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What the Papers SayBack

The Financial Times

Battle begins to revitalise empty high streets


Councils set to be offered powers to decide trading hours for local retailers

Struggling high street retailers are to be boosted in their battle to compete with online rivals and out-of-town retail parks under government plans to allow local councils to decide where to allow longer Sunday opening hours.

Central banks face regulatory puzzle on rate setters’ earnings

A recent controversy over potential conflicts of interest for a hedge fund economist appointed to set UK borrowing costs has highlighted how central banks regulate their setters

Bean seeks statistics agency rethink as disquiet over its performance mounts

Former bank deputy governor calls for evidence towards his evaluation of controversy-hit ONS

Companies and Markets

Weak yen oils the wheels as Toyota quarterly net profit rises 10%

Toyota, the Japanese carmaker, has eked out a record quarterly net profit as the weaker yen offset a slowdown in vehicle sales in most regions outside North America

Revenue rose 9.3 per cent to Y6.99tn ($56bn) for its fiscal first quarter, even as vehicle sales fell 7 per cent in Japan and 15 per cent in other parts of Asia such as Thailand and Indonesia

Up to speed: cost-cutting pays off for Direct Line

Direct Line, the insurer spun off from Royal Bank of Scotland, overcame a fiercely competitive market to deliver a jump in first-half operating profits even as premium income was little changed.

Calm restored as oil regains $50 and Chinese stocks rally strongly

Industrial metals pick up after Monday’s turmoil, bolstering commodity currencies, while US Treasuries give back gains

The Times

Fossil fuel subsidies cost every person £400

Fossil fuels are being subsidised by more than £400 per person in Britain, figures from the International Monetary Fund suggest.


Carry on up the Khyber

Royal Enfield motorcycles, first built in this country in 1901 and a stalwart on Indian roads since the Fifties, are enjoying a comeback in Britain, with the second store opening by Royal Enfield UK in Mitcham, Surrey.

Bank’s attempt at clarity is ‘seriously bad idea’

Plans by the Bank of England to release its economic update and committee meeting minutes alongside the interest rate decision run the risk of damaging leaks, market confusion and stifling debate, former rate-setters and leading economists have warned.

Productivity ‘is the key to economic growth’

Business investment and spending by consumers will fuel healthy economic growth, but only if productivity growth returns, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research has claimed.

Late payment problem

Late payment is hampering companies’ plans to invest and hire staff despite an improving economy, Lloyds has warned.

Inflation ‘on the rise’

Expectations for inflation have risen to their highest level since November, according to new data that could ease the way for an interest rate rise.

The Daily Telegraph

Men miles worse with directions

The lengths that stubborn male drivers go to in order to avoid accepting help with directions has been revealed by researchers: 18 wasted miles every year.

Russia makes UN claim for oil-rich Artic

Russia submitted a formal claim for control of an oil-rich swathe of the Artic seabed, up to the North Pole, to the United Nations yesterday.


Pendragon in fast lane ahead of the auto market

Pendragon, Britain’s largest new and used car dealer, has outperformed the UK’s booming auto market in the first half of the year.

The owner of dealer franchises including Stratstone and Evan Halshaw said sales of new cars rose by 14.3pc to £1.1bn in the six months to the end of June, double the rate of increase across the wider industry.

The Independent

Food price inflation back for first time this year

Food prices rose 0.1 per cent in July compared with 12 months ago, according to the BRC-Nielson Shop Price Index, recording their first increase this year amid a fierce price-cutting war among supermarkets. The wider retail sector however, fell 1.4 per cent as clothing shops looked to shift summer stock.

The Daily Mail

Car loans sales boom

Drivers are being offered cheap rates of as low as 3.5 pc on personal loans up to £20,000

Car sales typically soar in September when new registration plates come out.

In preparation for the launch of the 65 numberplate, Sainsbury’s Bank is offering car customers borrowing between £7,500 and £19,999 at a rate of 3.5 pc if they repay the debt within three years. It’s 3.6 pc for those who need up to five years to pay it back.

Skoda getting serious after all the jokes

Czech carmaker speeds to a million sales

There are few firms that have been the butt of more jokes. So the launch next month of a high-end Skoda, costing almost £40,000, is sure to cause much merriment.

But the Czech car maker, which started life as a bicycle repair shop in 1895, has come a long way since it was a byword for unreliability and poor workmanship.

Posted by Lois Hardy on 05/08/2015