Weekly Digest – 4 October 2023

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

What’s happening to UK inflation and interest rates?

At the latest meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, the Bank of England left its policy interest rate unchanged – at 5.25% – the first time since November 2021 that the cost of borrowing wasn’t raised. The decision follows new data showing consumer price inflation for the year to August at 6.7%.  Read some expert analysis of the situation here.

Oil prices edge higher as global demand reignites inflation worries

Brent crude oil surpassed $97 per barrel on Thursday, edging toward the 100 dollar mark which was last hit more than a year ago.

Tackling the UK’s productivity problem

The UK’s persistently poor productivity must be tackled if we are serious about renewing economic growth and raising living standards. Businesses and accountants have a core role in that endeavour.

UK business confidence slips in September: Lloyds Bank

British business confidence declined in September as optimism about the economic outlook faded, a survey showed on Friday, adding to signs of a slowdown in the economy.

Government unveils new Board of Trade with UK’s top CEOs

Business and Trade Secretary and President of the Board of Trade Kemi Badenoch has announced a refresh of the Board of Trade at the meeting of one of the government’s highest-profile advisory bodies on trade and economic issues.

North West region’s business confidence increases for second consecutive month

Business confidence in the North West rose four points during September to 38%, a second consecutive month of growth, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Renewed signs of stress hit UK economy

High interest rates, continued uncertainty and low productivity could see the UK struggle to keep its head above water in the second half of the year – with GDP growth forecast at 0.4% in 2023 and 0.3% in 2024, according to KPMG’s latest UK Economic Outlook.

Greenlash’ fuels fears for Europe’s environmental ambitions

A growing ‘greenlash’ against Europe’s environmental agenda has not so far derailed its decarbonisation plans, but looming elections could put future climate and nature measures at risk. As policymakers seek to translate net-zero targets into measures that extend beyond power generation to areas such as buildings and transport, they face increasing resistance as citizens struggle with a cost of living crisis.

Advisory fuel rates

Find out about advisory fuel rates for company car users, when you can use them, and how they’re calculated as latest rates are published by HM Revenue & Customs.

UK mortgage approvals touch six-month low but consumers borrow more

British lenders approved the fewest new mortgages in six months in August, figures showed on Friday, in a further sign of the slowdown in the property market as mortgage interest rates rise, but borrowing by consumers gathered some steam.

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