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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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UK economy picking up, surveys suggest

Category : Business

CBI sees signs of rising business confidence, while Lloyds data shows growth in seven of England’s nine regions

Britain is starting to see green shoots of recovery as business activity picks up, companies continue to hire new staff and consumers start to spend again.

A series of surveys published on Monday suggest the UK is on the road to recovery after its double-dip recession, providing a boost for chancellor George Osborne.

Business lobby group the CBI expects the economy to grow by 1% this year and 2% in 2014. That contrasts with the IMF, which recently slashed its growth forecast for the UK from 1% to 0.7%, and suggested Osborne should rethink his austerity programme.

The CBI has consistently supported the chancellor on austerity, although it has called for more measures to boost growth. John Cridland, director general of the CBI, said on Monday: “The UK economy is moving from flat to growth.”

But he warned that the country continues to face big challenges. “Although recent data suggests rising business confidence, the economic climate remains tough, hampering demand here and overseas. Meanwhile, consumers remain under pressure, as inflation continues to outstrip wage growth.”

In April, business activity grew at its fastest rate in eight months, according to Lloyds TSB’s purchasing managers’ index. The PMI – which is based on data from 1,200 manufacturing and services companies – came in at 52.2 in April, up from 51.6 in March, moving further above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.

The survey showed growth in seven of England’s nine regions, led by Yorkshire & Humber with a reading of 55.7. Only the West Midlands and the North East reported a slight reduction in business activity, hit by a weaker performance of the manufacturing sector and spending in those regions.

Elsewhere, it seems Britons are going out more and parting with their cash, cheered by the warm weather. Barclaycard said spending rose 3.6% last month compared with April last year, led by 21% growth in spending on cinema and theatre tickets. Restaurants also benefited with an 11% increase in spending, as did DIY stores, up 8.5%. Growth in spending online continued to outstrip the high street, up 11.7% on last year, compared with just 1.7% in bricks and mortar shops.

Valerie Soranno Keating, chief executive of Barclaycard, said: “Although economic data is generally mixed, this is the first time since 2011 that we’ve seen growth above 2% for three consecutive months, which may suggest a more sustained improvement in sentiment.”

A forward-looking survey of the jobs market suggests it too is looking healthy, with growth in employment set to continue in the second quarter. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said more employers are expecting to increase headcount than those who intend to cut jobs, with a balance of +9, up from +5 for the previous quarter.

Gerwyn Davies, CIPD labour market adviser said: “Even though last month’s official figures showed a slight dip in the level of employment, these findings suggest that further employment growth is possible.”

But he notes that the number of jobs being created may fail to keep pace with the population growth, meaning unemployment could still rise.

Arts and culture worth more than £850m to UK export trade

Category : Business

Report shows arts budget of less than 0.1% of public spending delivers four times that in contribution to GDP

Arts and culture delivers a significant return on relatively small levels of government spending and directly leads to at least £856m of spending by tourists in the UK, according to a new report seeking to analyse the value of the arts to the modern economy.

Analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) shows that the arts budget accounts for less than 0.1% of public spending, yet it makes up 0.4% of the nation’s GDP.

The report is published amid fears that the arts will take another big hit when George Osborne announces his spending review in June.

Maria Miller, the culture secretary, recently called for the economic case to be made for the arts, “to hammer home the value of culture to our economy”. She added: “In an age of austerity, when times are tough and money is tight, our focus must be on culture’s economic impact.”

The report, commissioned in November, helps to do that in unprecedented detail, showing that spending on the arts is far from a drain on public resources.

Alan Davey, chief executive of Arts Council England, which commissioned the research with the National Museum Directors’ Council, said he was gratified that the report quantified “what we have long understood – that culture plays a vital part in attracting tourism to the tune of £856m a year; that arts centres and activities transform our towns and cities and drive regeneration, making the choice to maintain investment in culture a forward thinking one for local authorities; and that the arts support the creative industries and improve their productivity.”

The report calculates that:

• The turnover of businesses in the arts and culture industry was £12.4bn in 2011. This in turn led to an estimated £5.9bn of gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy in the same year. (GVA is the value of the industry’s output minus the value of inputs used to produce it, including state subsidies.)

• The sector provides more than 110,000 jobs directly, about 0.45% of total employment in the UK. The figure becomes 260,300 jobs once the indirect impacts of arts and culture are added in.

• Living in an area with twice the average level of cultural density adds an average £26,817 to the value of a property.

The report says that public subsidy plays a vital role in encouraging creative innovation by “overcoming private-sector reluctance to invest in risky projects”. One example of that, quoted in the report, is the National Theatre’s War Horse, which even the original book’s author, Michael Morpurgo, had reservations about – but which has become a big moneyspinner.

Similarly, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which dominated the Olivier theatre awards, could only have been created with public money. Its director, Marianne Elliott, said after receiving an award: “We took risks and thought we would fail and it is a testament to subsidised theatre that we were allowed to think we might fail.”

The report says there is much evidence to show that art and culture improves national productivity. “Engagement with arts and culture helps to develop people’s critical thinking, to cultivate creative problem solving and to communicate and express themselves effectively.”

Although consumer spending on the arts – its biggest income – increased between 2008 and 2010, it suffered a decline in 2011-12. The report warns: “It might be said that arts and culture is experiencing a pincer movement effect in the aftermath of the financial crisis: reduced consumer expenditure due to squeezed incomes, and reduced public spending.”

The report was welcomed by the investment banker John Studzinski, who chairs the east London arts organisation Create. “Everybody knows the enormous intangible benefits of the arts. What this report does is look at tangible benefits that economists and bureaucrats can now point to.”

Davey stressed that the primary concern from the Arts Council’s perspective was always the contribution culture makes to quality of life. “But at a time when public finances are under such pressure, it is also right to examine all the benefits that investment in arts and culture can bring – and to consider how much we can make the most effective use of that contribution.”

Sweet Summertime Snack Ideas

Category : Stocks, World News

MISSION, KS–(Marketwired – May 2, 2013) – (Family Features) In the warm summer months, nothing beats spending time together creating fun snacks that promote healthy eating and a little creativity.

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Fifty Shades boosts UK book sales

Category : World News

British publishers report record sales for 2012, with total spending up to £3.3bn, despite the recession and the rise of e-readers.

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US consumer spending beats forecasts

Category : Business

US consumer spending unexpectedly rose in March, up 0.2% on the month, but growth was slower than in the first two months of the year.

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MPs question infrastructure spending

Category : Business

MPs on the Public Accounts Committee question whether the government’s £310bn infrastructure spending plans are ‘credible’.

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VIDEO: US economy growth reaches 2.5%

Category : World News

The US economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5% in the first three months of the year, helped by the strongest consumer spending figures in two years.

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US economic growth reaches 2.5%

Category : Business, World News

The US economy grew at an annualised pace of 2.5% in the first quarter of the year, weaker than expected despite strong consumer spending figures.

Continued here: US economic growth reaches 2.5%

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India’s Low E-Commerce Numbers Mask the Internet’s Huge Impact on Purchase Decisions

Category : World News

This “Digital Influence” Affects $30 Billion of Urban Consumer Spending in India Today — up to Five Times That of E-Commerce Alone — and Will Reach $150 Billion by 2016, According to BCG Survey

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Darling urges spending caution

Category : World News

Former Chancellor Alistair Darling urges Labour not to commit to future spending plans until it knows the government’s own position.

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