The Office of Fair Trading has launched an investigation into the UK's £20bn housebuilding industry, reports The Guardian.
The review will focus on the planning process - whether land that is suitable for development is being used effectively - and customer satisfaction with new houses. It is expected to report back by the middle of next year.
The watchdog is concerned that the UK housebuilding market is failing consumers when they buy a new home, and damaging the wider economy.
"This is a hugely important market for the economy because of its substantial economic impact and because unresponsive housing supply hinders labour mobility, constrains economic growth, and harms consumers," said John Fingleton, chief executive of the OFT.
THE LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE is determined to hammer through a £1bn takeover of Borsa Italiana, the Milan stock exchange, against the opposition of its 30% shareholder, the New York exchange Nasdaq, reports The Times.
A formal offer for the Borsa could come as early as this morning.
Last night, the Italian board was locked in a meeting. “They are evaluating the proposals made by the LSE,” a spokeswoman confirmed.
Bob Greifeld, the Nasdaq chief executive, whose £2.9bn offer for the LSE failed in January, leaving him with a 30% holding, is resolutely refusing to comment on this week’s embarrassing leak that the London market is in merger talks with the Italians.
CONCERNS ABOUT INFLATION AND anything more than a modest increase in interest rates will have been eased by data showing that, while demand for UK manufactured goods had returned to the 12-year high reported in March, expectations of inflation have eased, reports The Independent.
The CBI's latest Industrial Trends Survey, published yesterday, suggests that growth should continue to be robust, but inflationary pressures, it tentatively suggests, may be softening. That is in line with recent results from the major supermarket chains, which also seem to indicate a weakening of "pricing power" by businesses and shops, a key factor for the Bank of England.
In the CBI's June survey, 29% of manufacturers reported that total orders were above normal, while 22% said they were below. The rounded balance of +8% is an improvement on the past two months and repeats March's 12-year peak (+8%).
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