Monday’s headlines

Economics

The biggest electricity providers have presented a united front in the face of criticism over dramatically rising prices. However, outside of the ‘big six’ there is less consensus. Figures from Ofgem, the regulator, suggest that the wholesale costs only went up by 1.7% over the past year. The ‘big six’ and Ofgem are both preparing to be grilled by MPs tomorrow about the apparent discrepancy between wholesale prices and retail prices. (FT p.2)

Personal Finance

In light of these prices hikes, it is therefore no surprise that the latest research conducted by Age UK has revealed that a third of all pensioners are worried about keeping themselves warm this winter. About three million older people across the country could be affected (p.7 of Daily Mail and cover of The Independent)

Property

The average price of a house sold at auction has risen by 14% over the past year according to analysis of figures compiled by the property auction group EIG. This adds further fuel to existing fears that the cost of a home could creep up to unsustainable levels. Although there has been much talk of a bubble emerging around London and the South East, EIG’s findings have shown that the cost of a home sold at auction has in fact risen in other parts of the country too (p.37 of The Times)

Recruitment

New research from financial recruiter Astbury Marsden has found that the proportion of women reaching top-level management positions in the City has doubled in the past year. 12% are now managing directors, which is double the proportion recorded this time last year, and 19% of directors and vice-presidents are now female, up from 14%. This rise in the number of women taking the top spots in the City suggests that gender diversity programmes are continuing to make progress. (FT p.4, p.23 of The Guardian and p.51 of The Independent)

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