The economy

EC forecasts stronger UK growth but warns on VAT rise

The European Commission has revised upwards its predictions for economic growth in the EU, but has suggested that the UK’s recovery may be hampered by the decision to increase VAT.

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Jobs recovery shows signs of slowing

Job appointments increased at their slowest rate in almost a year last month, new figures have revealed.

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Local enterprise partnerships must have weight to be effective

Concerns have been raised that the proposed new local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) may be too small to carry enough influence.

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UK debt needs long-term fiscal reform

The UK’s debt compared with gross domestic product could almost double from its 2007 levels by 2015, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.

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Consumer confidence on the up

Consumer confidence climbed in August for the first time in six months, new figures have revealed.

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Recovery gains credibility from latest figures

New data on retail sales, tax receipts and the level of public debt for the third quarter of the year suggest that the economy is maintaining a level of recovery.

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Growth prospects remain uncertain, says Bank

Minutes from the latest meeting of the Bank of England’s rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee suggest that concerns persist about the UK economy’s ability to build up a head of steam in the recovery.

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VAT rise likely to fuel inflation

The decision to raise the standard rate of VAT from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent next year will be a significant driver behind a stubborn rate of inflation, the Bank of England has said.

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Jobs recovery looks set to stall

The private as well as the public sector could be hit by job losses in the future.

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