Business conditions weakened for the UK services sector

CBI survey – three months to February 2012

  • Business conditions weakened for the UK services sector in the three months to February
  • Business activity fell at a slower rate than in the previous quarter in Consumer Services
  • Business activity fell by less than expected for Business & Professional firms
  • Decline in both sectors is expected to slow further in the coming three months

Consumer Confidence Index dips in Q4

Survey from Nielsen and the British Retail Consortium

  • Consumer Confidence Index at 71 points, down two points compared with Q3.
  • Biggest concerns over the next six months were the economy, increasing utility bills, job security and debt.
  • Switching to cheaper grocery brands continues to be an established strategy for staying within budget.
  • Retailers are increasingly focussing on ‘price’ as well as ‘value’.
  • Shoppers are spending more at discount retailers.

Public safety at risk

This could put me off eating out any more.

Councils are warning that new curbs on access to commercial premises would put public safety at risk because it would limit their ability to stop businesses selling unsafe food.

Curbs on food hygiene checks ‘would put public safety at risk’

The Local Government Association, which represents more than 350 councils in England and Wales, is urging Government to overturn proposals which would mean environmental health and trading standards officers have to seek a warrant through the courts to carry out inspections, unless given permission to enter by the business owner.

Poorer Americans aren’t as optomistic about the economy as rich ones

That’s not really news. is it?

Still, that’s what the AP-GfK Poll indicates. I suppose other people will put a different spin on it, but…

  • Nearly half of lower-income Americans describe their own household financial situation as “poor”, compared to just 17% of other Americans.
  • Moreover, only 21% with lower income agree the economy improved over the past month, compared to 38% of Americans reporting at least $50,000 in annual household incomes.
  • Lower income Americans are also less optimistic that unemployment will ease in the next 12 months – only 26% versus 43% of other Americans.