The Chinese economy found its feet in August, with inflation remaining subdued as exports rose more than expected, giving a rosier outlook for the second half of the year. Consumer prices rose 2.6 per cent from a year earlier, just a touch below July's 2.7 per cent pace, the statistics bureau said on Monday. Inflation is unlikely to pass the 3 per cent threshold in 2013, leaving it well within the government's comfort zone and beneath its official "upper limit" of 3.5 per cent, the Financial Times says.
Widespread co-ordinated strike action was threatened by trade unions last night. Their leaders queued up at the annual conference of the Trades Union Congress in Bournemouth to support generalised strike action and said that a "pressure cooker" of discontent was building among workers stuck in austerity pay settlements. The Communication Workers Union, which is balloting to take 125,000 Royal Mail workers out on strike in response to government plans to privatise the national postal network, said it would look to time its action alongside other national disputes, writes The Times.
UK businesses are more optimistic about their prospects than at any time since May 2011, according to accountants BDO, heading up a raft of encouraging economic surveys published today. Business activity in the English regions saw the strongest growth since 2001 while temporary recruitment rose at the strongest rate for 15 years, according to separate research, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Banks face a hidden bill of as much as £10bn to settle mis-selling claims linked to commercial real estate projects, according to research by one of the property sector's largest consultants. DTZ estimates property developers could receive compensation and preferential lending terms worth between £5bn and £10bn in return for dropping legal cases linked to the alleged mis-sale of complex interest rate derivatives, according to The Daily Telegraph.
An AIM-listed oil and gas explorer will run the gauntlet of anti-fracking protesters this week when it names the precise location in Lancashire where it will drill the UK's next shale gas well. IGas Energy will inform the local community before going public with the plan. It claims it has learnt the lessons of Balcombe, the Sussex village where activists disrupted drilling this summer by the rival shale gas explorer Cuadrilla Resources, The Times explains.
Banks should raise capital levels to double the current norm, Sir John Vickers, the man responsible for drawing up Britain's series of post-crisis reforms, has said. Sir John told the Financial Times that in a "blue-skies" world, banks' core tier one capital ratios would now be 20%, rather than the 10% he recommended as chair of the Independent Commission on Banking, The Daily Telegraph says.