Markets Economy

Markets and Economy

Slump in factory output likely to prove a blip

Output in Britain’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly slumped in October, according to official figures that were described by economists as “disappointing” but likely to be a blip.

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Trader monitoring market activity. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Wednesday market close: Talk of Italian bailout boosts stock market

More than £30 billion was added to the value of the UK’s biggest companies amid reports that Italy may take a controlling stake in troubled banking giant Monte dei Paschi di Siena.

Markets Economy
Drugs giant Pfizer has been handed a record fine by the competition watchdog. Picture: Dan Kitwood/PA Wire

Scottish business wire: Pfizer | Stagecoach | Car sales

Catch up with the main breaking business stories of the day.

Martin Flanagan says the resignation of Italian premier Matteo Renzi will do little to improve the landscape for M&A deals. Picture: Gregorio Borgia/AP

Martin Flanagan: EU upheaval weighs on takeover deals

There has been much evidence that UK businesses have put investment on hold following the landscape-shifting Brexit vote.

Markets Economy
The Doosan Babcock Engineering facility in Renfrew which will now close. Picture: TSPL

Doosan Babcock to close Renfrew plant with 470 jobs at risk

Engineering group Doosan Babcock is to cut almost 500 jobs across its UK sites.

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The number of Scots households living in fuel poverty has fallen year-on-year, but the Scottish Government admits there is 'more work to do'. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

‘One in three’ Scots households struggle with heating bills

Almost one in three Scottish households struggled to heat their homes in 2015, despite the overall number of those in fuel poverty falling year-on-year due to lower prices.

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The annual Black Friday sales gave stores a boost last month. Picture: Jon Savage

Black Friday shoppers send non-food sales soaring

Bargain-hungry shoppers bolstered retail takings last month, with non-food sales jumping 40 per cent during the week including Black Friday.

Brexit clouds are gathering over the finance sector, a major contributor to government coffers. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Financial sector pays 11.5% of total UK tax bill

The financial services sector contributed £71.4 billion in tax last year, highlighting the potential hit to UK government coffers if Brexit results in restricted access to the EU’s single market.

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The services sector accounts for about 75% of the UK economy. Picture: John Devlin

Services sector overcomes Brexit to hit ten-month high

Activity in the UK’s powerhouse services sector jumped to a ten-month high in November as the economy showed further signs of resilience in the face of Brexit uncertainty.

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Simon Phillips says there is still a 'major deficit' in new home approvals. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Simon Phillips: Affordable housing still vital

Great progress has been made towards delivering the Scottish Government’s target of 50,000 affordable homes over the next five years – but much still needs to be done.

Markets Economy
EY's Item Club said the economic outlook was clouded by potential policy changes by US president-elect Donald Trump. Picture: John Devlin

Scottish economy to slow sharply in 2017, warns think-tank

Scotland’s economy is forecast to grow a meagre 0.4 per cent next year, half the rate for the UK as a whole and slashed from a 2 per cent prediction last June, a think-tank says in a report today.

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The Scottish Engineering report found most parts of the sector were enjoying an uplift. Picture: Jon Savage

Scottish business wire: Engineers | Semefab | Golf

Catch up with the main breaking business stories of the day.

Markets Economy
The Scottish Engineering report found most parts of the sector were enjoying an uplift. Picture: John Devlin

Engineering enjoys first upturn in activity for two years

Activity and optimism in Scotland’s engineering industry has increased for the first time in two years as the shock of Brexit has been absorbed by the sector and stability returns to the supply chain.

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The engineering sector is improving from a 'pretty low base', says Scott Reid. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Scott Reid: Green shoots may have sprouted for engineers

Scottish Engineering’s latest snapshot provides a glimmer of hope for a sector that has not had its troubles to seek in recent times.

Markets Economy
The new Scottish banknotes have traces of animal products in them. Picture: PA

New Scottish polymer banknotes ‘contain traces of animal fat’

The makers of new Scottish polymer banknotes have admitted they contain trace amounts of animal fats.

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Quotes from Jane Austen novels have been engraved onto four 5 notes which are about to go into circulation.

Willy Wonka-style challenge launch with new 'plastic fivers'

A Scottish art gallery is joining forces with an artist known as “the world’s smallest engraver” to stage a Willy Wonka-style challenge involving the new five pound notes.

Markets Economy
Overhauling the LBTT system could help stimulate the wider economy, argues John Boyle. Picture: Emma Mitchell

John Boyle: Time to change Scotland’s property tax

Land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT), the system that replaced stamp duty on all property transactions in Scotland in April 2015, has now been in place for a sufficient amount of time to crunch some of the key numbers and assess what kind of impact it is having on the property market and the economy as a whole.

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Oil prices are set to soar over the next few weeks.

Motorists face soaring fuel prices following Opec deal

THE PRICE of petrol is expected to jump by 9p a litre after Opec president Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada announced a deal to cut oil production.

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Derek Mackay presents the Scottish Budget this month. Picture: PA

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay hints at tax rises in Scotland

Finance secretary Derek Mackay has hinted tax ­rises could be introduced as he signalled that the Scottish Government could make further changes to economic policy.

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Finance Secretary Derek Mackay will deliver his budget next month. Picture: Contributed

Kenneth McEwen: Scots face tax gap with rest of UK

Around 372,000 Scottish taxpayers will have to wait until the Scottish Government delivers its budget on 15 December for confirmation of how much worse off they will be in 2017-18 compared to people with the same earnings in the rest of the UK.

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