News Headlines: Sunday 29th December

Recruitment

Sir Stuart Rose has trumpeted the benefits of foreign workers in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph. The Ocado chairman and former M&S Chief Executive told the paper that “we do need labour in this country…and by and large, they’re hard workers”. He cites the question of Bulgarians and Romanians coming to work in Britain as simple free market economics and also part of the “club rules” of EU membership. The Mail on Sunday writes on a Home Office commissioned report into the impact of immigration from the two countries, with high prominence and speculation given to potential negative aspects including pressure on schools, hospitals and the welfare system. However little mention is made of the fact the report states immigration will have a positive impact on the UK economy.

Economics

The Eurozone is heading for a Japanese style deflation trap according to Pacific Investment Management Company, the world’s largest bond fund. It cites deflation as the biggest single threat to the currency bloc over the next year, due to combination of a strong Euro, slow reform and a “paucity of ambition”. Acceptance of high unemployment and low growth is risking further decline, posing a risk to high street spending, declining profits and lower wages. Greece is currently the worst affected, with deflation of 2.9%.

Property

A major report from the Sunday Telegraph into the UK property market in conjunction with RICS and Savills has found the London price boom is benefitting the rest of the country with prices expected to rise 8% across the country in 2014. The report asserts that London is the main reason why the UK property market doesn’t resemble those of Spain or Greece. And despite house prices in the capital rising at 28% over the past year, the report finds it is not out of control and that the rises are firmly tethered to responsible lending and a large number of cash purchases.  Rises of 7% in prime London properties are outstripped by rises in almost every other major world city, with Sydney seeing rises of 8.4%, New York at 11.1%, Dubai at 21.8% and Jakarta at 27.2%.

Personal Finance

Gloomy news from Which? as a survey finds more than half of people feel their finances are going to come under increased pressure this year and 60% are “dreading” their energy bills this year. According to the research, a quarter of people relied on borrowing to pay for Christmas

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