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Service sector growth brings economic hope

Greater than expected growth in the service sector in December has raised hopes that the UK economy can avoid a contraction in Q4 2011.

The Markit/Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Purchasing Managers’ Index recorded a reading of 54 for December, up from 52.1 in November. Readings above 50 indicate growth.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, says: “Service sector companies reported surprisingly buoyant business conditions in December, with activity and new business growing at the strongest rates since July.

“The December survey rounds off a reasonable fourth quarter for the service sector, which is again likely to provide the main stimulus to overall economic growth.”


Equity release may reduce divorce pain

One of the more surprising trends to affect the over-60s recently has been an increase in the divorce rate. The latest Office for National Statistics figures show that more than 13,700 people aged over 60 were granted a divorce in 2009, up 4% in two years. Compare this with all age-groups, where divorce rates fell […]


Report lacks focus on elderly care, says MP

The Dilnot Commission report into the funding of care for the elderly does not focus enough on the quality of care older people receive, according to a Conservative MP. John Redwood, chair of the Conservative Party’s economic affairs committee, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme last Tuesday that the report focuses too much on protecting […]

Reforming India: just the beginning

By Kunal Desai, Neptune India Fund

As global investors continue to scour emerging markets through the lens of reform potential, India shines bright. Indeed, we think it can sparkle even brighter. We anticipate India’s self-imposed 10-year ‘policy holiday’ to turn into one of the most pro-growth and pro-investment policy calendars seen in Asia in years. The Indian electorate has engineered a historic verdict. We now have the strongest Indian government since 1984, with the pro-market Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) achieving an absolute majority for the first time in the party’s history.


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