UK Creative Businesses are World Beaters

The CBI’s Chief Policy Director, Katja Hall, will this evening (Wednesday), deliver a speech in support of the UK’s creative industries, to businesses from the worlds of film, music, gaming, advertising, publishing, football, media, fashion, and technology. The speech, on the contribution of the creative industries to exports and how the Government can support the sector on a global scale, will take place at Sony Music, and will be followed by a performance by platinum-selling artist Paloma Faith, whose recent hits include New York and Picking Up The Pieces. Ms Hall will say: “The UK’s creative businesses are absolute world-beaters. A British artist has topped the global bestseller list in four of the last five years thanks to Adele, Coldplay, Susan Boyle and Amy Winehouse. Downtown ... »

CBI President Tells Government to Confront Four Hard Truths

Business doesn’t need Ministers to crack the whip to get growth going, says Sir Roger Carr… But they do need to confront some “hard truths” In a speech to senior business leaders and politicians at the CBI Annual Dinner in London last night, the organisation’s President, Sir Roger Carr, made clear that business didn’t need ministers to “crack the whip” to get growth going. “In the race for growth, the going may be heavy at times, but the horses are willing, the course is understood and there is a shared will to win”, he said. With special guest, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, in the audience, Sir Roger continued: “There are no whinging businessmen here, but engaged and positive people advocating a more constructive approach to solving ... »

CBI Predicts UK Economy Return to Growth in 2012

The UK economy will see growth resume in the second half of 2012, with faster GDP growth during 2013, according to the latest quarterly CBI economic forecast. The CBI now expects GDP growth in 2012 to be 0.6%, down from the 0.9% growth forecast made in February. The figures have been revised as a “direct consequence” of the preliminary ONS figure for quarter one. In the longer term, however, the CBI forecasts GDP growth for 2013 to be 2%. Quarter-on-quarter growth is expected to be flat in the second quarter of 2012 (0%). However, the CBI says there will be an improvement in the second half of the year (0.7%, 0.5%), citing an improving global economy, an expected easing in inflationary pressures, a boost from the Olympics and a bounce back from the second quarter. The CBI also ... »

High Street Spending at Lowest Level for 16 months

High street spending has slumped to its lowest level in 16 months as cautious shoppers stick to necessities, research by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has found. The CBI said that while 24 per cent of retailers saw sales volumes rise year-on-year in September, 39 per cent reported a fall, with the balance of -15 per cent indicating a drop in activity. Sales volumes are expected to decline at a similar rate in October, it said.  The figures represent the weakest reading for retail sales volumes since May last year and are likely to fuel concerns for overall economic growth in the third quarter. Rising unemployment, high prices and low wage growth were to blame for sluggish high street sales, said the CBI. “Shoppers are still clamping down on discretionary spending and fo... »

BCC: Interest Rates Must Not be Raised in April

Revised government figures which revealed the UK economy is doing slightly better than expected are not a signal to raise interest rates, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned. According to updated  Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures, the UK economy contracted by 0.5 per cent in the last quarter of 2010, not 0.6 per cent as previously published. The revision means that GDP in the fourth quarter of 2010 is now 1.5 per cent higher than over the same period in 2009. British Chamber of Commerce chief economist, David Kern, said it was reassuring to know the underlying position wasn’t as bad as feared, but that the Bank of England should remain firm on interest rates so as not to destabilise the economy. “We can be reasonably confident that the recovery will con... »

Small Businesses Urged to Tap Into Growing Green Market

Small businesses have been urged to start developing green products and services to take advantage of the growing low-carbon market, following the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) Climate Change Summit. The CBI has estimated that the global market for green products and services will be worth £4 trillion by 2015. “Climate change was once a niche topic in the boardroom, but it will soon be central to everything that people do. Green products will be the main economic driver,” said CBI spokesman Alastair Harper. “Businesses and consumers are starting to see the benefits they will get from tackling climate change, instead of just hearing about the risks that come from not doing anything.” Harper said that firms with green business ideas should take advantage o... »

Economic Growth will Continue Next Year, says BCC

The UK has weathered the worst of the recession and the economy will continue to grow in 2011, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has said. The business group made the comments following the release of the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on economic growth. The research in Gross Domestic Product preliminary estimate 3rd Quarter 2010 found that the UK economy grew by 0.8% in the third quarter of 2010 – double the rate expected – but lower than the 1.2% growth in the second quarter. “The results were better than expected in the third quarter driven by the strong manufacturing sector – particularly in construction,” said BCC spokesman, Steve Hughes. “Manufacturers have responded well to the weakness in the value of sterling and seem to be exp... »

Brits taking less Sickies

Brits taking less Sickies

Employees took 180 million sick days last year, averaging 6.4 days each, according to the latest CBI/Pfizer Absence and Workplace Health Survey. The rate of absence is the lowest since the survey began in 1987, and down slightly from 6.7 days per employee in 2007, the previous surveyed year. A small improvement in the public-sector absence rate helps explain the fall, but it remains significantly higher than the private-sector rate. The impact of staff absence is considerable, with the 180 million sick days costing employers about £16.8bn in 2009, plus indirect costs like reductions in customer service and delays to teamwork. Unfortunately, so-called "sickies" remain a problem. The senior HR staff surveyed at 241 public and private-sector organisations estimated that around... »

Bibby Financial Services Business Factors Index

Caution Underpins 2010 Business Trading

Second Index report tracks small business debt factoring volumes and economic opinion across end of 2009. A third of UK businesses are not expecting trading conditions to recover from current levels for at least a year, suggesting firms are taking only tentative steps towards recovery despite expected GDP growth in Q4 of 2009, according to the latest Bibby Financial Services Business Factors Index. The study reveals: Q4 2009 saw the Index average – the measure of output across all of the sectors within the Index – rise 2.5 points higher than the previous quarter, signalling a slight return to growth at the end of 2009. Despite an improved outlook in Q4, business owners remain as reluctant about a recovery over the next six months as they were in Q3 of 2009. Almost half (48%) fe... »

Holiday Sick Leave Ruling is Open to Abuse

Holiday Sick Leave Ruling is Open to Abuse

A legal ruling allowing staff to claim back holiday time lost to illness will expose employers to exploitation, business groups have warned. The ruling made by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) may mean that workers taken ill on holiday could claim time back from employers as sick leave. The judgement follows a case in which a Spanish council worker launched a legal action after being refused the right to alter holiday plans due to injury. The ECJ ruled that if a “worker does not wish to take annual leave during a period of sick leave, annual leave must be granted to him for a different period”. It was not specified when the worker would have to report his or her sickness to the employer, or at what point an illness could trigger the right to alter holidays. The Confederation... »

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