The economy

Chancellor’s speech: business reaction

A round-up of the business reaction to Philip Hammond's speech at the Conservative party conference.

Employment grows but skills shortage still a concern

The number of people in work rose by 176,000 to 31.7 million between March and May 2016.

Productivity fell in final quarter of 2015

Labour productivity fell by 1.2% in the final quarter of 2015, according to latest figures by Office for National Statistics.

Trade deficit falls

UK’s trade deficit fell to £3.2 billion in November 2015, a narrowing of £0.3 billion from October 2015.

Businesses optimistic heading into 2016

Optimism among businesses rose in the final quarter of 2015 to 73%, according to research from Grant Thornton’s International Business Report.

Lowest unemployment rate in a decade

UK unemployment fell at 5.2% between August and October 2015, its lowest rate in nearly 10 years.

Employment rate at record high

UK employment has reached a new record high of 73.7% and the unemployment rate is also down at 5.3%.

CBI upgrades UK economic forecast

The Confederation of British Industry has upgraded its annual economic forecast for 2015 from 2.4% to 2.6%.

Inflation rate remains at zero in March

The UK inflation rate remained at 0% in March 2015, according to official figures.

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