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Business news – Wednesday 20th February


The ONS sums up positively for UK employment – The Office of National Statistics revealed in report today that the number of jobless in the UK has fallen to 2.5 million. Whilst this may seem a lot, this is 14,000 people less than the statistics for just three months earlier and a huge 580,000 less than a year previously.

This “transformed economy” bodes well for the popularity of the conservative party, who were actively tweeting the news. They should be wary of celebrating a complete turn-around too soon, however, as…

Music retailer HMV announces 37 planned store closures – Having entered into administration in January, HMV have had to announce that they will be closing a further 37 stores across  the country to try and re-structure the business to improve its prospects.

These closures will mean job losses of 464, and stores in London areas such as Heathrow are among some of the names listed.

Bank of England’s Governor out-voted – Sir Mervyn King’s planned “quantitative easing” strategy was out-voted at the Monetary Policy Council today.

This news had a large impact on the financial markets, with the pound taking a sharp drop against the euro and the dollar by 0.6% and 0.9% (respectively).

The governor had been hoping to increase the size of the quantitative easing programme from £375 bn to £400 bn in the hope that it would have positive knock-on effects on the UK economy. This is the fourth time that he has been out-voted at the MPC.


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