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Oil price fall leads to improved UK growth forecast – The sharp fall in oil prices will boost UK economic growth this year but weakness in the eurozone will limit momentum, a leading economic thinktank predicts. The National Institutc ve of Economic and Social Research as revised up its outlook for the economy this year and now see GDP growing 2.9%, compared with a previous estimate in November of 2.5%.
Petrol prices likely to rise, say motor groups – Two of the UK’s leading motoring organisations say fuel prices are unlikely to fall further and could soon rise. The end of forecourt deflation follows 19 weeks tin which petrol has fallen from an average of about 131p to 106p a litre – the lowest since 2009. The impact of falling oil on household motoring bills since last July has been welcomed as a contributor to a sharp fall in inflation as measured by the consumer prices index, which fell to 0.5 per cent in December.
Nissan surges ahead on strong US sales and weak yen – Nissan has raised its annual profit forecast on the back of surging US car sales and a weaker yen – even though it is still grappling with slowing demand in China and other emerging markets. For the full year to the end of March, Japan’s second-biggest carmaker by vehicle sales forecast a net profit of Y4205bn. It estimated that total revenues would rise 6.4 year on year to Y11.2tn.
Speeding fines in Europe could follow UK drivers home – Thousands of British motorists caught speeding on the Continent could be tracked down and fined in the UK under new European Union legislation. The EU is expected to endorse measure tomorrow giving member states powers to access British drivers records for the first time. It will affect motorists using thieir own car in mainland Europe who up until now have been able to avoid fines after being caught by speed cameras.
Business chief urges swift EU vote – A business leader has called for a swift referendum campaign on Britain’s membership of the European Union followed by a vote as early as the summer of 2016. John Longworth, head of the British Chambers of Commerce, was speaking to the Financial Times ahead of the business lobby group’s annual conference. Today he will warn delegates that the UK is in danger of becoming “a Ruritanian backwater” if its political leaders do not reform its relationship with the EU or if they follow an anti-business agenda.
Oil supply on the slide – Opec has slashed its global production forecast for this year as American shale companies curb drilling an dig oil companies cut spending after the collapse in prices. The cartel of producers reduced its forecast for global supply growth for 2015 by 420,000 barrels a day, to 850,000 barrels , in its monthly report.
Young to cut red tape for SMEs seeking public contracts – Red tape that prevents small business from winning government contracts is be stripped away this month, alongside action on late payments, as part of a push to help small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) generate income form the public sector. In a report into small businesses, Lord Young of Grafham, enterprise adviser to the Prime Minister, said that eh arduous “pre-qualification questionnaire” (PWW) is to be shelved permanently for contracts valued below EU thresholds for goods and services.
Britain ‘will drop out of top 10 world economies by 2050’ – Britain will slip down the global growth league over the next three decades as its ageing population and rapid growth in emerging markets help Mexico and Nigeria to leapfrog the UK. PwC predicts Britain will slip out of the world’s top[ 10 largest economics by 2050, as China asserts its dominance and India’s young population helps it over take the US as the world’s second largest economy.
British firms at growing risk amid North Sea downturn – The number of British oil and gas related companies at risk of going bankrupt has increased by almost three quarters amid a steep decline in the fortunes of the North Sea following a plunge in the price of crude. Data from insolvency specialists Begbies Traynor released to The Telegraph shows that the number of of UK oil and gas businesses experiencing “significant” financial distress increased by 69pc to 486 in the fourth quarter, compared with 288 companies a year earlier.
Driverless cars to force Highway Code rewrite – The Highway Code many need to be rewritten to stop driverless cars from binging Britain’s city centres to a half, an official review is expected to say. Passing distances between cyclists and pedestrians may have to be changed to prevent robot vehicles clogging up roads across the country. The prosed changes could represent the most significant shake-up of the Highway Code for decades.