According to information from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) property prices in the UK are due to rise in 2010 driven by low borrowing costs and the shortage of homes. Property values are due to rise by five percent and mortgage costs will cheapen as the Bank of England retains a its record low 0.5 percent key interest rate. CEBR have reduced their property price forecast from 6 percent after the tax on home purchases rose and cold weather damped demand for property. Average mortgage interest rates are expected to drop by around one percent by the start of 2011.
US based billionaire investor Warren Buffett, has backed Bank of England Governor Mervyn Jones previous comments by stating that said he doesn’t envy the winner of the UK general election, who will be faced with the need to make "politically very unpopular" decisions to cut the deficit. Speaking after the annual shareholder meeting of Berkshire Hathaway before a crowd of 40,000 , Mr Buffett warned the next occupant of No 10 to fear the bond market, which could turn against the UK if public spending is not brought back into balance over the long term.
Buffet’s comments regarding the UK’s current financial plight echoes previous statements made about growing government debt across the Western world. The debt has been incurred as a result of the economic stimulus measures put in place to prevent a much worse recession after the financial panic of 2008.
It has been reported that the collective wealth of the UKs 1,000 richest people increased by 30 per cent in 2009, largely due to the efforts of London-based steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal. Claiming the top spot for the sixth consecutive year Mittal seen his fortune double from £10,800 million to £22,450 million in the wake of the recovery of the steel industry worldwide.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich remains second on the list, whilst adding a mere £400 million to his stack of £7,400 million.
The Duke of Westminster, retains his place as the wealthiest UK born member of the list saw his mainly property based fortune increase to £6,750 million.
According to a recent survey, most of the UK’s small companies feel that the current tax system it too complex, and would like to see it simplified,
Two thousand small and medium sized UK enterprises (SMEs) took part in the survey that found that 77% participating feel that the current system is preventing them from taking advantage of tax benefits and breaks, while
60% were found to be unaware what entitlements they may be suitable for.
While many experts see SMEs as the engine for economic recovery and a key battleground in the upcoming election, many small businesses find the complexity of the tax system frustrating, with almost three quarters with the impression that the tax system was actually acting as a barrier for start-ups.
An ambitious new UK company offering people the chance to rent their neighbours’ cars has had hundreds of drivers registering on the site just a week after launch. The company Whipcar, launched in mid-April, uses the internet to connect owners of underused cars with drivers looking for short-term rentals for a trip to the shops or the school run. But insurance limitations mean that Whipcar has had to turn away a surprisingly large number of sports car owners. Who wanted to become part of take advantage Whipcar’s system, which lets them set their own price before lending their pride and joy to fully insured and vetted neighbours. Whipcar is just one example of a business using the web as a marketplace to bridge the gap between car ownership and traditional rentals. Streetcar, which pioneered car clubs in the UK, was acquired last month for $50 million by Zipcar, an American competitor whose model it was based on.
The FTSE 100 joined stock markets globally in tumbling deep into the red as the Greek bailout failed to ease investor fears. The Footsie fell 2.6%, down 142.2 points to 5411.1,
US-based United Airlines and Continental Airlines have agreed a deal to merge, creating the world’s biggest carrier. The two companies, that both have made losses in recent years, have predicted that the merger, worth around two billion pounds, will allow the now company to cut around five hundred million pounds ($1 billion) a year.
The new company will be trade as United Airlines while using the current Continental colours. News of the deal sent both companies shares upwards of Wall Street.
Shares on Wall Street have fallen sharply as concerns about high levels of European government debt continue to reduce confidence.
The Dow Jones falling by 2%, and NASDAQ by 2.98 %. THE Dow Jones closed down 225 points to 10926.77 while NASDAQ dropped 74.49 points to close on 2924.25
Oil giant BP has acknowledged that they are to be held responsible for cleaning up the huge oil spill which occurred after an accident to one of its wells off the Gulf of Mexico on the US coast.
BP boss Tony Hayward predicted that the spill would need to be contained for two to three months. Since the BP Deepwater Horizon rig sank on 22 April Thousands of barrels of oil have been leaking into the ocean. Meanwhile BP shares hit a seven-month low on about the cost of cleaning up the massive oil spill. Shares in BP fell by 4.3%, (25 pence) to 551 pence in early trading, making for an overall fall of more than 15% since the explosion on the rig two weeks ago.
Despite of forecasts that car sales are not liable to peak again for five years, it has been reported that global car production increased by more than half in the first quarter of this year in comparison to 2009,. Data for 12 of the world’s biggest car markets, accounting for more than three-quarters of world automobile output, showed double-digit increases in the first quarter of 2010. In China, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and the UK, the year-on-year rise was up by almost 75%.
Reaction to the approval of an unprecedented bail-out package to rescue Greece’s embattled economy has been muted. The package, which will see Eurozone members and the IMF loan Greece €110 billion (£95 billion) over three years, had been widely anticipated, but came after the Greek government agreed to make severe budget cuts.
However several Eurozone member countries, with Germany’s voice being loudest heard, have questioned whether the rescue package and budget cuts combined will be sufficient to solve Greece’s deep-seated problems.