The U.K. budget deficit narrowed in November, yet a considerable improvement is required to meet the government's fiscal target for 2014/15. Public sector net borrowing excluding interventions declined by GBP 1.6 billion from last year to GBP 14.1 billion in November, the Office for National Statistics reported Friday. Economists had forecast the shortfall to total GBP 15.1 billion.
Irish airline Aer Lingus said it has rejected a takeover offer from British Airways parent company International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, as the offer undervalues the company.
U.K. retail sales growth accelerated unexpectedly in November as consumers boosted their spending on "Black Friday" a day after Thanksgiving, marking the start of the holiday season. Retail sales volume including automotive fuel increased 1.6 percent from October, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday. This was the biggest monthly rise since last December.
Online giant Amazon is reportedly not planning to compensate local sellers for the technical fault that caused massive mis-pricing. The glitch has resulted in selling several items at one penny each in UK on last Friday night.
The U.K. unemployment rate eased to a 6-year low in the three months to October and earnings growth exceeded inflation, boosting scope for strong private spending in coming months. The jobless rate fell to 6 percent during August to October from 6.2 percent seen in the May to July period, the Office for National Statistics reported Wednesday.
Bank of England policymakers decided to leave the key rate at a historic low of 0.50 percent in a split vote for the fifth straight time at the meeting held on December 3 and 4. The Monetary Policy Committee governed by Mark Carney voted 7-2 to retain the base rate at 0.50 percent, the minutes showed Wednesday. Ian McCafferty and Martin Weale sought a quarter point hike.
U.K. inflation slowed more-than-expected to a 12-year low in November as the decline in oil prices dragged transport costs and food prices lower. Inflation eased to 1 percent in November, the lowest since September 2002, from 1.3 percent in October, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday. Economists had forecast inflation to fall marginally to 1.2 percent.