Category: UK economy (62)

The Bank of England on Wednesday abandoned its six-month-old strategy of pledging to consider raising interest rates only when unemployment falls to 7 percent, saying it would now consider a range of factors.

Mark J. Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, also stressed that a rate increase was still some way off. Click to view story on NY Times

The Guardian is running a story on London’s magnetic pull for young people all over the UK, illustrated by the statistic that one in three 22-30 year olds leaving their UK hometowns end up in London. Click image to go to the story.

Net flows of people to London. Click image to go to Guardian story

Net flows of people to London. Click image to go to Guardian story

While the Shard steals most of the attention, three of the City’s daftly nicknamed skyscrapers are reaching noteworthy heights and a fourth is at planning…

The Walkie Talkie
Nicknamed the Walkie-Talkie because of its bulbous top. Due to be completed in the summer of 2014. The building will be 160 m (525 ft) tall, with 36 storeys.

The Walkie Talkie

The Walkie Talkie

The Helter Skelter
The Helter Skelter is suffering from funding problems and is expected to be finished by 2013/2014. On completion it will become the tallest building in the City of London and the second-tallest in both the United Kingdom and the European Union

Helter Skelter

Helter Skelter

The Cheese Grater
With its distinctive wedge-shaped profile the Cheesegrater will be 225 m (737 ft) tall, with 48 floors, when it is completed in 2014.

The Cheese Grater

The Cheese Grater

The Scalpel
The Scalpel is proposed for construction, if it gets the go head it will complete in 2017. The building will be 190 m (623 ft) tall, with 35 storeys.

The Scalpel (ThisIsLondon)

The Scalpel (ThisIsLondon)

From the FT: The International Monetary Fund has called on the Bank of England to cut interest rates and resume printing money to boost demand in the economy. It has also asked the UK government to prepare a Plan B for deficit reduction if these measures do not work.

In a tough assessment of the UK’s economic prospects, the fund said the economy had not responded as it had hoped and risks of continued stagnation were high.

It said “further monetary easing is required” and should happen with more quantitative easing and a cut in the 0.5 per cent interest rate.

Click image to go to FT story

Click image to go to FT story

The New York Times today reports on the 300,000 Parisians who have moved across the Channel to Paris-on-Thames, aka London. They come in search of jobs and the global swirl: that raucous mix of innovation and grunge missing in a too-perfect Paris.

A new lycée, a new radio station (French Radio London) and a new electoral constituency all testify to the exodus, as did the appearance in London last week of the French Socialist candidate François Hollande.

More than 300,000 French now live in London, making it the sixth-largest French city. Most are under 40. They learn English and they learn that globalization is not merely the catalogue of woes so laboriously laid out by the French left over the past couple of decades.

Click to go to NYT story by Roger Cohen

Click to go to NYT story by Roger Cohen

BFLS the award-winning, design-led architectural practice behind One Hyde Park have unveiled plans for an eco-tower at Dalston.

The site at 51-57 Kingsland High Street was occupied by the Peacocks Stores, a long-running department store that stands near Dalston Kingsland Rail Station, and thus benefits from excellent transport links.

The part 7-floor, part-18 floor building will have 130 new apartments, plus 1,107 square metres of retail, green walls, and a planted roof garden for residents to enjoy about 50 metres above ground level. In total the collection of green roofs add up to about 1,000 square metres of outdoor space.

The view from Ridley Road

The view from Ridley Road

The view from Kingsland High Street

The view from Kingsland High Street

Unemployment in the UK was largely flat at 2.67m in the three months to December, raising hopes that the deterioration in the economy and the labour market may be slowing down.

The figure was up by 48,000 on the previous quarter – half the rate of increase seen in recent months – but down slightly on the 2.68m in the September-November period.

With the number of job vacancies rising to 476,000 in the three months to January, economists suggested the worsening employment outlook had eased.

The CBI has predicted the UK will avoid a double dip recession, but two other surveys suggest the economy may worsen.

The employers’ organisation, the CBI, said it expected growth of 0.9% in 2012 and 2% next year.

The Bank of England has agreed to extend its quantitative easing (QE) programme by £50bn to give a further boost to the UK economy.

The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) also said it would keep interest rates at their record low of 0.5%.

UK interest rates have been held at that level since March 2009.

Interest rates will stay on hold at their record low until 2016 according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research. Growth under or around 1% for years to come will force the Bank of England to keep the base rate at 0.5%, cut to that level in March 2009, for another four years, the CEBR predicts.