Riots lead to slump in UK retail sales
Published 16/09/2011 | 05:00
British retail sales fell by 0.2pc in August compared with July as rioting across England shut shops and high inflation hit shoppers' spending power, official data showed. The Office for National Statistics said although rioting across England in early August "resulted in some stores closing early, thereby reducing their opening hours, the economic impact of these closures cannot be totally measured". This was because of "feedback from some retailers that they saw increases in sales due to changes in shopping behaviour" caused by the rioting.
Value of Belarusian rouble tumbles
The Belarusian currency has fallen sharply in value after the government allowed a limited flotation in its latest bid to ease the country's worsening financial crisis. The currency weakened to 8,600 roubles against the dollar, compared with the official rate of 5,347. It comes as the government aims to make the country's exports more competitive and gain more foreign currency. It is the second time since May that the rouble has been allowed to devalue.
China is losing its manufacturing edge
China is losing its edge as the world's cheapest place to manufacture goods, a new report suggests. Indonesia and Bangladesh are benefiting most as rising costs in China force firms to switch production, it says. The report by consultants KPMG says that minimum wage levels in China are now four times greater than other places in south and south-east Asia. However, the report says China can defend its position because of its productivity and infrastructure. China is still dominant in the production of goods such as consumer electronics and furniture.
Glaxo joins forces with F1's McLaren
Drugs giant GlaxoSmith- Kline is to "rev up" its research and manufacturing operations through a tie-up with Formula 1 team McLaren. The five-year partnership will see the two firms build a new €22.92m research facility at McLaren's headquarters in Surrey, with Glaxo sharing the F1 group's expertise in engineering, analytics and modelling.