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Tue, Apr 27th - 9:05AM

Upward Revision Of Marketing Spend
The latest IPA Bellwether Report says that marketing budgets have been revised upwards for the first time in two and a half years. Firms are optimistic about the future and are confident the recovery to continue. The main media budgets are up for the first time since Q3 2007 and Internet budgets were adjusted for the third quarter in a row but the biggest since since Q1 2008. Sales promotion and direct marketing budgets were unchanged. Below the line marketing budgets such as PR and events was the only sector to revise spend downwards.
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Tue, Apr 27th - 9:02AM

First Quarter GDP Shows An Increase
GDP increased 0.2% in the first quarter of 2010. The increase was mainly due to business services and finance and manufacturing. The service industries increased by 0.2% and the production industries by 0.7%. A year-on-year comparison shows GDP decreased by 0.3% in Q1.
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Tue, Apr 27th - 9:01AM

England's Green Belt Land

In March 2010 there was an estimated 1,639,560 hectares of designated Green Belt land in England. This amounts to about 13% of the total land area of England. The designated Green Belt area of England in March 2009 has now been revised and the estimation is now 1,639,650 hectares which amounts to an increase of 810 hectares on the estimate published by DCLG in April 2009. The difference is due to the correcting and improving of measurements of local authorities using digitised data from geographical information systems as opposed to paper maps and Positional Accuracy improvements by the Ordnance Survey. An economic review resulted in new strategic objectives on planning which relate to net changes in the national area of Green Belt land. The indicator used for this is sustaining the level of Green Belt nationally measured regionally. There has been a net real decreas decrease of 80 hectares between April 2009 and March 2010. The difference is due to new plans in two regions.

Green Belt policy comprises five purposes for including land in designated Green Belt areas. They are to check urban sprawl, to prevent the merging of neighbouring towns, the safeguard the countryside from encroachment, the preservation of the setting and character of historic towns and to help urban regeneration by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land. Green Belt land once identified can then provide the urban population with opportunities of access to the open countryside and outdoor sport and leisure, the retention and enhancement of landscapes near inhabited areas, improvement of damaged and derelict land, nature conservation and the retaining of land in agricultural, forestry and other related uses.

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Tue, Apr 27th - 8:53AM

Celebrations And Electronic Trading Is Up

The London Stock Exchange saw 17.6 million electronic equity trades carried out in March 2010 an increase of 3% on March 2009. The average daily number of trades was 28% lower than March 2009 at 766,229. The average daily traded was £7 billion, 2% lower than last year.

The LSE celebrated 10 years of ETF trading on the 13 April 2010. The first Exchange Traded Fund was admitted to its markets in 2000 and there are now over 240 ETF products available for trading on the LSE from 9 issuers. ETFs have seen constant year on year growth with an average growth rate of 64% in the value of ETFs traded and an average 100% growth rate in the number of trades.

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Tue, Apr 27th - 8:51AM

UK Goods Are In Demand!

The manufacturing sector looks to be improving but profits are threatened by rising costs according to the latest Industrial Trends survey from the CBI. The first three months to April show that orders are rising for British made goods overseas but as order books are still recovering from 30 year lows, total order books are still below normal.

The growth in orders is expected to continue over the next few months and production is expected to increase along with it. It is reflected in business confidence which continues to improve. Average unit costs are rising and though domestic prices were stable prices may increase in the next three months. Most firms say they working below capacity.

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Tue, Apr 27th - 8:50AM

CPI Up 3.4%
The CPI for March 2010 went up by 3.4% from 3% in February and the RPI by 4.4% from 3.7%. The CPI indicator in March was 113.5 from 112.9. The RPIX went up from 4.2% in February to 4.8% in March.
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Tue, Apr 27th - 8:48AM

British Wild Birds Survey

A recent statistical release from Defra provides the latest figures on the bird populations on farmland and woodland and all-native wild birds in the English Government Office Regions between 1994-2008.

The statistics say that between 1994-2008 farmland birds declined by 10% or more in five of the Government's Regions namely the South-West, South East, the East of England, the East Midlands and the West Midlands. The South East reported the largest decline of 23% below the 1994 baseline. The overall farmland birds indicator fell by 11% in that period. At the national level, there were declines of over 25% in Corn Bunting, Linnet, Grey Partridge, Yellow Wagtail, Starling and Turtle Dove and increases of over 25% in Jackdaw, Goldfinch, Tree Sparrow, Woodpigeon and Whitethroat.

The woodland bird indicator increased by more than 10% between 1994 and 2008 in four regions - the North West, the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside and the East Midlands. The indicator fell in two regions, the South East and the South West. The largest regional increase was in the North West at 43%. Yorkshire and Humberside came next with a 31% increase. The overall woodland bird indicator for England fell 6% over the same period. Nationally, there were declines of over 50% in Great Spotted Woodpecker, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Chiffchaff and Green Woodpecker and increases of over 50% in Spotted Flycatcher, Wood Warbler and Willow Tit.

The all-native bird indicator for England increased by 3%. The all-native bird population indicator increased by 10% in three regions, Yorkshire and Humberside, the North East and the North West. The biggest increase was in the North West with 26%.

The data for the Defra statistical reports were based on annual data from the British Trust for Ornithology's Breeding Bird Survey (BBS).

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Tue, Apr 27th - 8:46AM

Lowest Food Inflation For Three Years
Shop price inflation slowed to the lowest level for three years. The British Retail Consortium's (BRC) Shop Price Index (SPI) fell to 1.2% in March from 1.7% in February. Food inflation fell to 1.2% from 1.3% and non-food inflation to 1.3% from 1.9%. Food inflation is at its lowest for over three years.
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Tue, Apr 27th - 8:43AM

Services In UK Continue To Show Positive Signs
The index of services from the ONS reported a positive index number for the first time since October 2008. The total service industries indicator increased by 0.1% year-on-year in February 2010 after a fall of 1.2% in January. The monthly indicator also increased by 0.6% on January 2010.
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Tue, Apr 27th - 8:40AM

Bigger R & D Spend In UK In Recent Years

Gross domestic expenditure on research and development increased by 3% in 2008 to £25.6bn from £24.9bn in 2007. In real terms it is about the same. R & D expenditure in 2008 amounted to about 1.79% of GDP which was a small increase on the 1.76% of 2007.

The main performers carrying out R & D in the UK in 2008 were business enterprise up 2% on 2007 to £15.9bn, higher education up 4% to £6.8bn, Government up 4% to £1.3bn research councils up 1% to £1bn and private non-profit organisations up 8% to £0.6bn.

Business enterprise was also main provider of funds with a total of £11.6bn amounting to 45% of all R & D, £2.3bn of which went abroad. The Government provided 31% of funding of all R & D. The figure includes higher education and research councils.

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Wed, Apr 14th - 8:48AM

OECD Countries Economies Still Expanding
The signs from the composite leading indicators of the OECD for February 2010 are still in favour of further economic expansion in the growth cycles of member states. The pace across different countries and regions is however expected to vary. The US and Japan look the most likely to continue to increase their economic activity in coming months with an increase of 0.9 points each. Signs of slower growth were recorded in China 0.0, and France 0.1, and Italy 0.2. The OECD area increased by 0.7 in February 2010. The UK recorded an increase of 0.4 points. The Euro area recorded 0.5 and the G7 0.7 points. India 0.4, Brazil 0.3 and Russia 0.5 recorded fairly moderate increases.
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Wed, Apr 14th - 8:47AM

Fibre-Optic The Future Of Broadband In OECD

The OECD has updated its broadband statistics of member states to June 2009. The number of broadband subscribers in the OECD in June 2009 was 271 million, up 10% from June 2008, and half of OECD countries have reached 25 subscriptions in a 100 people. Future growth in fast broadband is expected to come from fibre-optic networks. 

In June 2009 the United States had the most broadband subscribers by millions in the world with over 81m, Japan came second with nearly 31m and Germany with 24m. These were followed by France and the UK with 18.7 and 17.7m respectively and then Korea with nearly 16m and Italy with nearly 12m.

Korea had the largest proportion of households with 94.3% having broadband access. Iceland had 83.2% and Denmark 74.1%. The United States proprtion of households with broadband access was 50.8% (2007), the UK had 61.5%, Japan 58.5%, Germany 54.9% and Italy 30.8%.

The price range of broadband monthly subscriptions was very wide in some countries and very narrow in others. In Turkey the price range was very wide. The range was from very low at $8.45 a month to quite high at $125.95 a month in US dollars PPP terms. The Slovak Republic's range was widest from a moderately low $15.6 a month to a very high $263.23 a month. Korea had a very narrow range of prices in the middle to low range from $33.97 to $43.03. The US range in price was from $14.99 a month to $139.95 a month. UK prices ranged from $17.81 to $55.76, Japan prices range from $19.50 to $67.09 a month, Germany $23.02 to $75.15 and Italy from $11.39 to $45.43.

The average prices for low speed connections were lowest in Italy at $11.39 PPP and highest in Mexico at $57.79. The US average was $24.40, the UK $22.07, Japan $22.38 and Germany $36.96. The average monthly broadband subscription price was highest in the Slovak Republic at $78.86 PPP quite a long way ahead of Mexico in second at $59.52 and the lowest in Sweden at $29.22 ahead of Greece at £30.06.

PPP stands for Purchasing Power Parity which is a measure that gives currencies some equivalence for a meaningful comparison in terms of a parity of their purchasing power.

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