuel. The rebalancing that government allies and opponents both want to see has yet to materialise. Net trade pulled growth down last year rather than contributing to it. FT, p.1,3,14; Telegraph, p.B1,B4
Millions of households facing rises in their monthly energy charges will be hit by further price hikes by the end of the year. The harsh winter, extending into a cold spring, plus price rises expected in autumn could push the average annual dual fuel bill up by 10% to £1,600. Daily Express, p.1,5
The number of Brits who travel for more than 90 minutes each way to work have doubled since 2008. The average worker lives 17 miles from work and takes 41 minutes to get there. But extreme commuters now make up nine per cent of all staff. Accountants travel the furthest while car industry workers have the shortest daily tip of just 22 minutes, according to Randstad. Sun, p.51 Daily Mail, p.24, Mark Bull is quoted in The Times saying “high-flyers are out to impress.