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Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation fell to 0.9%, from 1% in September, the Office for National Statistics said. That was below the 1.1% predicted by economists, who said sterling’s fall would push October’s CPI higher.
However, the ONS said factory gate prices and the costs of raw materials rose much faster in October. The price of goods leaving factories rose by 2.1%, faster than expected and the biggest increase since April 2012. And costs faced by producers for raw materials and oil showed a record monthly jump in October, up by 4.6%. Earlier this month, the Bank of England forecast that inflation would rise to about 2.7% by this time next year.
Retail sales surged by 1.9% in October, far outstripping City analysts’ expectations and showing continued strength of household consumption despite the Brexit vote. The Office for National Statistics reported that the monthly growth in the much-watched indicator was the strongest since July.
City analysts had forecasted a 0.5% growth. Statisticians said cooler temperatures in October had prompted strong sales of winter clothing and that supermarket trade had been boosted by Halloween. The annual growth rate of retail sales was 7.4%. They are regarded as a key barometer of wider economic momentum.
The economy grew by 0.5% in the third quarter of 2016, confounding forecasts that the Brexit vote could tip the UK into another recession. Some analysts said the latest strong retail figures boded well for growth in the final quarter of 2016 too.
Britain could create 68,000 jobs, reinvigorate manufacturing and navigate the choppy waters of Brexit better if it operated a system of US-style “free ports”, a report for the Centre for Policy Studies. In the report, Rishi Sunak argues that leaving the European Union could provide Britain with an opportunity to develop free trade zones that are otherwise “almost impossible” because of the bloc’s customs union and state aid laws. Free ports are areas that, while inside the geographic boundaries of a country, are considered to be outside it for customs purposes. That allows imported goods to be held or processed free of the usual customs procedures or tariffs before being re-exported, so incentivising local manufacturing.
Such free trade zones, seen in Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, as well as North America, can become a magnet for local manufacturers and distributors. They would give Britain more options while it negotiates trade relations in the wake of Brexit.
Jaguar Land Rover on the pace with new all-electric car
Jaguar Land Rover is finally joining the electric revolution with the public launch of a £60,000 zero-emission Jaguar I-Pace, capable of doing 300 miles on one charge and 0 to 60mph in four seconds. Following months of speculation and lessons learned from its entry into the Formula E electric motor racing circus, the West Midlands-based company confirmed The Times’ revelations from September’s Paris motor show that the Jaguar I-Pace will make its debut at this week’s equivalent in Los Angeles.
Source: The Times
Toyota Motor Corp said it is setting up a new in-house unit to develop electric vehicles as the Japanese automaker speeds up efforts to produce more of the lower-emission cars. Toyota said the unit would initially consist of four people – one each from the automaker, machine manufacturer Toyota Industries Corporation, and parts suppliers Aisin Seiki Co and Denso Corp.
The team will be responsible for planning a strategy for developing and marketing electric cars to keep pace with tightening global emissions regulations, a Toyota spokesman said, and will expand by drawing upon engineers, designers and other personnel from various sections of the company as needed. Toyota has pledged to make all of its vehicles essentially emissions-free by 2050.
The boss of Britain’s biggest car maker has admitted its future in the country could be thrown into jeopardy by a hard Brexit – but said it has been encouraged by talks with the Government.
Ralf Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said that if the UK’s divorce from Europe resulted in new tax and tariff barriers it would be a “huge challenge” for the company, which is the UK’s biggest industrial employer. He said Europe, where JLR sells more than 100,000 vehicles, is the company’s biggest market. Taxes and tariffs on imports into the UK would also mean higher costs, as half of JLR’s spending on materials for manufacturing goes to Europe.
He revealed that JLR has been in contact with ministers and was “very much encouraged” and that he would have to “see the facts” before deciding whether to continue manufacturing in the UK.
Source: Sky News
Multi-billion purchase of connected car specialists Harman means Samsung is closer to building self-driving vehicles than ever before. Samsung has taken a major step forward in its plans to making a smart car with a significant new acquisition. The South Korean firm has acquired the American company Harman for $8 billion. Harman specialises in building connected car and smart audio and media systems.
Connected cars are proving to be a major area of interest for technology firms, as the growing connectivity and internet of things market encompasses more devices. The deal, which is the biggest in Samsung’s history, should be completed sometime in 2017, but will mean that the companies can begin work on future products already. Harman already works with a number of leading American carmakers, including General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler. The company’s technology is estimated to be in more than 30 million vehicles worldwide, primarily with in-car entertainment services.
Source: Daily Express