House price rises will help to cement Britain’s recovery next year, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) has said, though a rise in consumer spending will come at the expense of a fall in household savings rates, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Niesr upgraded its UK growth forecasts for 2013 and 2014, and said house price rises would drive an increase in consumer spending.
BlackBerry sale collapses
Shares in BlackBerry collapsed to their lowest level in a decade after the smartphone maker abandoned hopes of finding a buyer and drew up a radical new investment scheme instead, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The ailing company had planned to sell itself to its biggest shareholder, Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings, but the prospect of a rescue deal receded as Fairfax struggled to raise the funds needed to support its $9-a-share bid.
M&S clothing sales continue to fall
Marc Bolland, chief executive of Marks and Spencer insisted the UK high street bellwether was heading in the right direction after the revamp of its womenswear range, despite continuing more than two years of decline in underlying sales of clothing and home furnishings, reports the Financial Times.
M&S on Tuesday reported a 1.3 per cent decline in underlying sales of clothing and homewares in the three months to September 30, just ahead of analysts’ expectations of a fall of 1.5 per cent.
Serious Fraud Office launches inquiry into G4S and Serco overcharging claims
The Serious Fraud Office has launched a formal criminal investigation into two of the government’s biggest suppliers, G4S and Serco, following claims by the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, of tens of millions of pounds of overcharging on electronic tagging contracts for offenders, reports the Guardian.
Grayling asked the SFO to look into the billing allegations in July when he told MPs that an external audit had revealed that the overcharging included billing for tracking the movements of criminals who had moved abroad, who were back in prison, who had had their tags removed and even, in a few cases, those who had died.
Boss of British Gas owner Centrica waives bonus after bills furore
The boss of Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has waived his bonus this year after admitting that the energy industry urgently needs to rebuild trust with consumers, reports the Guardian.
Sam Laidlaw, who was paid a total of nearly £5m last year including almost £1.5m in cash bonuses, said he understood the anger and frustration felt by many after bills rocketed by more than three times the rate of inflation in 2013.