High energy prices are set to shave about 0.8% off global economic growth this year, The Daily Telegraph cites International Energy Agency chief economist Fatih Birol.
That forecast is based on an average price of $50 per barrel of oil in New York over 2005, but so far the average is closer to $53, the paper writes.
Market prices are being pushed up by concerns over Iran’s nuclear energy programme and possible military action by the US, while Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez has again threatened to stop exporting oil to the US in retaliation to what he says is political interference.
BRITAIN’S HOUSING MARKET cycle may have bottomed out, according to latest figures from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, reports The Guardian
Sales are still down on the year earlier period – a fall of 18% according to the July figures – but this is a big improvement on the 36% drop recorded on the same basis for February, the paper writes.
House prices even increased in Scotland and the Northwest during July for the first time in a year. That said, RICS is warning homeowners that they should not expect similar levels of house price returns experienced in the past decade. In London the terrorist bombings and attempted bombings during July do not seem to have impacted the housing market, RICS adds.
THAT VIEW ON CONFIDENCE in the nation’s capital contrasts sharply with a report from Lloyds TSB, suggesting the outlook for the economy fell to its lowest levels since the start of the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, writes The Scotsman
A survey carried out in the week following the 7 July bombings found 40% of businesses questioned were pessimistic about the economy, compared with 26% in June. Some 200 firms with turnover above £1m were involved in the survey.
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