A third consecutive fall in net lending to companies in April suggests the economy is a long way off from sustainable recovery. While lending to households rose and consumer confidence jumped, caution when lending in the corporate sector tempers the good news. After falls in February and March, net lending fell a further £3bn. Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight suggests the cost of borrowing rising means there is low demand for credit, and paying down debt is a more attractive prospect.
Unemployment has hit 12.2% across the EU and 1 in 4 young people are out of work. Greece tops the table with 27% unemployment and 62.5% unemployment among the under-25s.
Graham Norwood looks at alternatives to gated communities in London, arguing gated communities can raise resentment and alert would-be thieves to a cluster of wealthy homeowners. New developments invite people into communal areas, subtly designed to keep them away from residents’ property.
Annuities rates have risen 3% since the start of the year following an increase in gilt yields. The increase will see the income rise on £100,000 from £5,250 and £5,437 for a 65 year old woman. However, experts advise annuitants not to defer their decision as the process can be complex and costly.