The economy

Retail sales growth at 10-year high

UK retail sales experienced the highest annual growth in a decade as sales rose 6.9% in April 2014 year-on-year, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Consumer confidence continues to improve

Consumer confidence has reached a record high as the pressure on household wallets continues to ease, according to new research.

Growth and interest rate rises forecast for 2015

The economy will grow 3% in 2014, up from a previous forecast of 2.6%, according to the Confederation of British Industry.

Scottish oil and gas looks to international market

Scottish oil and gas firms are predicted to win contracts worth £100 million over the next 3 years after attending the world’s largest oil and gas conference in Houston, USA, according to Scottish Enterprise.

Half a million jobs predicted over next year

Nearly half a million jobs could be created over the next year, according to research from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Self-employment up despite lower earnings

The average self-employed worker earns 40% less than the average employee, according to a study by independent think tank Resolution Foundation.

Record optimism among small manufacturers

Confidence among small manufacturers has reached its highest level since records began in 1988, according to the Confederation of British Industry’s latest SME Trends Survey.

1.4 million on zero-hours contracts

Around 1.4 million people are employed on zero-hours contracts, an Office for National Statistics study has suggested.

Retail jobs growth in Q1

The number of full-time jobs in the retail sector increased 1.8% in the first quarter of 2014, according to the British Retail Consortium.

'Exceptionally strong' outlook for UK economy

The UK economy's growth prospects for the next three months are "exceptionally strong", according to the Confederation of British Industry.

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