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The Bank of England should be ready to cut interest rates to stimulate spending if any economic bounce after a Remain vote is disappointing, according to a member if the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee. Gertjan Vlieghe said that Brexit would create “significant uncertainty” and the UK was “likely to experience lower growth and higher inflation”.
Retails sales posted a much stronger growth than expected. Consumers spent an average of £7bn a week in April, the volume of goods purchased was up 1.3 per cent compared with march, and 4.3 per cent compared to last year. The volume of sales was up in all areas except for stores and clothing. Despite the rise in the volume of sales for most stores, the ONS noted the average prices had fallen across all stores types.
FMC and Technip in $13bn merger
Two of the world’s leading providers if services to the offshore oil industry are merging and selecting the UK as their domicile. FMC (US) and Technip (France) will create the world’s second largest listed oil services group by revenues, with a market capitalisation of $13bn. Oil prices have been hit hard by the decline in crude prices since mid-2014.
Uber accelerates rivalry with first self-driving car
Uber has put its first self-driving cars on the road. The model is a hybrid Ford Fusion fitted with special sensor, which is being tested in Pennsylvania. Uber has not announced yet any formal partnerships with car companies for its driverless initiative although the test with Ford suggests that the two are in talks. However, regulations remain a barrier especially in most US states that do not have any yet any laws governing the technology.
A UK probe into suspected bribery at Rolls-Royce has spread to Nigeria in the latest blow to a company already facing investigations in multiple countries. Britain’s Serious Fraud Office is examining Rolls-Royce’s former energy operations in the oil-rich west African state, as part of a wider inquiry that also covers Brazil, Indonesia and China. The expanded probe comes as Rolls-Royce seeks to re-establish credibility with investors after five profit warnings in less than two years.
Driverless cars will get sticky bonnets to protect road victims
Driverless cars have been hailed as the ultimate road safety tool, eliminating the cause of the vast majority of crashes — human error. Google, arguably the pioneer of self-driving cars, has come up with the ultimate solution: a powerful adhesive that could be fitted on the front of its cars and lead to crash victims being stuck fast to the bonnet. This would prevent pedestrians or cyclists bouncing off a car and avoiding severe “secondary impact” injuries.
Vauxhall recalls cars again over fires
Vauxhall has ordered a second recall of its Zafira cars to fix a problem that has caused them to catch fire. The car manufacturer said that the latest recall would involve more cars than the first, issued in December last year. More than 234,000 vehicles will be affected.
Bank ‘must be ready’ to cut rates even if UK stays in EU
The Bank of England must be ready to slash interest rates towards zero if the economy does not bounce back quickly, according to a top official. Gertjan Vlieghe, an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), signalled that even if the UK voted to remain in the EU next month would trigger an “improvement in growth”, more stimulus will be needed.
Pound surges amid record job figures
The pound soared against the euro yesterday courtesy of record jobs figures and higher retail spending. Sterling has rallied to a three-and-a-half-month high against the euro. It was trading above 1.305 euro yesterday, the currency’s best level since early February. The pound strengthened on the back of figures showing sales in shops were 4.3 per cent higher last month than a year earlier. Jobs figures also showed record numbers. The number of employed people was 31.5million, 74 per cent of the working age population.
Congestion is worsening on England’s A roads. Delays averaged 44.7 seconds a mile for the year, up 4.2 per cent on the 12 months before according to the Department for Transport.