Up to 300,000 workers will lose their jobs by 2011, pushing the number of people out of work close to 2m, a leading business group says today, The Times reports.
The British Chambers of Commerce, which becomes the first business group to forecast that Britain would fall into recession, predicts that the economic slump will force unemployment to soar by between 250,000 and 300,000 in the next two to three years, adding that total unemployment of more than 2m could not be ruled out. This would take unemployment to the same level as the year that Labour came to power.
The BCC said there was a possibility that the economy would shrink during two quarters before next March, pushing the country into a technical recession. It cut its forecast for economic growth to 1.3% this year and 1.1% next year, down from 1.7% this year and 1.6% in 2009.
TWO SEPARATE SURVEYS today reinforce the gloom enveloping UK businesses, as they face the toughest trading environment since the early 1990s, according to The Independent.
The Lloyds TSB Business Barometer found that in July companies' confidence in trading prospects plummeted to its lowest since the survey began in 2002, while the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) also revealed tumbling confidence in the last quarter.
Lloyds TSB said that the balance of firms who believe their trading activity will increase, rather than decrease over the next 12 months, has fallen to +22% – a 10% drop on June and well below the average of +51% since 2002.
THE WORLD'S LARGEST mining company, BHP Billiton, unveiled a record $15.4bn profit this morning fuelled by high commodity prices and continued strong demand from China, The Times also reports.
BHP launched a hostile $123bn takeover bid for rival Rio Tinto in February which, if it succeeds, would be the world’s second largest takeover.
Chief executive Marius Kloppers said the deal remained on track and now made “more sense than ever”.IFAonline
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