The yield on the 10-year Treasury is closing in on 2%, while stocks were mixed on worries the Federal Reserve will begin to unwind its bond purchases sooner rather than later.
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.
Category : Stocks
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY and MOSCOW–(Marketwired – May 13, 2013) – The 14th Plenary Assembly of the World Jewish Congress in Budapest re-elected Ronald S. Lauder as president of the WJC for another four-year term. He has held the position since 2007. “I see this as the top assignment for the Jewish people and I am excited to serve as president of the World Jewish Congress for another four years,” said Lauder.
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Hemp, Inc. to Co-Produce Historic Documentary on Commercial-Scale Planting of Hemp
DENVER, May 13, 2013
DENVER, May 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — After 60 years of industrial hemp growing dormancy in America, hemp grower, Ryan Loflin is set to revitalize commercial-scale hemp growing today in Springfield, Colorado. The historical event will be filmed with Hemp, Inc. (OTC: HEMP), the leader in the industrial hemp industry, serving as one of the Executive Producers.
Centrica, which owns British Gas, says gas use in the first four months of this year was almost a fifth higher than last year because of the cold weather.
Read the original here: Gas use up 18%, says British Gas
Anglo American Platinum plans to cut 6,000 jobs in South Africa after its profits were affected by violent labour strikes last year.
Originally posted here: Amplats planning 6,000 job cuts
A revision by the Office for National Statistics to construction industry data has cast doubt on whether the UK entered a double-dip recession last year.
View original post here: Data suggests UK avoided double-dip
The introduction of energy smart meters in 30 million UK homes will be delayed for more than a year, the government announces.
Read this article: Smart meter project is delayed
HOUSTON, TX–(Marketwired – May 10, 2013) – Era Group Inc. (“Era”), a leading helicopter transport operator based in the United States, today announced it will release financial results for its fiscal year 2013 first quarter after the market closes on Tuesday, May 14, 2013. In connection with the release, Era has scheduled a conference call for Wednesday, May 15, 2013 to begin at 10:00 a.m. ET (9:00 a.m. CT).
Continued here: Era Group Inc. Announces Q1 2013 Earnings Release Call