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Maintenance period drags Norwegian oil production lower

Maintenance period drags Norwegian oil production lower

Business
Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Oil production from Norway last month was far lower than expected, but still above figures from last year, a government agency said Thursday.The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reported lower sales and lower production, based on preliminary data for September. Preliminary data show oil production was 1.44 million barrels of oil per day, which was about 11 percent lower than expected."The oil production was below the forecast in September due to maintenance work on some fields," the NPD's monthly report read.Preliminary data for September shows a gain over last year of 3.6 percent. Final figures from August show an average daily rate for oil production at 1.56 million bpd. Total discovered and potential resources are up more than 40 percent since 1990.Norway is one of the l...
Four million consumers 'in difficulty' – study

Four million consumers 'in difficulty' – study

Business
More than four million UK consumers have missed bill or loan payments in three or more of the last six months, according to a study by the City watchdog.The study by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found that 8% were "in difficulty", while a further 27% were said to be "just about surviving".Younger consumers and renters were among the most financially stretched, according to the FCA's wide-ranging Financial Lives Survey of 13,000 people aged 18 and over.The study gave an insight into levels of financial vulnerability at a time when inflation is at a five-year high and interest rates look set to rise for the first time in a decade.Chris Woolard, the FCA's executive director of strategy and competition, said: "We are in a situation where it's fair to say that there is a significant gr...
Real-term pay falls for sixth month in a row

Real-term pay falls for sixth month in a row

Business
British workers have now been squeezed by six months of falling real-term wages, official figures show.Average weekly earnings excluding bonuses rose by 2.1% in the three months to August, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) - well below the rise in the cost of living.It meant that real pay - which takes account of the effect of inflation on spending power - was 0.4% lower over the period, extending a decline in this measure to six months.On a brighter note, unemployment continued to fall over the latest three-month period, dropping by 52,000 to 1.44 million.Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.3%, its lowest level since 1975.There were 32.1 million people in work, a rise of 94,000 over the period - and the ONS said employment growth was driven mainly ...
Experts: Islamic State 'death spiral' most dangerous part of fight for U.S. coalition

Experts: Islamic State 'death spiral' most dangerous part of fight for U.S. coalition

Business
Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Experts on the Middle East, terrorism and the Islamic State say that while the terrorist organization is in a "death spiral," the U.S.-led coalition battling the group is likely entering its most dangerous phase.The early signs of victory are beginning to circulate as the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, drive IS out of its proclaimed capital of Raqqa, Syria.IS fighters were contained Tuesday in a stadium complex in the city as they attempt to make a last stand effort in a battle campaign the SDF began in June with air support from the U.S.-led coalition and the Russian government."They are getting desperate," chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White told reporters last week. "Civilians are running toward the Iraqi security fo...
Food price rises see inflation climb to 3%

Food price rises see inflation climb to 3%

Business
Inflation rose to 3% in September, its highest level in more than five years, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation rose from 2.9% in August thanks partly to higher food prices - adding to the squeeze on households as pay growth lags behind.But it will be welcomed by those receiving the state pension, as the September figure is used to calculate increases in the benefit next April under the Government's "triple lock" guarantee.It was the first time CPI inflation has reached 3% since April 2012. The Bank of England targets inflation at 2%.The CPI figure - which was in line with expectations - should bolster expectations that the Bank will hike interest rates next month, though some have cautioned against such a move at a time of t...