Category: (4)

An unexpected rebound in French and German growth helped push the eurozone to the brink of economic recovery in the second quarter, delivering a further signal that the worst of the global crisis may be coming to an end in Europe.

Gross domestic product in the 16-nation currency bloc fell 0.1 per cent in April, May and June, the European statistics office said on Thursday, cheering economists who had expected a decline of 0.5 per cent after a drop of 2.5 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

Source:  FT.com

The UK housing market showed further signs of stabilising during June with a 23 per cent jump in the number of mortgages taken out by people buying a home, figures revealed today.

Around 45,000 mortgages were advanced for house purchase during the month, the fifth consecutive monthly increase and the highest level for a year, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said.

There was also a steep rise in the number of first-time buyers getting on to the property ladder, with 17,200 mortgages taken out by people buying their first home, 26 per cent more than during May.

The RICS survey showed a continuing rise in interest from potential buyers, with new inquiries increasing for the ninth month in a row during July.

The Bank of England’s rate-setters have decided to pump another £50bn of new money into the economy in their programme of quantitative easing.

It will take their total spending to £175bn, unexpectedly going over the £150bn set aside by the chancellor.

In a statement, they said that the UK recession “appears to have been deeper than previously thought”.

The rate-setters also decided to keep interest rates unchanged at their historic low of 0.5% for a sixth month.

Also on Thursday, the European Central Bank decided to keep its interest rates unchanged at 1%.