Commercial news round-up: Paradise Papers, Morrisons, M&S, growth forecast, house prices
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Another month, another scandal about the tax – or rather lack of tax – arrangements of the rich and famous. This time, it’s what are being termed the Paradise Papers; leaked documents revealing the offshore business affairs of millions of individuals and companies, including some very high-profile names. To get a handle on what it all means, read the Guardian’s special investigation. For other economic news, read on:
- Morrisons has reported a 2.5% rise in sales for the third quarter – the eighth quarter in a row its figures have gone up. The supermarket is the best performing out of the top four UK chains.
- Even super cheerful Paddington will have a hard time pulling M&S out of the doldrums – the company’s new chairman has referred to the business as “drifting”, and it has plans to close underperforming clothing departments and slow down the expansion of its Simply Food stores.
- In news that will leave remainers more despondent than ever, the British Chamber of Commerce has cut its growth forecast for the UK for 2018 to 1.2%. In sharp contrast, the Eurozone is enjoying figures that suggest have been revised upwards, to 1.8% growth, as it enjoys economic recovery.
- House prices are falling in four key geographical UK areas – namely, London, the South East, East Anglia and north-east England. The drop in prices comes at a time when the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has said that the market is generally “gloomy”.