Friday 16 February 2007

Top money stories - 12 ~ 16 February 2007

Top – Tip:

This has been a good week for growth, with Britain’s Monetary Policy Committee predicting healthy economic growth for the UK on the same day that the EU’s Monetary Affairs Commissioner revised the forecast for European Economic growth upwards to 2.7%. This is good news for the consumer – there are generally plenty of jobs and good business opportunities in a growing economy. It is also a great moment to start saving for times when the outlook isn’t so good.

Wednesday 14th February:

Inflation falling

The Bank of England has announced that inflation has fallen to 2.7%. This is good news but the rate is still some away above Gordon Brown’s target of 2% and the Bank has hinted strongly that another interest rate rise is likely to be needed to attain this target, so be prepared. If you want to find out your own personal inflation rate then you can do so online using the personal inflation calculator from the Office of National Statistics at www.statistics.gov.uk/pic

Mixed News from the MPC

On Wednesday the Monetary Policy Committee (the independent body that sets interest rates on behalf of the Bank of England) announced that it expects the British economy to grow healthily over the next three years, boosted by strong consumer spending, increased business investment and a booming world economy. Whilst robust economic growth is generally good news (more jobs and plenty of business opportunities available), it is likely to mean that interest rates will stay at high levels for a while to come.

Friday 16th February:

Debt Issue for Older Men

Debt is an increasing problem for older men, according to the Consumer Credit Counselling Service. The CCCS reported a rise in the number of elderly clients seeking debt advice, with men over 60 in particularly heavy debt, owing £36,940 on average.

Don’t let this happen to you! If you’re worried about your finances, then seek help! You can call the CCCS for free and independent debt advice on 0800 138 1111 or go online and use the Debt Remedy at www.cccs.co.uk.

Battle for the Bills

British Gas’s decision to cut gas and electricity prices from March 12 (see last week’s Top Money Stories in our Newsroom archive) seems to have sparked off a price war. NPower (British Gas’s main rival) indicated on Friday that it will also announce price cuts this weekend. This is great news for consumers, who can just sit back and let them compete for our custom!

Prepared for MoneyBasics by Adela Read