Markets Economy

Markets and Economy

Pensions outstrip property in driving household wealth

Overall wealth in the UK has grown 4.5 per cent a year since the financial crash, from £8.5 trillion to £11.5 trillion, a new report out today from a City institution shows.

Markets Economy
'Manufacturing, construction and exports are largely treading water,' writes Martin Flanagan. Picture: Colin Mearns

Martin Flanagan: UK economy displays a sickly pallor

Whenever politicians and business organisations talk about the need to rebalance the UK economy away from consumer consumption, many of us do not hold our breath.

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The CBI report found slowing growth in volumes among consumer services such as restaurants and hotels. Picture: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Cost pressures weigh on profits in key services sector

Rising costs dented profits in Britain’s crucial services sector in the three months to May as demand remained flat for the fourth consecutive quarter, says today’s latest survey from the CBI.

Markets Economy
Rising inflation is taking its toll on consumer spending. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Scottish economy fears as UK growth revised downward

Fears that Scotland’s economy fell into recession during the opening months of 2017 have intensified after official figures for the UK were revised downwards.

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'Inward investment can bring a range of direct and wider benefits to our economy,' says Scottish Development International managing director Paul Lewis. Picture: Contributed

Paul Lewis: United thinking can put Scotland on world map

The market for inward investment is increasingly competitive, with more nations and regions seeing foreign direct investment (FDI) as a key way to grow their economies.

Markets Economy
Chancellor Philip Hammond has vowed to put the public finances back in the black 'as early as possible'. Picture: Neil Hanna

Government borrowing in April highest for three years

The UK government borrowed a surprise £10.4 billion in April in the last update on the public finances before the general election next month.

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'The construction industry of the future will be both low carbon and digitised,' says Lisa Deane. Picture: Contributed

Lisa Deane: Collaboration can boost the bottom line

Recent reports that Scotland and the UK’s productivity lags behind our international peers is an important call to action that we need to do things differently if we are to improve our long-term economic prospects.

Markets Economy
Rettie's John Boyle calls for some 'tough love' to bring the land and buildings transaction tax into line. Picture: Emma Mitchell

John Boyle: LBTT proving to be tantrum-prone toddler

Land and building transaction tax, or LBTT, celebrated its second birthday last month.

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'Vanguard is going for the mass market of small retail investors,' writes Bill Jamieson. Picture: Matt Morton/PA Wire

Bill Jamieson: Vanguard set to shake UK investment tree

Only rarely is that hackneyed phrase “elephant in the room” justified. But it is certainly so to describe low-cost US tracker fund giant Vanguard’s move on the UK small investor market.

Markets Economy 1
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale visits the Glasgow Science Centre. The MSP has pledged to close the gender pay gap in Scotland. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

Labour pledges to end the gender pay gap in Scotland

Women in Scotland face earning £60,000 less in their lifetime than men because of the gender pay gap, the latest research on the long-running issue has found.

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UK sales volumes jumped 2.3% last month, but rising inflation is putting the squeeze on consumers. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Sun shines on high street but outlook is unsettled

Britain’s retailers enjoyed a sales rebound last month as the sun shone on the high street but the outlook remained cloudy as another big name announced dozens of store closures.

Letting out a property to multiple tenants will bring in 'enviable' income, but landlords need to plan for repairs and other costs. Picture: Ian Georgeson

David Alexander: Buy-to-let pain for long-term gain

Is the buy-to-let landlord a saver or an investor? This is a question I have asked myself many times and still not come up with a definitive answer.

Markets Economy 3
Unemployment may be falling, but wages are not keeping pace with rising prices. Picture: John Devlin

Martin Flanagan: Data shows many are ungainfully employed

Well, the rise in inflation is clearly outstripping wage growth (2.7 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively), with cash-stretched consumers likely to be the piggy in the middle.

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Grant Thornton said there were 'more glimmers of light' emerging in Aberdeen. Picture: Craig Stephen

‘Cautious ­optimism’ as Aberdeen economy rebounds

Aberdeen’s economy is showing signs of “cautious ­optimism” after three years of oil-related misery, a report suggests.

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Mark Carney and his Bank of England colleagues are unlikely to respond to soaring inflation by hiking interest rates, writes Martin Flanagan. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Martin Flanagan: Rates unlikely to follow inflation’s ascent

The only way is up, apparently, certainly as far as inflation is concerned.

Markets Economy 1
Total sales north of the Border rose 2.5% last month. Picture: John Devlin

Easter shopping helps boost Scottish retail figures

Easter egg buyers helped boost Scotland’s retail sales, according to latest figures, but spending on non-food items has dropped to its lowest level in four years.

A jump in Easter air fares pushed inflation to 2.7% last month. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Inflation hits highest level in more than three years

Inflation hit a three-and-a-half-year high last month as the Brexit-hit pound and the timing of the Easter holidays pushed up the cost of living.

Markets Economy 2
Martin Flanagan says suppliers and employees are feeling the squeeze ahead of the UK's departure from the European Union. Picture: Neil Hanna

Martin Flanagan: Workers and suppliers in Brexit firing line

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to, er, leave.

Markets Economy 3
Sustainable transport can help Scotland meet environmental targets. Picture: Andrew O'Brien.

Gillian Bruce: Drive to go green is good for business

Our environment provides everything we need to survive and thrive: raw materials, energy, and processes to disperse and break down waste. But the societies and businesses that will succeed in the 21st century will be those which have adapted to use less energy, less raw material and less water, produce less waste and emit less carbon.

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'How much further can investor enthusiasm run with tech stocks such as Amazon?' asks Bill Jamieson. Picture: Alex Hewitt

Bill Jamieson: Getting the momentum investing balance right

Not all that long ago, the conventional wisdom in markets was to be cautious of the crowd and to be wary of investing when everyone else was buying.

Markets Economy
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