Weekly Digest – 14 February 2024

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

UK unemployment rate much lower than thought in late 2023

Britain’s unemployment rate was much lower late last year than previously thought, the Office for National Statistics said, citing re-weighted survey results that might add to the Bank of England’s caution about cutting interest rates quickly.

Inflation expected to rise for second straight month, making interest rate cuts less likely

The UK’s inflation rate is set to rise for the second consecutive month, in a blow to hopes that the Bank of England will cut interest rates next month.

Deloitte Regional Crane Surveys: City centre living dominates development activity in UK regional cities

Residential and purpose-built student housing developments led construction activity across four of the UK’s regional cities with over 29,000 city centre homes under construction or completed in 2023, according to the Deloitte Regional Crane Surveys.

Next government must act to renew UK economy, says ICAEW

ICAEW has outlined the actions needed to boost productivity and ensure the UK economy is resilient in future. ICAEW’s Manifesto calls for the revitalisation of support for start-ups, improved access to labour and a simplified, digital tax system.

Companies facing second-highest level of financial ‘distress’ in Europe

UK businesses are facing the second-highest level of “deepening” financial distress in Europe due to inflation and high interest rates.

UK first major economy to halve emissions

The UK is the first major economy to halve its emissions – having cut them by 50% between 1990 and 2022, while also growing its economy by 79% – new official statistics released confirm.

Insolvencies forecast to keep rising before situation improves

UK insolvency levels could rise even further this year, despite signs of economic improvement, according to a new forecast.

Work until you’re 71? What’s the alternative?

A new report has suggested the state retirement age may need to rise to 71 to maintain the number of people who financially support the pension system – and it adds that it might need to happen as soon as 2040.

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