Overall UK consumer spending fell in January for the first time in five years, according to Visa. The credit card company’s UK spending index showed a year-on-year drop of 1.2% last month, due to a fall in high street shopping and spending on transport. Eight of the past nine months have now experienced a year-on-year fall in consumer spending, according to the index.
Stock markets fear more volatility this week after predictions from the world’s biggest hedge fund that a “big shakeout” is coming. Bob Prince, co-chief investment officer at the $ 160bn US hedge fund Bridgewater, told the Financial Times: “We’ll probably have a much bigger shakeout coming.” The Australian stock market was down 0.7% this morning. Investors are anxious about US inflation figures on Wednesday.
Aldi has been rated the UK’s best supermarket, while previous leader Waitrose has fallen to fourth place. Consumer group Which says customers rated Aldi highly for offering value for money, despite finding its stores “untidy” with a lack of staff availability. Marks and Spencer was second, with Lidl ranked third.
The decision to end the East Coast Mainline rail franchise early will be investigated by the House of Commons transport committee. The government has announced that Stagecoach and Virgin will withdraw from running the service within months after running into difficulties. “There are serious questions to be asked of the train operator, Network Rail and ministers,” says Lilian Greenwood, chair of the Transport Committee.
London City Airport has been closed after a World War Two bomb was found nearby in the Thames. The Docklands Light Railway has been partially suspended and some roads remain closed. Last year, more than 4.5m passengers used the airport. A £400m expansion was given the go-ahead by the government in July 2016.
“To do it in a way that is complementary to the core business so that people don’t ask the question ‘this is exactly the same product, why can’t it be cheaper at the Tesco store’ is a big issue.” Clive Black of Shore Capital on the reported plan by Tesco to create a low-cost store to rival Aldi and Lidl.
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