Archive for the ‘Retail’ category

A Clever Shopping Sentiment!

December 2, 2010

A survey published on Wednesday revealed that a third of consumers across the UK are strategically making large purchases before the end of the year to avoid January’s VAT hike. Forward thinking is most definately on the cards for us Britons then!

Approximately 37 percent of consumers are buying expensive items now, before the current 17.5 percent VAT rate rises to 20 percent in January.

The survey revealed that consumers are spending up to £2000 more at this time of year compared to normal. Among the most popular products are electronic gadgets such as wide screen televisions, white goods and holidays.

The 3.5% VAT increase was announced by Chancellor George Osborne back in June as part of the UK’s new budget. It is expected that the VAT hike will generate over £13 billion extra per year to help reduce the nation’s debt.

Although eight out of ten people expect the tax rise to impact their finances, many consumers are unclear about which goods and services they will be charged VAT for.

Items classified as ‘zero rated,’ such as books, food and children’s clothes will be exempt from VAT whilst the current government is in power. In addition, VAT will only be charged at 5 percent on energy bills.

Matthew Piner, senior retail analyst at the consultancy Verdict has advised consumers that retailers are already increasing prices: “If I was going to buy something, I would get it now when there is more room for negotiation,” he said.

Among the best products and services to buy before the tax hikes include gym subscriptions, a new car or car service, a new kitchen, electrical goods, and theatre/festival tickets for 2011, meaning that many people are pushing their budgets to squeeze in before the hikes.

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Would You Make a Claim?

September 9, 2010

Would you make a claim against your employer if you had an accident in the workplace that wasn’t your fault?

In Britain and many other countries (the US, Australia to name a couple) consumers are more confident than ever when it comes to their rights.  OK, so they may not be as happy to splash their cash on the high street just yet but when it comes to claiming compensation and their rights it seems that everyone is now an expert.

Critics argue that this culture of claiming is verging on an aggressive attack on many sectors and businesses that otherwise provide excellent services.

However, others weigh up that ordinary people do have rights and if they have suffered as a result of negligence on the part of someone else, they are entitled to their compensation.  There are claims services for every purpose today – from standard injury claims to more complex clinical negligence claims.

Financial Review for September

August 23, 2010

As students and schoolchildren look ahead (but not necessarily forward) to a new term, parents may be clearing up the financial clutter.  After a summer – with perhaps a break abroad – many professionals attempt to review their finances and start the ‘new term’ at work with a fresh approach.

While it is never a fun prospect to consider ones bank statements, credit card bills and savings, it is a sensible idea to regularly review your own money and make sure you are making – and getting – the most of it.

September is rarely as ‘poor’ as January with its post-Xmas hangover and battered credit, but there is a similarity especially for parents that have had to deal with ‘back to school’ costs and a family holiday too.

Improvement for UK Economy?

March 3, 2010

What’s all this?  Good news for the pound?  Surely not…

Yes, today the pound rose against the US dollar and the euro after some positive data concerning the UK economy was released.  According to recent surveys and indices, consumer confidence has risen to its highest level in two years, while the services sector is reporting notable improvement.

Consumers, while still cautious about buying large household goods, are now confident abouth the next 6 months – so much so that the index measuring this has risen to its highest point since 2004!  Looking at today’s numbers it is no surprise that investors headed back to the pound.

Indeed, the data was even better than expected – most economists had predicted much more moderate figures.  In addition, GDP growth rose to 0.3% for the final quarter of 2009 (not 0.2% as had been previously thought).  Overall it certainly looks like Britain has some hope on the horizon!

Yet only earlier this week, investors on the foreign exchange market were shaking their heads whenever the word ‘Britain’ was mentioned – after all, with a ‘hung’ parliament looking like a real risk and public debts still nearly as bad as those of Greece, the pound wasn’t looking like a particularly safe bet

€25 billion for Greece bail Package

February 22, 2010

According to reports from Germany, up to €25 billion will be pooled together by eurozone countries to bail out Greece.  The package, which has caused much uncertainty among markets due to its mysterious and unclear size, is intended to restore stability to the eurozone.

The euro itself has had a tough ride in recent weeks although towards the end of last week it managed to gain around 1% against sterling, after poor UK retail sales figures between December and January were released.  In addition, many currency exchange analysts warned against the euro becoming oversold – not long after, some risk appetite was restored.

Banks VS Obama

January 28, 2010

The battle lines are drawn.  The fight has commenced.  Who will win and what will change?

The war is between leaders Obama, Brown and Sarkozy VS the Big Banks.  The former three (well, in Brown’s case it was more other representatives of his team – Mr King for one) have all made a clear stance on how they think the banking systems of their- and other nations should change – drastically.

Now, heads of some of the world’s largest banks have fought back, sayingt that they see no evidence that cutting up their corporations into smaller ones would make any changes for the better.  Furthermore, they blame US and UK leader of being too concerned with domestic concerns (such as local elections).

Meanwhile over in the foreign exchange market, the pound is still riding high against the euro – the latter having problems thanks in part to the economic woes from Greece and Portugal.

W shape Recession Warning from IMF

January 18, 2010

Apparently it will be crucial for governments (including that of the UK) to focus on pubic debts in the coming year.  Tell us something we don’t know about, Mr Strauss-Kahn aka head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)!

Mr Strauss-Kahn made a general warning to all developed nations that they ought to be careful about exiting current fiscal stimulus plans, as doing so too quickly could cause another downward turn.

Meanwhile, emerging economies (is China really still classed as emerging?) in Asia are leading the way for the recovery, said Mr Strauss-Kahn.  Overall though, he said that the IMF predict that the global economy will grow by 4.1 per cent in 2010.

Over in the currency exchange market, the euro stayed weak in early trade in the London session.  It reached to below 88 pence against the pound meaning its weakest point in four months.  Most experts warn that Greece’s fiscal woes are the main reason for the euro’s performance.