Markets

New rail contract award to Go-Ahead branded ‘a sick joke’

New rail contract award to Go-Ahead branded ‘a sick joke’

The transport group Go-Ahead has been awarded a new contract to run Britain’s biggest commuter rail network – a week after being fined £23.5m for wrongly withholding £50m of taxpayers’ money on another franchise. The rail union RMT said it was a “sick joke” that the group’s Govia joint venture was given a three-year deal to continue…

Global markets tumble as Russia-Ukraine tensions hit shares

Global markets tumble as Russia-Ukraine tensions hit shares

About £42bn was wiped off the value of London’s top 350 listed companies on Monday as mounting fears of an imminent Russian attack on Ukraine triggered a global share sell-off. European stock markets fell heavily, following losses in Asia-Pacific markets, as geopolitical tensions drove oil prices to seven-year highs. The FTSE 100 index lost 1.7%, or 129 points, to…

John Sainsbury, shopkeeper ‘to his core’, dies aged 94

John Sainsbury, shopkeeper ‘to his core’, dies aged 94

John Sainsbury, the former chairman of the supermarket chain, has died at the age of 94. Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover was the president of Sainsbury’s and also sat in the House of Lords as a Conservative. The supermarket’s current chairman and chief executive, Martin Scicluna, announced the death on Friday evening, saying he had lived a…

Carmakers report booming UK sales of electric vehicles

Carmakers report booming UK sales of electric vehicles

Booming electric car sales were a bright spot in a tough car market last year amid disruption to global supply chains hitting manufacturers, according to fresh data. In its annual sales snapshot for 2021, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said carmakers sold 190,000 battery electric cars across the country last year, accounting…

Covid costs push government borrowing to highest since WW2

Covid costs push government borrowing to highest since WW2

The cost of measures to support the economy during the coronavirus pandemic has pushed government borrowing to the highest level since the end of World War Two. Government borrowing – the difference between spending and tax income – hit £303.1bn in the year to March, the Office for National Statistics said. Compared to the previous…

Economists revise eurozone growth for 2021 downwards amid second COVID wave

Economists revise eurozone growth for 2021 downwards amid second COVID wave

its post-COVID-19 recovery, according to a European Central Bank (ECB) survey. Economists polled in the ECB’s annual Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) published on Friday predicted real GDP growth would fall to 4.4 per cent this year amid further lockdowns and pandemic-related restrictions, down from 5.3 per cent in the previous quarter’s predictions. Speaking to…

Despite the pandemic, Uzbekistan’s privatisation plans forge ahead

Despite the pandemic, Uzbekistan’s privatisation plans forge ahead

The government of Uzbekistan has surprised international economists by announcing plans to forge ahead in 2021 with its ambitious privatisation plans, despite the global Covid-19 pandemic. The virus has caused enough economic stress that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently suggested a slow-down of major privatisations might be wise. “Earlier plans for…

The US economy lost 140,000 jobs in December. All of them were held by women

The US economy lost 140,000 jobs in December. All of them were held by women

A year ago, a rare thing happened to American women. For three months, they held more jobs than men in the US economy — something that had only occurred one other time in history, during a short period in 2009 and early 2010. Sure, there were still many other gender gaps: women were more likely…

Saying goodbye to a wild year for stocks

Saying goodbye to a wild year for stocks

We’re hoping to shelve the word ‘unprecedented’ for a while as 2021 gets underway — but first, one final look at a 2020. The Dow and the S&P 500 ended the year at record highs and the Nasdaq Composite logged its best performance since 2009 with a whopping 43.6% jump. Overall, the indexes registered gains for the second…

Stimulus check Q&A: What happens if payments go from $600 to $2,000?

Stimulus check Q&A: What happens if payments go from $600 to $2,000?

Have you checked your bank account yet? Your economic impact payment may already be there. Americans who have direct deposit set up through the Internal Revenue Service could have received their payment as early as Tuesday night. Paper checks are to start going out Wednesday, according to the Treasury Department. And if you were wondering where things…