Business

Britain’s best and worst shopping districts ranked

Image copyright Harper Dennis Hobbs Image caption Shields Road, Byker, is Britain’s least vibrant shopping district, according to new rankings Shields Road in Byker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne is the least attractive location to open a shop, according to a list ranking Britain’s retail centres. Property advisors, Harper Dennis Hobbs judged 1,000 shopping districts on how well the store mix suited local needs. They also looked at vacancy rates and the numbers of

David Davis: Brexit ‘as complicated as moon landing’

Image copyright PA The minister in charge of the UK’s exit from the EU says elements of his job make landing on the moon look simple. Brexit Secretary David Davis made the remark to business leaders as he discussed the interim arrangements that will be in place after the UK leaves. He suggested the UK would no longer be in the EU’s customs union and single market during this period.

IMF cuts forecasts for US economic growth

Image copyright Getty Images The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cuts its growth forecasts for the US economy due to uncertainty about White House policies. It now expects growth of 2.1% in 2017 and 2018, against earlier estimates of 2.3% in 2017 and 2.5% in 2018. The forecast is also below the 3% rate targeted by the White House. Proposals such as cuts to spending on programmes that benefit low

Savers face ‘never-ending battle’

Image copyright PA Nine out of 10 easy access savings accounts pay interest of less than 1% – exposing a “fundamental flaw” in the market, Moneyfacts has said. The financial information service said that there was a lack of competition among the biggest banks, which account for 70% of the market. The cost of living is rising at 2.9% a year, so many savings rates are failing to keep pace.

Body Shop bought by Brazil’s Natura

Image copyright Getty Images Brazilian cosmetics group Natura has confirmed it is buying UK cosmetics chain The Body Shop. Natura is thought to be paying 1bn euros ($1.1bn; £880m) to the French group L’Oreal, which has owned The Body Shop for the past 11 years. The Body Shop was established in the UK in 1976 by the late Dame Anita Roddick. She and her company pioneered the manufacturing and selling

Ukraine hit by major cyber-attack

Image copyright Getty Images Kiev’s main airport appears to have been among the victims of a major cyber-attack in Ukraine. Operator Boryspil said that it could cause flights to be delayed. Shipping company AP Moller-Maersk, oil producer Rosneft and a number of Ukraine’s commercial banks also said they had been hit. The unknown virus also appeared to be affecting some private companies, retailers and government systems. More to follow

Bank of England takes action over bad loans

Image copyright PA Image caption Mark Carney stressed that the UK financial system has strengthened The Bank of England has forced banks to find a further £11.4bn in the next 18 months to beef up their finances against the risk of bad loans. Banks will have to set aside £5.7bn in the next six months in case future economic shocks mean some borrowers cannot keep up their repayments. A further

Western Digital resubmits Toshiba chip unit bid

Image copyright Getty Images Western Digital has resubmitted its bid for Toshiba’s flagship flash memory unit amid a battle over the sale of the business. The new offer is understood to be in the region of 2tn yen (£14bn). Toshiba needs to sell the unit after an accounting scandal and cost overruns at its Westinghouse nuclear unit. Western Digital, which jointly runs Toshiba’s main semiconductor plant, has been feuding bitterly

Debenhams shares slip as sales dip

Image copyright Reuters Shares in department store chain Debenhams slid 3.4% after it reported falling sales amid “volatile trading”. Like-for-like sales dropped 0.9% in the 15 weeks to 17 June, and it added that May was “a tough month for retailers”. It said 2017 profits should be in the expected range, but added that if market volatility continued, profits could be at the lower end of forecasts. Its comments weighed

Ice cream rush helps supermarket sales soar in June

Image copyright Getty Images June’s soaring temperatures boosted supermarket sales by record levels and sent overheated Britons in search of ice cream. Research firm Nielsen said major retailers enjoyed the largest annual revenue rise for four years, up 4% compared to June last year. Sales of hand-held ice creams rose by 24% as the UK basked in its hottest June since 1976. More people also dined al fresco, with demand