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UK car production driven down by fall in domestic demandBack

 BBC.co.uk

 

UK car production driven down by fall in domestic demand

The number of cars built in the UK last month fell by 4.6% compared with a year earlier, driven down by a sharp decline in domestic demand. Nearly 161,500 vehicles were made in UK factories in November, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). But output for the domestic market fell by 28.1%, as a result of “Brexit uncertainty” and “confusion over diesel taxation”, the SMMT said. Production for export rose by 1.3%.

 

UK government borrowing falls in November

Public sector borrowing fell to £8.7bn in November, down £0.2bn from year earlier, partly thanks to higher income tax receipts, official figures show. The figure leaves borrowing for the financial year to date at £48.1bn. That is the lowest recorded at this time of the year since 2007, before the financial crisis. Last month, the government’s independent budget watchdog said it expected borrowing would total £49.9bn for the financial year to March 2018. January typically brings a big surplus in the public finances thanks to annual income tax payments.

 

EU bill survives as MPs back Brexit date

The government’s key EU Withdrawal Bill has cleared the latest stage of its Parliamentary journey after ministers avoided a defeat on the date of Brexit. MPs voted in favour of setting Brexit at 23:00 GMT on 29 March 2019 – with the caveat that ministers can change it if necessary. Theresa May has said this would only happen in “exceptional circumstances” and “for the shortest possible time”. The EU bill has now completed its committee stage.

 

Toys R Us faces crunch vote over UK rescue plan 

Toys R Us’s future in the UK is hanging in the balance ahead of a key vote by creditors later on Thursday over whether to back the firm’s rescue plan. The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) – which wants the toy retailer to put £9m into its struggling pension fund – has said it will vote against the plan. Failure to agree a deal could put all its 3,200 staff at risk of redundancy. However, reports suggest Toys R Us has put forward new proposals to try to reach a last-minute deal with the PPF.

 

 

The Times

 

Consumer confidence ends year on low

Consumer confidence in Britain has ended the year on a downbeat note, dropping another point to reach its lowest level in four years as households react to Brexit uncertainty. A long-running consumer confidence index produced by GFK, a data company, said consumer confidence over the past year had slipped from a negative balance of -7 in January to -13 in December. Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GFK, said the balance had not been positive for nearly two years. It began at a balance of 4 in January 2016, reached zero the next month and then dropped to -12 in July, the month after the Brexit vote. It has since stayed negative.

 

 

 The Guardian  

 

Drivers who text ‘twice as likely to crash as those who drink’

Drivers are twice as likely to crash “text-driving” as drink-driving, a coalition of motoring groups and road safety bodies have warned, as they unveiled a campaign highlighting how it can cause death and injury over Christmas. With Friday expected to be the busiest day for traffic this holiday period – with about 13 million drivers making journeys of 20 miles or more – drivers are urged not to put lives at risk by texting. The video, set to Bing Crosby’s classic 1943 song I’ll be home for Christmas, shows a young girl at home texting her father while he is driving home for Christmas.

 

 

The Daily Mail

Britain defies dire warnings about Brexit to come TOP in Forbes ranking of best countries to do business

Britain has been crowned the world’s best country in which to do business in a major vote of confidence ahead of Brexit. Itis the first time this country has taken the top spot in the Forbes annual survey after rising from fifth last year. The UK scored well on technology plus the size and education of the workforce although ‘political risk’ was seen as the weakest point. Coming days after the pro-Brussels CBI said manufacturing order books were at a 30-year high, the report was seen as further proof Britain can prosper outside the EU.

 

 

The Daily Mirror

Beware ‘Frantic Friday’: Millions of motorists to join Christmas getaway at same time as commuters and rail strike 

The Christmas getaway is under way with an estimated 1.3 million drivers taking to the roads on Thursday in a bid to avoid “Frantic Friday”. Motorists travelling to spend the festive period with loved ones were warned to expect long delays. The worst jams on Thursday will be on the M6 southbound between Merseyside and Staffordshire, with hold ups predicted to reach four hours and 21 minutes, according to traffic information supplier Inrix. Other hotspots include the M3 westbound in Surrey and the M74 southbound from Glasgow to Hamilton. Journeys are set to be even slower on Friday as the last of the year’s commuter traffic clashes with the Christmas getaway, amid a rail strike. The RAC expects traffic to peak between 4pm and 8pm on Friday.

Posted by Paul Carpenter on 21/12/2017