Weekly Business Bulletin: 7th November

Image: Elliott Banks

Image: Elliott Banks

Domestic

The Bank of England announced last Thursday that the Interest Base Rate will not change before 2017, with the Monetary Policy Committee voting overwhelmingly to maintain interest rates at the historic low of 0.5 per cent. The bank base rate has been at 0.5 per cent since 2009, and the Bank’s decision is due to the fragility of the global financial system.

Marks and Spencer, the giant of the British high street and the middle classes’ favourite place to purchase socks, has announced a decline in general merchandise sales as its clothing revival has stalled. While overall profits have risen by 6.1 per cent to £284m, general merchandise has declined by 1.2 per cent over the previous six months. However, the retailer is fighting back with critics raving about the new clothing this season.

Talk-talk have announced that over 150,000 customers have been affected by the recent hack of its servers. The company has said that more than 15, 600 bank account details have been stolen, with 28,000 credit card numbers accessed. Commentators have advised that customers remain vigilant about suspicious activity in their accounts.

International

Embattled German car manufacture Volkswagen has seen its UK sales figures decline by 9.8 per cent in September. This drop is due to the ongoing emissions rigging scandal, with Volkswagen admitting that approximately 11 million cars worldwide were affected by the issue. Several national regulators are looking at the issue with substantial fines likely to be imposed on VW.

Predictions for European economic growth have shown that a ‘modest recovery’ is likely. The European Union figures suggest that the 28 nations of the EU will grow by 1.9 per cent this year, with the 19 member Eurozone, which the UK is not a part of, growing by 1.6 percent. For Eurozone leaders this is good news, given that the Eurozone entered recession last year. However, the figures are very small compared to the predicted growth of the UK economy at 2.7 per cent

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