Morning Papers: UK statistical chiefs leave RPI unchanged

The UK statistical authorities removed uncertainty hanging over inflation-linked government bonds on Thursday, deciding to leave the calculation of the retail prices index unchanged, reports the Financial Times.

Rejecting statistical advice from a number of experts worldwide, the Office for National Statistics decided to retain in the RPI a mathematical formula that the national statistician accepts “has an upward bias” of nearly 1 per cent a year.

Britain should stay in European Union, says Obama administration

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The Obama administration issued a direct challenge to David Cameron over Europe, on Wednesday when it warned of the dangers of holding a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, reports The Guardian.

A senior US official questioned the merits of holding a referendum as the prime minister’s campaign to reset the terms of Britain’s EU membership also came under assault from Brussels and Dublin.

France Sets Deadline to Overhaul Labor Laws

French unions and employers are starting what the government calls a last-ditch bid to agree on broad changes to labor laws, a process President François Hollande initiated with the hope of reassuring investors that the country can loosen its employment market without mass protests and disruption, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Representatives from the country’s five largest unions are to sit down on Thursday to negotiate with employers, who want to make it easier for French companies to adjust working hours and pay, along with reducing risks associated with hiring and firing.

M&S catches a cold as it emerges clothing sales fell during run-up to Christmas

Winter woollies have done little to warm things up at Marks & Spencer – with clothing sales slumping over the crucial Christmas period, reports the Daily Mail.

The poor performance at Britain’s biggest clothing retailer is revealed just days after rivals John Lewis and Next posted sparkling updates, having attracted record numbers of shoppers.

Morgan Stanley to slash 1,600 staff

The City of London is bracing for fresh job cuts after Morgan Stanley became the first investment bank to swing the axe this year, reports The Daily Telegraph.

The Wall Street investment bank is cutting 1,600 staff, with about half the reductions coming from outside the US. The bank employs several thousand people in the City.