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Economy grows at fastest pace for 25 months in January

Economy grows at fastest pace for 25 months in January

Business
By James Sillars, business reporter UK economic growth surged to 0.5% in January, according to official figures which smashed economists' expectations.The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said it was the biggest increase in monthly output since December 2016 but cautioned that growth in the three months to January remained static at 0.2%. The figures showed 0.3% growth for the crucial services sector, which accounts for more than three-quarters of total UK output, following a disappointing contraction of 0.2% in December as consumers checked spending in the run-up to Christmas. ...
Wages rise at fastest pace for decade

Wages rise at fastest pace for decade

Business
Wages are continuing to rise at their highest level for nearly a decade as Brexit nears, official Office for National Statistics figures show.Average weekly earnings, excluding bonuses, went up by 3.3% in the three months to October, the biggest rise since November 2008.It follows a 3.2% rise in wages last month compared with the previous year.The number of people in work rose by 79,000 to a record high of 32.48 million in the period.That is the highest figure since records began in 1971.Unemployment also increased by 20,000 to 1.38 million, although the total is still lower than a year ago.The reason both employment and unemployment have increased is a result of the UK's rising population and more people joining the labour force, such as students and old...
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...
CO2 rises at record pace to worst for 3 million years

CO2 rises at record pace to worst for 3 million years

Technology
The amount of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere rose at a record pace in 2016 to the highest level in at least three million years, says the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).Last year's increase was 50% higher than the average over the past decade.The growth could ultimately lead to a 20-metre rise in sea levels and an increase of three degrees in temperature, the organisation said in its annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) have now reached 403.3 parts per million (ppm), up from 400.0ppm in 2015.The two other main greenhouse gases, methane and nitrous oxide, also hit record concentrations last year.Image:Emissions from coal are causing CO2 levels to riseScientists say last year's rise in CO2 was due to a combination of human activitie...