Fears over a double-dip recession appear to have receded after the high street enjoyed surprisingly robust trading last month, boosted by continued hefty discounting and catch-up shopping after December's snow.
But industry experts still expect a testing year ahead for retailers, with continued pressure on household budgets and mounting fears over inflation and unemployment, particularly in the public sector, writes the Independent.
Confounding fears of an early new year "bloodbath", mid-market retailers delivered like-for-like sales up 9.1% in January, BDO's High Street Sales Tracker found.
The British Retail Consortium is also expected to report positive underlying sales growth for the sector in January, but its closely-watched monthly figures are not expected to be quite as bullish. MORE...
HSBC chief exec Stuart Gulliver in line for £9m bonus
Stuart Gulliver, the new chief executive of HSBC, is expected to accept a bonus of as much as £9m later this month in reward for his stewardship of the bank's investment arm.
Gulliver, who took over from Mike Geoghegan at the turn of the year, is set to be awarded the windfall as part of an overall compensation package which could take the total amount he receives for 2010 to in excess of £10m, writes the Telegraph.
Although the bank's remuneration committee, chaired by HSBC's deputy chairman, John Thornton, has not yet finalised any executive bonuses, City sources with knowledge of the situation believe that a bonus of £9m is highly possible. MORE...
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