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News Round-Up

Apr 17: Inflation could fall; New A3 on sale; Tobacco bill passes first hurdle

Here are the headlines for Wednesday, April 17

Time 6:11 am, April 17, 2024

Inflation could fall to lowest since 2021

UK inflation has been predicted to fall to its lowest level since September 2021 when fresh economic data is released.

The Office for National Statistics is expected to reveal on Wednesday that Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation was around 3.1% in March, according to a consensus of economists.

It comes after a reading of 3.4% in February and will mark the lowest for two and a half years, when it was also 3.1%.

Economists at Pantheon Macroeconomics predicted the reading could fall even further, with an estimate of 3%.

New Audi A3 goes on sale

Audi’s new A3 has gone on sale in the UK with a variety of specifications and engines now available.

The new A3, which starts from £32,035, has gone through a ‘comprehensive update programme’, according to Audi, and returns in both Sportback and Saloon layouts.

Both will initially be available with a choice of two engines – a 1.5-litre petrol and a 2.0-litre diesel – while a lower-powered petrol and a new plug-in hybrid will join the range later in the year.

Tobacco and Vapes Bill clears first hurdle

Rishi Sunak’s proposal to ban young people from ever being able to legally smoke tobacco has cleared its first Commons hurdle, despite a swathe of Conservative MPs objecting to it in a blow to his authority.

MPs voted 383 to 67, majority 316, to give the Tobacco and Vapes Bill a second reading.

The legislation, seen by the prime minister as a key part of his long-term legacy, would make it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone born after January 1 2009, with the aim of creating a ‘smoke-free’ generation.

Andrew Bailey reports ‘very encouraging signs’

The governor of the Bank of England has said he is seeing ‘very encouraging signs’ for the global economy.

Andrew Bailey told the IMF (International Monetary Fund) that he has witnessed ‘strong evidence’ that the process to reduce inflation ‘is working its way through’ as UK interest rates remain at a 15-year-high of 5.25%.

It came hours after the IMF unveiled new forecasts predicting that the UK will eke out slower growth this year than previously thought and remain the second-worst performer in the G7 group of advanced economies.

Insurers charging rates similar to credit cards for monthly cover

Some motorists could be charged nearly 40% APR (annual percentage rate) when paying for their insurance monthly, according to Which?

And some home insurers are charging nearly 35% APR on monthly payments, the consumer group said.

It added that the rates being charged by some insurers to pay for monthly cover resemble the interest applicable for credit card borrowing.

Tuesday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Parents expect to help adult children buy their first home

A quarter (25%) of home-owning parents with adult children who are not on the property ladder feel guilty that they cannot provide more support, according to a survey.

Half (50%) wish they could provide more financial support than they can and nearly six in 10 (59%) worry about their children’s chances of owning a property in the future, according to property website HomeOwners Alliance.

More than half (54%) of homeowners with adult children have or expect to help their children financially to buy a home.

But among this group, the majority of parents (56%) expect this to affect their own financial position.

FTSE falls over Middle East concerns

The FTSE 100 suffered its sharpest on-day fall since last July amid pressure from worries over stability in the Middle East and wage pressures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the jobless rate jumped to 4.2% in the three months to February – the highest level for nearly six months – and showed higher-than-expected regular wage growth, excluding bonuses, at 6%.

Global markets were also uneasy in the face of recent attacks in the Middle East.

Weather outlook

Today will be generally cloudier than it was on Tuesday and the blustery weather will continue mainly in the east, according to the Met Office.

Winds will be lighter elsewhere and there will be some sunny spells.

Tonight, Wales and the far southwest will see rain set it but elsewhere will dry out with winds easing.

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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