January 2011

BoE governor defends low interest rates

The Governor of the Bank of England has admitted that inflation could rise to 5% during 2011, but has reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to keeping interest rates low.

The Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation stood at 3.7% at the end of last year and with the standard rate of VAT rising to 20% this month, plus recent increases in world commodity and energy prices, the Governor expects inflation to rise to between 4% and 5% over the next few months, before falling back next year.

Speaking in Newcastle last night, Mervyn King conceded that had the Bank’s Montary Policy Committee (MPC) raised the base rate significantly before now, inflation may well have started to fall back in 2011.

However, “the recovery would have been slower, unemployment higher and average earnings rising even more slowly than now”, Mr King stated

UK economy shrinks 0.5%. Pound slides after growth shock.

The UK’s economy suffered a shock contraction of 0.5% in the last three months of 2010, figures have shown.

The severe weather hit activity in the quarter, but the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said even if the weather impact had been excluded, activity would have been “flattish”.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, said the numbers were disappointing.

But he added the government would not be “blown off course” from its austerity programme.

Click for full story from BBC business

Click for full story from BBC business

U.K. Inflation Accelerates More Than Expected to 3.7%

U.K. inflation accelerated more than economists forecast to an eight-month high in December as fuel and food prices rose, adding to pressure on the Bank of England to raise the key interest rate from its record low.

Click image for full story from Bloomberg

Click image for full story from Bloomberg

Dalston connects to the Victoria Line

The new section of the East London line is due to open in February. This will connect Dalston Junction to the Victoria Line at Highbury & Islington.

The journey from Dalston to Highbury will take 6 minutes and there will be a train every 7 – 8 minutes.

The redevelopment of the East london Line is the biggest transport infrastructure project for London since the opening of the Jubilee line extension in 1999.

New station on the East London Line

New station on the East London Line

New four-screen cinema opening in Hackney

Mare Street will have its very own four-screen Picturehouse from this autumn.

City Screen, an independent cinema chain, has been awarded the lease for the former Ocean building, which opened as a music venue in 2001 at a cost of £23 million but went into administration in 2004.

The building was previously a cinema.

Click the image below to go straight to the story on the Hackney Citizen.

The Ocean building is to become a cinema. Photo: Hackney Citizen

The Ocean building is to become a cinema. Photo: Hackney Citizen

London’s Silicon Roundabout

Keep your Silicon Valley – this is London’s Silicon Roundabout, mapped by those tech heads at Wired magazine, detailing the concentration of High Tech businesses around the Old Street roundabout in the East End. Click the image below to see the aerial map in more detail.

Click to view map

Click to view map