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Nationwide Debt Solutions Ltd
T/A Anglian Commercial Finance
Bellingham House
2 Huntingdon Street
St Neots
PE19 1BG

Phone: 01480 471615
Fax : 01480 475451

RISING INFLATION Inflation is rising again after five months of decline in a trend that threatens to renew the squeeze on living standards.Consumer prices rose by 1.9% in February compared with a year earlier, up from 1.8% in January and above forecasts for it to remain unchanged. Higher food, alcohol and tobacco prices led to the increase but economists warned that far larger rises were to come.

HOUSE PRICES House prices grew at the slowest pace in six years in January, according to official figures. Average house prices in Britain rose by 1.7% to £232,000 in the year to January, slower than the 2.2% growth recorded last December, the Office for National Statistics said. Britains property market has cooled significantly sine the Brexit vote, when prices were rising by about 8.2% on an annual basis.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE Consumer confidence is holding firm, despite growing uncertainty about the terms of which Britain will leave the European Union, according to a survey. GFKs consumer confidence index, followed by the Bank of England and other policymakers, came in at -13 in February. This was an improvement from -14 in January, but lower than after the EU referendum in 2016.

SHRINKING ECONOMY Britains economy slowed almost to a halt at the end of last year, with a collapse in trade, manufacturing and business investment, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. In 2018, the UK grew 1.4%, down from 1.8% in 2017, making it the equal weakest year since 2009.

BUILDERS HIT BRAKES Uncertainty about Brexit has pushed growth in the construction sector to its weakest level in ten months, a survey has found. The purchasing managers index for the industry slid from 52.8 in December to 50.6 last month, its worst level since the industry was hit by snow last March. It missed the 52.4 expected by economists. A figure above 50 indicates growth.

INSOLVENCIES AT HIGHEST The number of personal insolvencies in Britain hit its highest level for seven years in 2018 while the number of company insolvencies was the most for four years. Corporate insolvencies rose on the back of an increase in the number of high street retailers going into administration. Toys R Us, Poundworld, Mapland and HMV were among the 16,090 companies that collapsed. As many as 115,299 people in England and Wales went through insolvency proceedings during 2018, according to the Insolvency Agency.

. EMPLOYMENT AT HIGHEST Employment is at its highest since records began in 1971. According to the Office for National Statistics, employment rose by 141,000 to 32.5 million in the three months to November, while unemployment rose by 8,000 to 1.37 million, 68.000 lower that a year ago. The jobless rate is 4%, the lowest since 1975.

UK PRODUCTIVITY Britains productivity problems show little sign of ending after output per hour fell to its weakest level in two years. For the three months to September, productivity was only 0.2% better than the same period last year, the Office for National Statistics said. It was the worst annualized rate of growth since the third quarter of 2016.Britain has seen barely any productivity growth since the end of 2007, after enjoying growth of about 2% in the preceding decade.

NEW CAR SALES Growth in new registrations of hybrid and electric cars has slowed to a snailís pace, latest figures show. New car sales fell 6% to 2.54 million in 2017. Th Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said that the slump had been driven by a 30% collapse in diesel sales, down by 315,000 cars to 750,000 in 2018.However, hopes that hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles could begin to pick up the slack have come to nothing. Alternative fuel vehicles make up only 6% of the market, even though sales in the year rose by 20% from 116,000 to 141,00.

HOUSEHOLD DEBT JUMPS Britain is facing a borrowing time bomb with the average household now shouldering a record £15,385 in unsecured debt, according to to TUC. An analysis by the trade union federation found that total unsecured debt through credit cards, loans and overdrafts was almost 50% higher than the personal debt mountain that preceded the 2018 economic crash. Total unsecured debt rose to £428 billion in the third quarter of 2018. The average household debt of £15,385 is up £886 in a year. Unsecured debt as a share of household income is now the highest yet, at 30.4%.