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Business confident over economy
UK business is coping with the economic fallout following the recent credit crisis and run on Northern Rock, according to a report by BDO Stoy Hayward.... more

SMEs move to on-demand software
Small businesses are the most prolific users of web-based business software applications but the majority still prefer to own their own packages.... more

Employment figures still rising
The amount of people claiming jobless benefits has sunk to a 32-year low despite growing concerns over companies’ long-term recruitment plans. The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance dropped by 11,100 in November to a total of 813,000, making it the lowest on record since June 1975. ... more

Sales slump in November
Retail sales in the UK saw their biggest monthly fall since the start of the year in November, normally one of the strongest months of the year. Figures from Mastercard suggest retail sales growth fell to 4% in the 12-month period from last November from 4.5% in October. ... more

Hiring outlook lowest for six years
UK companies expect to take on staff at the slowest rate in six years following the economic downturn, recruitment company Manpower claims. The balance of those looking to hire rather than fire over the next quarter was down by almost half on the same period in 2007, with financial and business services firms the most pessimistic. ... more

One-third of staff paid late
Over a third of UK workers are regularly paid late by their employer, according to new research. The survey found 36% of staff are paid late at least five times a year and 68% claim they have been paid the wrong amount on more than one occasion.... more

Firms warned on Christmas theft
Business crime saw a 20% increase in the three months from July to September compared to the same period last year, according to figures released by Axa. The research suggests most of this is down to increasing levels of theft, which rose by 27% in the third quarter of 2007 compared to 2006, and 45% in the second quarter. ... more

Firms unaware of carbon footprint
Only a tiny minority of British businesses know how big their carbon footprint is, according to a survey by the Carbon Trust. While a quarter of companies said they were affected by climate change, only 1% had actually measured their emissions. ... more

Factory gate inflation soars
Factory gate prices have hit their highest level in 16 years due to rocketing petrol and food costs, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics. The organisation revealed that annual output price inflation hit 4.5% in November, up from 3.8% the previous month, as a result of high costs of raw materials. ... more

Bank cuts rates to 5.5%
The Bank of England has cut interest rates to 5.5% in a bid to boost the UK's fragile economy. Amid fears that the global credit crunch could spread to the economy as a whole, and concerns over the housing market, the Bank has reduced the rate of borrowing for the first time since August 2005... more

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