The economy

Unemployment up to 2.56 million

The number of people out of work rose by 70,000 in the three months to February 2013, taking the total number of unemployed in the UK up to 2.56 million, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

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Inflation unchanged at 2.8 per cent in March

The Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation remained at 2.8 per cent in March, the same as it had been in February, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics.

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UK to avoid triple dip recession, says business group

Strong performance in the manufacturing and services sectors during the first quarter of 2013 will help the UK avoid falling back into recession, a quarterly economic survey from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has found.

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Millions leaving work to care for family members

Millions of UK adults are leaving employment or reducing working hours to care for an elderly, disabled or seriously ill family member, according to research from Carers UK and business forum Employers for Carers.

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Airport capacity hampering UK trade

The UK risks losing millions of pounds of export and trade opportunities unless it boosts the number of direct flights to the fastest growing world economies, a report by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned.

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Urgent growth measures needed in Budget, says BCC

The need for growth measures in next month's Budget has become even more pressing since the downgrading of the UK's AAA credit rating by ratings agency Moody's, according to the director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

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Marginal rise in NI unemployed count

The number of unemployed people in Northern Ireland increased by 0.2 per cent in the final quarter of 2012, according to the latest labour market figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.

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Food and drink boosts Scottish exports

Manufactured exports in Scotland grew by 0.8 per cent during the third quarter of 2012, boosted by strong growth in the food and drink sector, official data has shown.

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MPs question practicality of Chancellor's 'second Budget'

The Chancellor's Autumn Statement has increasingly taken on the importance of a second Budget, creating uncertainty for businesses and additional costs for the taxpayer, a Treasury Select Committee report has said.

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Digital industry pumps £800 million into Northern Ireland economy

The IT and telecoms industry contributes in excess of £800 million a year to Northern Ireland's economy - accounting for 1.4 per cent of its gross value - according to data from the UK Technology Insights 2012 report from e-skills UK.

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