The recession has come to end, according to one of the nation's most respected economic think-tanks.
The UK's surprising resilience is confirmed by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), an independent body with an enviable record for accuracy, writes The Independent.
It says the economy hit rock bottom in as early as March and returned to growth, albeit modestly, in April and May.
The institute says that the economy grew by about 0.2% in April and by 0.1% last month. Although hardly a return to the boom conditions that prevailed before the credit crunch, these figures mark the end of more than a year of stagnation and recession, and stand in stark contrast to the grimmest predictions of a 1930s-style slump.
Ray Barrell, director of forecasting at the institute, said that "the evidence from the last few months is that we may well have reached the bottom of the depression". Full story...
BRITAIN'S troubled building societies could be handed a lifeline by the Treasury, as Alistair Darling, chancellor, looks for new ways to allow them to raise capital without losing their mutual status.
Mr Darling wants to encourage the mutual model as a means of increasing diversity in Britain's financial services market, but has been dismayed to see several building societies go to the wall or have to be rescued by rivals in recent months.
A Treasury white paper, expected this month, will address the question facing struggling mutuals of how to raise much-needed capital without losing their status and becoming a plc like other banks by creating a new financial instrument to allow the mutuals to raise tier one core capital. However, this solution is expected to take some time to set in place. Full story...
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