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  1. Consumer confidence in UK at lowest level in 15 months, survey suggestsUK - relatively small sample http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/29/uk-consumer-confidence-barometer-eu-referendum-gfk The latest survey of 2,000 people conducted in the first two weeks of April showed confidence dropped in all the areas measured: their personal financial situation, their view of the UK economy and whether now was a good time to make big purchases. Fears of households over-stretching on borrowing as consumer credit growshttp://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/fears-of-households-overstretching-on-borrowing-as-consumer-credit-grows-34671386.html The Bank's Money and Credit report showed consumer credit increased by £1.9 billion in March, compared with an average of £1.4 billion over the previous six months. The figures also showed consumer credit recorded a 12-month growth rate of 9.7% in March, up from a rate of 9.5% in February and the highest rate recorded on this measure since late 2005. Peter Tutton, head of policy at StepChange Debt Charity, said: "Consumer credit has again risen rapidly and this is an area of growing concern. "Slow wage growth and the rise in insecure jobs have left millions of households financially vulnerable and we have already seen an increase in the number of people coming to us for debt advice in 2016. "If consumer credit continues to rise quickly, it risks increasing the vulnerability of households who are already struggling to make ends meet. "The last time consumer credit increased at this rate was in the lead-up to the recession, when credit was widely available and many households became seriously indebted.
  2. Newtownabbey construction firm placed into administrationhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-36146136
  3. House-hunters camp out in bid to snap up new properties in Tyronehttp://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/househunters-camp-out-in-bid-to-snap-up-new-properties-in-tyrone-34649003.html The desperate buyers............... Blah, Blah snap up Blah Blah, first come first served, fierce competition, word of mouth, high demand......Yawn Blah blah
  4. McGrath Bros: 171 jobs to go at Lisburn-based construction firm http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-36113741 Joint managing director Brian McGrath said trading conditions in the manufacturing and construction sectors had a "severe impact" on the business. He said: "Legacy contracts taken on during the recession have also taken their toll on main contractors and specialist sub-contractors alike, all linking to underpayments of completed works and disputed final accounts." Thursday: 'No cuts at Ulster Bank'. Friday: 'Actually 60 jobs will go' http://www.irishnews.com/business/2016/04/16/news/thursday-no-cuts-at-ulster-bank-friday-actually-60-jobs-will-go--487827 Bombardier says 630 jobs to be cut in NI in 2016http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-36091024 Bombardier has adjusted its previously announced job cuts programme in Belfast, with a greater number of redundancies due this year. The aerospace company said in February that it was axing 1,080 posts over two years, about 20% of its Northern Ireland workforce. But it now says up to 630 will go in 2016 - as opposed to the 580 stated initially. Late last year the Northern Ireland workforce was asked to accept pay cuts and other changes to terms and conditions with the firm saying it was "in serious financial crisis". However the proposal was overwhelmingly rejected in a ballot of union members.
  5. Not sure how reliable, if at all. Belfast gets a mention; 0.6% rise last month, 0.9% last 3 months https://www.hometrack.com/uk/insight/uk-cities-house-price-index
  6. Average UK house price tops £200,000 for first timehttp://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/01/average-uk-house-price-tops-pounds-200000 In Northern Ireland, property values increased by 1.8% year-on-year to reach £123,225 on average.
  7. Average Northern Ireland house price rises 0.8% to reach £153,000http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/average-northern-ireland-house-price-rises-08-to-reach-153000-34563524.html
  8. Morrow launches new Rent to Own schemeWas on BBC Newsline tonight - Lord Morrow used to be an Estate Agent............... https://www.dsdni.gov.uk/news/morrow-launches-new-rent-own-scheme The Department for Social Development has invested over £12.5million in the pilot The funding will enable OwnCo Homes, a subsidiary of the Northern Ireland Co-Ownership Housing Association, to purchase 100 affordable new homes throughout Northern Ireland. The product will be available for homes throughout Northern Ireland and will typically provide new build turnkey type homes in the starter home price bracket of around £100,000 - £150,000.
  9. BBC Newsline looking at the PRS in NI tomorrow night 30 March 6.30pm
  10. Unemployment rises by 200, but services driving growthhttp://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/unemployment-rises-by-200-but-services-driving-growth-34546591.html
  11. The Economy in Northern Ireland http://www.nisra.gov.uk/publications/default.asp5.htm The latest NI Composite Economic Index report published on the 21st January 2016 provides the most recent statistics on the performance of the NI economy. The headline figures over quarter 3 2015 show: • The Northern Ireland Composite Economic Index (NICEI) results show that NI economic activity decreased by 0.8% in real terms between the second and third quarter of 2015. • This is the first quarterly decrease in the NICEI in the last four quarters. • However, the index increased by 1.1% over the year (Quarter 3 2014 to Quarter 3 2015) in real terms. • Annual output (averaged over the four quarters to Quarter 3 2015) also increased by 1.6% compared to the previous four quarters. • Private sector output also fell by 0.8% over the quarter to Quarter 3 2015. • The Public sector jobs index also decreased by 0.8% over the quarter, and is now at its lowest level since the series began in 2002.
  12. One in five people living in poverty in NIhttp://www.u.tv/News/2016/03/15/One-in-five-people-living-in-poverty-in-NI-55780 Northern Ireland manufacturing 'continues to struggle'http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-35787272
  13. I thought the whole point of NAMA was "to keep the lights on"? Whatever way you cut it, the whole thing stinks. Didn't see the programme but presume the bookies tapes have a lot more to offer.
  14. Moore Stephens: Accountants who audited Presbyterian Mutual Society are fined £140,000http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-35706717 The accountancy firm which audited the Presbyterian Mutual Society (PMS) has been fined £140,000. The PMS had to be bailed out by the government in 2010 after savers rushed to withdraw money. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) found accountants Moore Stephens failed to obtain an adequate understanding of the legal and regulatory environment in which the PMS operated. Moore Stephens audit partner, David McClean, was also fined £20,000. The FRC said the firm and audit partner failed to adequately test PMS board and management assumptions that it was complying with its own rules and with legislation and regulation. It added that the firm also failed to apply professional scepticism and to obtain sufficient audit evidence to corroborate assurances and representations provided by management. The Department of Enterprise (DETI) bailed the PMS out with £225m of loans. Annual instalments are due to repay £175m over 10 years, with the £50m balance being paid when the society is wound up. The society could only make half of its scheduled loan repayments in the last two years. This does not alter the requirement on the society for the full repayment of the loan.
  15. Ex-Nama official Ronnie Hanna to be called before Project Eagle inquiry http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/exnama-official-ronnie-hanna-to-be-called-before-project-eagle-inquiry-34505669.html Ronnie Hanna, Nama’s former head of asset recovery, is to be summoned to appear before Stormont’s committee on finance and personnel, which is investigating the €1.6bn sale of the agency’s Project Eagle northern loan portfolio. The move follows a BBC Spotlight programme which featured a covert recording in which it was suggested Mr Hanna “prevented people’s lights going out”. The comment was made by former Nama advisor Frank Cushnahan, who is at the centre of controversy over his alleged role in the Project Eagle deal. At a meeting on Wednesday, MLAs resolved to invite both Mr Hanna and public relations executive Gareth Robinson, son of former Northern Ireland Assembly First Minister Peter Robinson, to give evidence. A man called Ronnie, believed to be Mr Hanna, was discussed during a secretly recorded conversation involving Mr Cushnahan and Co Down developer John Miskelly, whose loans were previously in Nama. Speaking about 'Ronnie', Mr Cushnahan said: “People’s lights would have gone out except for him. I mean that sincerely.” Mr Miskelly said: “You remember when Gareth Robinson phoned me that morning and told me to go to your office and you phoned Ronnie. I know mine would have been out – and I’m not the only one.”
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