Wriglesworth Paper Summary: Saturday 9th November 2013

Economics

Saturday’s economic news was overwhelmingly positive for prospects in both the US and China. Speculation has grown that the Federal Reserve will begin winding down America’s economic stimulus next month grew last night after the latest stats for jobs growth smashed expectations on Wall Street. Larry Elliot reports in The Guardian the US economy has recently created 204,000 jobs – way above expectations – on the back of above-forecast 2.8% annualised growth in the third quarter. (The Guardian, p.44)

Meanwhile, the Chinese economy has seen a strong rebound in exports – rebounding from a surprise slump in September with 5.6% annual growth in October. The numbers come as China’s leaders “prepare to set the fiscal and political direction for the next decade.” (FT p.8) In The Express, Peter Cunliffe comments on the impact of this manufacturing business – with China “ sitting on £2 trillion of foreign earned as manufacturer to the rest of the world”, and potentially using London as the centre of its investments of that money in the rest of the world. (Daily Express,. P.28) however, in The Independent Anthony Hilton writes on “why the City should be wary of banking too much on the Chinese” where he writes that while stuffed with cash, Chinese banks are far from immune from overstretching themselves, and are “notorious for being potentially among the most toxic in the world” (The Independent, p. 53)

Personal Finance

In Saturday’s Times Mark Atherton sets out the “tariff tart” approach to cut down on energy bills. Apparently, serial switching is the only way to cut down your costs as gas and electricity retail prices continue to increase dramatically. Atherton reports that one smaller supplier, Utility Warehouse, has ordered a 31.6% increase for some electricity customers. To avoid such surprises, reading all the small print form suppliers and switching as soon as anything unexpected arises is the only way it appears. “Active customers” should even be prepared to leave a fixed rate deal before it expires in order to pocket longer term savings, with Mark Todd of price comparison site energy helpline, commenting, “You need to be continually on your toes. If you are prepared to do this, you should be able to enjoy annual savings of £200 to £300 compared with what you would pay on the average standard tariff.” (The Times, p.67)

Property

Property Developers must start building new homes right away, or lose planning permission, according to the Planning Minister Nick Boles. A change in regulations is intended to “prevent land banking” and bring forward new building rather than allowing developers to simply make money out of rising land prices and the value of planning permission. The move against holding land now has cross party support, with the official Coalition policy now in agreement with Ed Miliband’s pledge to outlaw the practice at his conference speech in September. However, Nick Boles insists this particular measure “to extend planning permission has always been temporary…” (The Daily Telegraph, p.1)

Recruitment

An advert for a job in PR was advertised as “for men only” on the Guardian website. Proctor and Stevenson, a design company, were seeking a PR manager for £45,000 a year but due to their middle-eastern clients and “travel and work restrictions” for women in the area, the company needed to “restrict [their] candidate selection to males only” (The Times, p.41)

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