News Round-Up

Feb 15: UK set to have fallen into recession; Inflation steady in Jan; Steve Wright death not suspicious

Here are the headlines on Thursday, February 15

Time 6:53 am, February 15, 2024

UK set to have slipped into recession at end of 2023

The UK is expected to have slipped into recession at the end of last year after a weak December for the country’s economy, official figures are set to show on Thursday.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is predicted to reveal that the UK economy contracted for the second quarter in a row in the final three months of 2023.

Most economists are forecasting a 0.1% decline in gross domestic product (GDP) between October and December. This would follow a 0.1% contraction in the previous three months; a contraction in the fourth quarter would mean the UK tipped into a technical recession.

Inflation unchanged in January as food prices fall for first time since 2021

Inflation unexpectedly held steady last month as food prices fell for the first time in almost two-and-a-half years, official figures show.

Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation remained unchanged at 4% in January, lower than the 4.2% that economists had forecast although still double the Bank of England’s 2% target, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The monthly drop in food prices, of 0.4%, was the first since September 2021, with the cost of bread and cereals, cream crackers and chocolate biscuits falling, the ONS said.

Top UK shares boosted after inflation beats forecasts

Shares in London soared on Wednesday after new official UK inflation figures were lower than economists had expected, increasing the chance of a Bank of England rate cut in the months to come.

The FTSE 100 rose 56.12 points, or 0.75%, ending the day at 7,568.4 as retailers and housebuilder Persimmon joined the bottler of Coca-Cola close to the top of the index.

European markets were also rising, with Europe Frankfurt’s Dax index up 0.38% by the close of play, while the Cac 40 in Paris ended 0.69% higher.

Average UK house price dipped by £4,000 over year to December 2023 – ONS

The average UK house price fell by around £4,000 in the 12 months to December 2023, according to official figures.

The typical house price in December 2023 was £285,000, marking a 1.4% decline over 12 months, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Property values fell annually by 2.1% in England and by 2.5% in Wales. House prices increased annually by 3.3% in Scotland and by 1.4% in Northern Ireland.

Virgin Money agrees to buy Abrdn’s stake in joint investment business for £20m

High street bank Virgin Money has agreed to buy Abrdn’s stake in its investment platform for £20m, less than a year after it was launched to customers.

The lender joined forces with investment giant Abrdn in 2019 to start Virgin Money Investments, expanding its offering from traditional retail products like savings and loans.

It launched a new digital platform, including a mobile app, for people to choose a range of investments in April last year. A new pension product was later added, where people can start saving from £25 a month or move existing pensions onto the platform.

Duke of Sussex tries sit-skiing as he joins Invictus Games competitors in Canada

The Duke of Sussex has attempted sit-skiing as he joined Invictus Games competitors training in Canada to mark a year until the global sporting event.

Harry and the Duchess of Sussex met athletes at the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort in British Columbia on Wednesday.

The couple plan to visit more competitors at the host locations for the 2025 competition – the winter sports town of Whistler and the city of Vancouver in western Canada.

Gunfire at Super Bowl parade kills one and wounds nearly two dozen

The Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl celebration has become the latest backdrop for a mass shooting as gunfire sent fans scrambling for cover and left 21 people wounded and one woman dead.

At least eight children are among those who were shot.

Wednesday’s shooting outside Union Station happened despite the presence of more than 800 police officers who were in the building and nearby, including on top of nearby structures, said mayor Quinton Lucas, who attended with his wife and mother and ran for safety when the shots rang out.

Police: DJ Steve Wright’s death unexpected, but not suspicious

BBC radio presenter Steve Wright’s death is being treated as ‘unexpected’, but not suspicious, police have said.

The veteran broadcaster died this week at the age of 69, the corporation announced on Tuesday. Police and paramedics had been called to a flat in the Marylebone area of central London on Monday morning.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson told the PA news agency: ‘A man in his 60s was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed. The death was unexpected, but is not being treated as suspicious. A report will be prepared for the coroner.’


The BBC said today many areas of the UK will see spells of rain, some heavy at times, particularly in south-western England and southern Wales. South-eastern England will likely escape drier and brighter. Tonight, spells of rain will move into south-eastern England, with a few showers lingering in Northern Ireland, north-west England and western Scotland. Elsewhere, variable cloud and clear spells.

It will be a calmer day tomorrow, but cloudier with showers in Scotland and northern England. Elsewhere, patchier cloud and bright spells will develop with a chance of the odd, light shower. 

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

More stories...

Server 108