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Economy grows by 0.6% despite September 'weakness'

Economy grows by 0.6% despite September 'weakness'

Business
The UK economy expanded by 0.6% in the three months to September - its strongest quarter in almost two years - but there are growing signs of a slowdown ahead of Brexit. Early official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) - which were in line with the forecasts of economists and the Bank of England - pointed to a hot summer boost for consumer spending.This rose 0.5% on the previous three months. The figures also showed a 2.1% output increase from construction after weather disruption earlier in the year and manufacturing also picking up.But the ONS said demand took a hit in September as temperatures cooled - with business investment contracting at the fastest pace since early 2016 as attention turned to uncertainties over the country's future trading rela...
Self-employed pie in home loan grows, so do defaults

Self-employed pie in home loan grows, so do defaults

Finance
A subdued loan demand from businesses is increasing competition in home loans, leading to a rise in the number of self-employed individuals getting mortgages. Home loans to self-employed accounted for 30 per cent of mortgages in fiscal 2017-18 as against 20 per cent earlier. But the flip side is that delinquencies are also rising. Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) in the segment are estimated to have inched up by 40 basis points (100bps = 1 percentage point) to around 1.1 per cent by the end of fiscal 2018, compared with about 0.7 per cent a few years back. According to a report by ratings agency Crisil, home loans to the self-employed segment have been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 33 per cent in the past four years compared to overall 20 per cent expansion in housing fin...
European Union grows at fastest pace for 10 years

European Union grows at fastest pace for 10 years

Business
The European Union economy grew at its fastest pace in a decade last year, figures from the EU statistics office Eurostat have confirmed.The 28-strong EU expanded by 2.5% in 2017, its strongest performance since 2007, when it grew by 2.7%.In the final three months both the EU and the 19-nation eurozone grew by 0.6% compared with the previous quarter.That was mirrored by growth in the EU's biggest economy, Germany, which grew by 0.6% in the final quarter of 2017.France also expanded by 0.6%, while Spanish growth was a notch stronger at 0.7%.Overall in 2017, the eurozone grew by 2.5%, Eurostat said, the fastest growth rate since a 3% rise in 2007.These latest figures confirm the flash estimates published by Eurostat at the end of January, which were based on more limited data. Investec eco...
How a tumor grows can predict which cancer drug will work best

How a tumor grows can predict which cancer drug will work best

Health
Dec. 22 (UPI) -- New research out of the University of Southern California suggests the growth patterns specific to a tumor can predict which cancer therapies are likely to work best.Like the patients in which they grow, every tumor is unique. Doctors and researchers are becoming increasingly aware of this fact as they devise individualized cancer treatments. Because each tumor is unique, cancerous growths respond differently to various drugs.Cancer drugs can have deleterious side effects, so finding the most effective drug -- or combination of drugs -- on the first try is imperative."Identifying a measurement or quantity that predicts how specific tumors will respond, called a predictive biomarker, is extremely valuable to cancer research," Stacey Finley, a assistant professor of biomedic...
UK government borrowing grows in October

UK government borrowing grows in October

Business
UK public sector borrowing rose to £8.0bn in October, official figures show, up £500m from a year earlier.The figure comes a day before the Budget, and the monthly deficit was bigger than economists had predicted.Increased debt costs, linked to the UK's higher inflation since the Brexit vote, were a factor in the shortfall.The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said borrowing for the financial year to date has reached £38.5bn, down £4.1bn from the same period last year.That figure suggests borrowing is on track to come in below the Office for Budget Responsibility's forecast of £58.3bn for the financial year as a whole.Chancellor Philip Hammond will present the latest Budget on Wednesday. He has to balance calls for more government spending against the prospect of weaker future economic