Business briefs: The Item Club | Clive Cowdery

SCOTTISH economy – The Item Club, accountancy firm Ernst & Young’s economic think-tank, raised its growth forecast for Scotland’s economy this year by 0.1 percentage point to 0.8 per cent.

• Scottish Coal – Liquidators at KPMG have given Durham–based preferred bidder Hargreaves Services extra time to consider which of Scottish Coal’s mines it wants to buy.

• Clive Cowdery – Insurance tycoon Clive Cowdery is eyeing his first move into the United States after tabling a bid that could be worth up to £600 million for insurer Lincoln Benefit Life.

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• Car industry – Ministers are preparing to unveil a £1 billion partnership with the motor industry, which will invest in the development of electric and hydrogen–powered cars.

• Bank of England – Reports suggest John Kingman and Tom Scholar – Treasury civil servants who led the bailout of HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland – are frontrunners to be named as a new deputy governor of the Bank of England to replace Paul Tucker.

• ‘Double dip’ – Britain’s “double–dip” recession could be erased from history this week. The Office for National Statistics will give its latest forecast for growth in the first quarter of the year on Thursday and also include revisions to previous figures.