• 2019-04-08 19:01

    By Shaily Mittal

    LONDON (MNI) - UK Retail Sales fell 0.5% in March compared with a gain of 2.3% in March last year.

  • 2019-04-04 19:01

    LONDON (MNI) - The KPMG/REC UK Jobs report, published Friday, showed the quickest decline in permanent job appointments in March, offering further evidence of the fragility of the UK economy caused by Brexit chaos.

    -The index slumped back into contraction territory for the second time this year, down to 47.6 from 50.0 in February.

    - Temporary staff hiring also pulled back, to 52.9 in March from 54.3 in February, its second lowest level in two-and-a-half years.

    - Amid reports of delayed decision making among firms leading to fewer job vacancies, candidates were also less enthusiastic about looking for a new job.

    - Limited availability of candidates continued to put pressure on starters' salaries. However, rates of pay softened in March.

  • 2019-04-04 07:50

    By Luke Heighton

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - The ECB's March package of monetary policy measures was necessary in light of the "sizeable moderation" in the pace of euro area growth, according to the official account of the Governing Council meeting.

    Here are the key points from the minutes:

    -- "A number of members expressed an initial preference for extending forward guidance through the end of the first quarter of 2020," to provide a "clear easing signal" and be more in line with market expectations of a first rate increase.

  • 2019-04-03 12:12

    By David Robinson

    LONDON (MNI) - Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the risk of a no deal Brexit was "alarmingly high", speaking in an interview with Sky TV.

    No deal was the biggest risk to financial stability from the Brexit process, Carney said, adding that real progress had been made preparing for this eventuality.

    Referring to the risk of no deal, he said: "It's alarmingly high now."

    Last August he had described the risk as uncomfortably high.

    His comments came as opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was set to meet with Prime Minister Theresa May to try and find a way out of the Brexit impasse.

    --MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2223; email:

    [TOPICS: M$B$$$,M$E$$$,M$$BE$]

  • 2019-04-02 19:01

    By Shaily Mittal

    LONDON (MNI) - - UK Shop Price inflation accelerated to a six-year high of 0.9% in March on the year compared with 0.7% in February.

    - Food price spikes contributed the most to overall inflation, led by bad weather and global commodity price increases.

    - Food inflation was up 2.5% in March from 1.6% in February, the highest since November 2013.

    - Ambient Food inflation rose significantly to 3.4% in March from 1.5% in February, the highest since February 2013.

    - Non-food inflation remained stable compared with last year and was unchanged from last month as well.

    - On a monthly basis, shop price inflation eased to 0.2% from 0.7% in February.

    --MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email:


  • 2019-03-29 05:40

    By David Robinson and Irene Prihoda

    LONDON (MNI) - Bank of England money and credit data showed that the average interest rates being paid by borrowers on a range of mortgages were at record lows in February, but housing market activity looks set to soften.

    The following are key points from the BOE data sets:

    -The number of mortgage approvals, a reliable indicator of future house purchases, fell to 64,337 in February from 66,696 in January, just above the 64,112 recorded in December.

    The approvals figure was a shade below the previous six month average of 65,50. Other housing market surveys have also painted a picture of subdued demand.

    -The average interest rate on the stock fixed 3,4 and 5 year mortgages hit their series lows in February.

  • 2019-03-27 05:56

    By Luke Heighton

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - The precise terms of new Targeted Longer-Term Refinancing Operations "will depend on how the governing council assesses the banking lending outlook," the European Central Bank's chief economist Peter Praet said Wednesday.

    Praet acknowledged that several banks face a "cliff-edge" when existing loans come due, and said it was important to "avoid creating potential new cliffs in the future.

    "Monetary policy is working," he told an audience in Frankfurt, "but it has faced repeated headwinds."

    The ECB's Governing Council was faced with a "delicate call" at its March meeting, Praet said.

  • 2019-03-13 09:35

    -Hammond: Brexit Uncertainty Damaging UK Economy; Can't Go On

    LONDON (MNI) - UK growth forecasts for the current year were cut to 1.2% by the Office for Budget Responsibility from the 1.6% forecast in October, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond told Parliament Wednesday.

    Unveiling his Spring Statement, comprising an updated set of forecasts from the OBR, Hammond said that uncertainty was still hanging over the UK and "We cannot allow that to continue: It is damaging our economy."

    The OBR, like the BOE, bases its forecasts on the assumption that there will be a smooth Brexit. On this basis, the OBR's growth forecasts were little changed from October while it predicted a slight improvement in the public finances.

  • 2019-03-07 09:18

    By Luke Heighton

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - A fresh round of targeted long-term refinancing operations (TLTROs) was announced by the European Central Bank Thursday, while key interest rates will remain unchanged "at least through the end of 2019."

    TLTRO III will be launched in September this year and end in March 2021, each with a maturity of two years.

    Full details will be announced "in due course," the ECB said, but counterparties will be entitled to borrow up to 30% of the stock of eligible loans as at February 28 2019 at a rate indexed to the interest rate on the main refinancing rate over the life of each operation.

    In another significant move, the ECB also changed its forward guidance on the timing of key interest rate rises from "at least through the summer of 2019,

  • 2019-03-07 05:27

    --Tenreyro, Like Vlieghe, Sees Easing Likelier Response To Disorderly Brexit

    LONDON (MNI) - In the event of a no-deal Brexit, an easing of monetary policy was more likely than tightening, Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Silvana Tenreyro said Thursday.

    Her comments align with those of her college, Gertjan Vlieghe. Other MPC members have refused to attach any weights to the likely policy response to no Brexit.

    The following are the key comments from Tenreyro's speech in Glasgow:

    --Tenreyro said that the policy response to a no deal, no transition period would depend on the balance of the impact on supply, demand and the exchange rate.