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Pace of growth accelerates as summer slowdown swept away – but costs and prices increase at record rate

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Growth returned in a sharp and accelerated fashion across Yorkshire and the Humber economy this past month.

September’s seven month low was swept aside in October with a near five point increase in NatWest’s Yorkshire & Humber Business Activity Index – the strongest uplift since June.

Improved demand conditions and bolstered operating capacities reportedly drove higher levels across the manufacturing and service sectors.

Read more: Freeport launch during COP26 spawns ‘Humber’s moment for economic rebirth as decarbonising pioneers’

New work came in stronger than had been seen, with a positive trend in employment continuing. Staff numbers increased for a ninth consecutive month, with the rate of jobs growth quickening to a four-month high.

Richard Topliss, chairman of NatWest North Regional Board, said: “Growth in Yorkshire & Humber’s private sector economy re-accelerated during October – a welcome outcome following three successive months of slowing growth.



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“The pick-up in October was marked too, and the fastest for four months. Firms linked higher activity levels to improved market confidence, stronger demand for their goods and services, as well as bolstered operating capacities. Indeed, we observed continued strong jobs growth in October, which bodes well for the near-term economic prospects in the region.

“However, supply-related issues were still at large and put immense upward pressures on prices in October. Rates of both input cost and output price inflation reached unprecedented heights as firms across the region were impacted by global supply shortages and rising energy prices.”

Backlogs of work increased for an eighth successive month, outpacing the rest of the UK.

On costs, the fastest increase since data was first collected to form the seasonally adjusted index back in 1997.

Input prices increased sharply at both goods producers and service providers, although the rate of increase was particularly steep at the former.

Energy costs, alongside raw material and shipping prices, were frequently mentioned as sources of inflationary pressures.

As a result prices charged for goods and services increased at a rate previously unseen in over two decades of data collection during the month. Of the 12 monitored areas of the UK, only Northern Ireland and Wales registered faster rates of inflation.

Once again the level of confidence was the highest in the UK in Yorkshire and Humber.

Expected gains in market share, sustained recovery efforts from the pandemic and increased workloads were cited as reasons for bullish growth forecasts.

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Bloomberg names Green ME of finance for Americas

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Rick Green

Rick Green has been named managing editor for finance in the Americas at Bloomberg News, effective July 11.

He is currently senior editor for markets at Bloomberg.

Green was previously a team leader for distressed company news. He was also corporate finance editor and a senior editor on the U.S. finance team.

Before Bloomberg, Green was assistant managing editor for business and technology at Newsday. He also worked at BusinessWeek magazine as a senior editor and at SmartMoney magazine.

 





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Liberty Steel secures time with Greensill as debt rstructuring continues

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Liberty Steel Group has entered a standstill agreement with Greensill Bank.

It pauses all enforcement actions between the South Yorkshire headquartered business and the subsidiary of the collapsed financial institution as it focuses on recovery.

Greensill Bank, part of Greensill Capital, is Liberty’s largest creditor on the business’s debt facilities, provided in 2019.

Read more:£26m British Steel Special Profiles upgrade given the go-ahead

The agreement lasts until October 31, with potential to extend until the end of the year.

Liberty said it will enable the company to develop a longer term sustainable financing structure, with detailed due diligence and information exchange continuing between the two parties.

A Liberty spokesperson said: “Today’s standstill agreement with Greensill Bank demonstrates we are getting close to a consensual debt restructuring that is in the best interests of all our stakeholders.

“We are working intensively towards a settlement with our major creditors in a timeframe which would obviate the need for a legal battle. Our core businesses continue to perform well and are operationally strong despite some economic headwinds.”

HMRC had filed then withdrew a winding up petition for Liberty earlier this year as progress with creditors was made.



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At Close of Business: Jordan Murray talks an Australian republic

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Journalist Jordan Murray discusses revived debate over the possibility of an Australian republic.



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