Posted By Thiago Kiwi
Mid-sized firms in the UK will increase their research and development (R&D) expenditure in 2015.
The latest Agents of Growth report from Grant Thornton suggests that 2015 will see UK mid-sized businesses (MSBs) as the drivers of innovation.
British firms that employ between 50 and 499 staff will become the nation’s largest investor in new technologies over the next year, as almost a quarter (23 per cent) of UK MSBs expect to increase their investment, according to the report.Read more >>
A recent report from The Cloud highlights the growing trend of spending time online through WiFi.
It seems the UK is fast becoming a nation that increasingly chooses to spend their time online, according to data from The Cloud’s network of over 22,000 public hotspots. The figures showed a 78% increase in the amount of time logged on to public WiFI in 2014 when compared to 2013.
While access to public WiFi has improved, the results still illustrate how many more residents of the UK look to log on when out and about. In fact, last year alone, 28 billion minutes were whiled away online through The Cloud.Read more >>
Stocks in Europe rose on mounting expectations that the ECB will commence quantitative easing.
European stock markets shares rose on Wednesday to end a three-day decline, following data that illustrated prices in Europe are falling.
Inflation in Europe was shown to contract by 0.2 per cent on a yearly basis, the first time inflation has been negative since October 2009, according to official statistics from Eurostat.Read more >>
The International Consumer Electronics Show 2015 (CES 2015) held a dazzling array of wearable tech which is set to be the trend of 2015.
It seems wearable technology is set to be the big trend of 2015, as companies displayed a vast variety of every imaginable wearable gadget to command the centre-stage at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES)this year.
While the CES is not always the most reliable guide, it does reveal what industry leaders believe the next desirable gadget is for consumers. Indeed, this coming year we can expect wearables designed for everything, from calorie counters to meditation aids, and for them to start coming in forms other than watches and glasses.Read more >>
CFOs see the UK as a good place to do business, according to Deloitte’s latest CFO survey.
Prospects for UK earnings growth and business investment in 2015 are positive, according to Deloitte’s latestsurvey of 119 chief financial officers (CFOs) of UK companies. The vast majority of those surveyed view the UK as a good place to do business.
Most of the CFOs surveyed expect wages to increase by around 2.9 per cent in 2015, which is much faster than current levels of inflation, meaning workers can expect their pay packets to be worth more.Read more >>
Seven out of ten UK SME online retailers are in a positive mood for the year ahead.
The majority of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the UK’s online sector believe that 2015 will see sales increase, with seven out of ten respondents expecting sales growth, according the the Royal Mail’s annual tracker study. Moreover, the optimistic outlook on growth comes despite three quarters (76 per cent) of SME online retailers believing that market competition is more intense when compared with 2014.Read more >>
The City of London employed 18 per cent more people in 2014 when compared with the previous year.
It appears that London’s job market is making a comeback as 33,063 new jobs were created in the City in 2014, as highlighted by a recent report from recruitment firm Astbury Marsden. The creation of over 33,000 jobs in 2014 was an 18 per cent increase when compared with the 27,915 new roles of 2013.
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High street retail sales in the UK are expected to reach an all-time high in 2014.
The British retail sector can look back fondly over 2014 as it celebrated a record-breaking year, according to figures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The report shows that sales for the year are expected to reach £342 billion over the year, that’s a £48 billion increase from 2010.Read more >>
Users of the hyperlocal Brixton currency ‘Brixton Pound (B£)’ in South London will be able to pay with contactless technology.
Contactless terminals are set to be rolled out throughout Brixton for users of the hyperlocal currency, the Brixton Pound. It’s thought this will speed up transactions and make it more convenient for users to pay in the local currency.Read more >>
Sales should total £636m on Christmas day and £748m on Boxing Day, according to predictions from Experian-IMRG.
Total online sales over Christmas and Boxing day are predicted to amount to £1.3 billion, according to new estimates from the online retail association IMRG and information services group Experian. Sales on Christmas day are predicted at £636 million and Boxing day takings are expected to reach £748 million.
Boxing day has typically been the busiest online shopping day of the year, however, it now faces a new challenger to the title as internet shoppers are thought to have spent £810 million on Black Friday, in a discount-fuelled spending spree.Read more >>
Shoppers will spend more this week than at any point of the year in the final Christmas 2014 shopping spree.
Supermarkets and shops prepare for the biggest shopping week of the year as consumers rush to finish their Christmas shopping. Visa forecast around £1.3 billion will be spent on credit cards as the final dash to complete Christmas lists begins.
Just Tuesday’s spend is projected to surpass that of Panic Saturday, where consumers are estimated to have spent around £1.2 billion, according to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR). However, it’ll take a gargantuan splurge to eclipse that of the internet-fuelled spending bonanza that was Black Friday.Read more >>
The trade deficit continues to be a bone of contention for the British economy. How can the UK reduce its trade deficit?
Taking a look back at the performance of the UK economy in 2014, we can see there’s always one aspect that could do with being fixed, the trade balance, or as it’s more commonly known in Britain, the trade deficit.
Net trade negatively impacted GDP growth by 0.5 percentage points, which is really cutting back the UK’s economic recovery.Read more >>
According to the Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), record cuts over the past three months have led to mortgage rates falling to their lowest in the UK since 2007.
The MAB collated and analysed data from Moneyfacts.co.uk to create the National Mortgage Index, which showed that the average two-year tracker rates had dropped by 28 points from September to November: the largest autumn reduction on record for these products.
Two-year tracker rates dropped to new lows of 2.38 per cent in November, with average two-year fixed rates at 3.44 per cent.Read more >>
Britain’s small firms are optimistic about growing next year as they hire more staff and export bigger volumes, according to a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The FSB’s Small Business Index revealed that the outlook for orders, exports, hiring and growth has remained strong, with 65% of small businesses in the UK confident about expanding further in the first quarter of 2015.
Small firms’ productivity rose by more than 1% in the second half of 2014, meaning they can capitalise on growth plans in the New Year.Read more >>
Experian, the global information services group, is launching a new service called My Business Profile to help the UK’s 2.2 million small and medium sized enterprises.
My Business Profile will help SMEs check and manage their credit profile, increasing their chances of securing financial backing.
Despite various government initiatives, since the start of the 2008 financial crisis the trickle-down of finance has repeatedly failed to fully reach SMEs.Read more >>
The UK government has launched a new scheme called the London Co-Investment Fund (LCIF) in an attempt to fix the funding problem experienced by the capital’s tech start-ups.
Established by Funding London and Capital Enterprise, the project has secured £25 million to be invested in over 150 seed-stage firms in the technology, digital and science sectors over the next three years.
Another £60 million will be provided by six private sector partners: Wellington Partners, Playfair Capital, London Business Angels, Angel Lab, Firestartr, and Crowdcube/Braveheart Consortium.
These were chosen based on their past knowledge of investing in the three sectors.Read more >>
According to the latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the rate at which new firms are emerging is at close to a record high.
ONS data shows that 28.5 per cent more businesses were created in 2013 compared to the year before, bringing the total to 346,000. The measure of new companies as a proportion of all the UK’s firms stood at 14.1 per cent in 2013, which was the highest since ONS began recording the data in 2004.Read more >>
A group of start-ups involved in the low carbon energy sector aim to boost Chinese trade with visit.
A delegation from companies in the low carbon energy sector and identified by UK Trade & Investment West Midlands will soon visit China in a bid to increase trade links with the country.Read more >>
Driverless cars to be trialled in London, Bristol, Coventry & Milton Keynes.
In the recent Autumn Statement, autonomous and driverless cars were given the green light for trials.
South-east London’s Greenwich and Bristol will each host its own project, while Coventry and Milton Keynes will share a third.
The public body Innovate UK has announced that the trials will last between 18 and 36 months, beginning in January 2015.Read more >>
In a widely expected move, the Bank of England (BOE) has left interest rates unchanged at a record low for the 70th month running.
Since there was no statement, many will now turn to the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on December 17th to fully understand the decision.
At the previous meeting of the MPC, two members of the committee voted to raise rates due to worries over the building of inflationary pressures.Read more >>
Chuka Umunna, Labour’s shadow business secretary, helped bring Small Business Saturday (SBS) to the UK.
Speaking in an interview with Startups, a website aimed at entrepreneurs and small firms, Chuka Umunna detailed how he dreamt up the idea to help bring SBS to UK shores.
The event made its second annual appearance on December 6th, and is designed to promote independent retailers.Read more >>
Exporters from small to mid-sized businesses believe 2015 will bring them more international business, according to new research.
According to Open to Export, an exporter’s forum backed by the government, small and medium-sized enterprises are optimistic about opportunities overseas in 2015.
After trade data from the Office for National Statistics showed that UK recovery is not being driven by exports, initiatives like Export Week were set up to increase the amount of international trade in the UK.Read more >>
PwC has found that the UK’s biggest businesses will see their tax hit record levels this year.
PwC has highlighted the contribution of big business to the UK economy with new figures from their latest Total Tax Contribution survey. The survey shows that Britain’s largest companies paid the highest tax revenues ever recorded in 2014: a reminder that big businesses make a significant contribution to the UK economy.
PwC’s 100 Group, comprised of the finance directors of large companies and some multinationals operating in the UK, revealed that they have collectively paid some £80 billion this year. This is a rise of £2 billion from 2013.Read more >>