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“The business as usual” approach taken by many firms following the Brexit vote has helped boost UK growth this year, but it will not last, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned. The business body expects GDP to grow by 2.1% this year, up from the 1.8% it forecast just three months ago. But uncertainty over the UK’s EU relationship and higher inflation will “dampen medium term growth,” it said. It expects the UK’s economy to grow by 1.1% next year, and by 1.4% in 2018.
Oil price surges to highest since July 2015 on new production cut deal
Oil prices have surged by more than 6% after OPEC and other producers reached their first deal since 2001 to reduce output. The price of a barrel of Brent crude climbed close to $58 overnight, its highest level since July 2015, before edging back a little towards $57. Oil prices had already been lifted after a deal reached a couple of weeks ago by the Saudi-dominated OPEC cartel to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day from January. That deal was the first of its kind since 2008.
Diesel will “almost disappear” from the global car market within 10 years as it faces a “perfect storm” of competition from cheaper electric cars and tougher stances by regulators, a report by UBS has forecast. The falling costs of electric and hybrid vehicles will strip the fuel of its once-competitive price advantage, while tighter emissions regulation and soured public sentiment towards the fuel in the wake of the Volkswagen scandal will see its global share of car sales fall from 13.5 per cent to just 4 per cent by 2025, the bank predicts. In Europe, diesel’s traditional heartland, sales will fall from 50 per cent to just 10 per cent, it forecasts.
Donald Trump has promised to punish American companies that move jobs abroad with crippling tariffs on the goods they sell back across the border. His threat has raised fears that US companies could be forced to cut employment in Britain to preserve American jobs. The president-elect has said that he will impose a 35 per cent tax on “any business that leaves our country for another country, fires its employees, builds a new factory or plant in the other country, and then thinks it will sell its product back into the US without retribution or consequence.”
Sensors in doors promise an end to car park dings
There are few cars on the road that do not bear the scars of a carelessly opened door after being squeezed into a tight parking space or a garage. Now there may be a way to avoid those chips and dents. Jaguar Land Rover is developing a door protection system that uses sensors in the door handle and elsewhere around the car to detect how close it is to an obstacle, before calculating how far a door can be opened. It alerts the driver if there is a risk of hitting something and restricts how wide it will open, to prevent damage.
The Daily Telegraph
French motorists in heavily polluted areas will be required to display a “clean sticker” from January amid rising alarm over smog in Paris and other cities, blamed for tens of thousands of deaths every year. Ségolène Royal, the environment minister, also announced financial incentives to buy electric vehicles as pressure grew on the government after doctors called for urgent action.
Dieselgate could see VW sued in the UK, car maker warns
Volkswagen’s UK arm has warned of the legal threats posed by the dieselgate scandal as it posted its annual results.
The car maker’s UK business, which imports and sells cars for its German parent, also reported a dip in its stake of the market. Annual results from Volkswagen Group UK (VW UK), which covers the Audi, Seat and Skoda marques, flagged up the danger of its being sued in Britain after it was discovered VW cars had been fitted with “defeat devices” to cheat pollution-control tests.
The chairman of an influential House of Lords committee has said Northern Ireland must not become the collateral damage of the UK’s departure from the EU, as the first of six reports on the impact of Brexit on Britain are published.
Tim Boswell has also said that the impact of Brexit on the Republic of Ireland will be more profound than for any of the other member states and that he is urging the other 27 countries in the European Union to give the country special dispensation to enter talks on a draft bilateral agreement with the UK.
Six out of ten drivers admit they have a pet name for their car – and women are more than twice as likely to christen their motor, according to a new survey. A thousand motorists were quizzed and the results reveal that the most popular for the family car is ‘The Beast’ – even if it is a tiny-engined under-powered shopping runabout. Next came Arnie, Pixie, Leo and Suz – a sign that however bland the vehicle, drivers want to give their cars some sort of personality. And women often go for cartoon characters like Asterix or Bambi.