Mercedes-Benz CLE Cabriolet, via PAMercedes-Benz CLE Cabriolet, via PA

News Round-Up

Feb 23: Consumer confidence stalls; V&A seeks ‘Swiftie’; New CLE Cabriolet on sale

  • Here are the headlines for Friday, February 23

Time 6:38 am, February 23, 2024

Consumer confidence stalls after months of positivity

Consumer confidence has stalled after months of positivity as stubborn inflation led households to limit their spending, figures suggest.

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index fell two points to -21 in February.

The drop comes as households face a new round of rising essential costs, with inflation fuelling mid-contract price hikes for the likes of mobile and broadband and looming re-mortgaging.

Building society to restrict holiday let lending in some parts of England

Leeds Building Society is to restrict mortgage lending on holiday lets in some tourist hotspots in England.

Chief executive Richard Fearon said holiday lets had a ‘stranglehold’ on the pipeline of homes available for local people in some locations.

The society has worked with North Norfolk District Council and North Yorkshire Council to set up a 12-month trial, beginning in March, during which it will stop new loans for holiday let homes. New mortgages for short-term lets, such as properties on Airbnb, would be included.

V&A looking to recruit Taylor Swift superfan as adviser to museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum is looking to recruit a British ‘Swiftie’ to become its first Taylor Swift superfan adviser.

The museum is looking for insights into the culture and craftsmanship behind handmade signs, friendship bracelets and memorabilia associated with the 14-time Grammy award-winning artist ahead of the European leg of her Eras tour.

The US star was the biggest-selling global recording artist in 2023, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said.

Non-compliant cars set to be sent to Ukraine under Ulez scheme

Transport for London is to amend the ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) scrappage scheme to allow non-compliant vehicles to be donated to Ukraine, under plans announced by mayor Sadiq Khan.

He has asked the transport body to make the move after transport secretary Mark Harper told him there was no ‘legal barrier’ to cars being donated to Ukraine through the Ulez scrappage scheme.

Applicants will be able to donate vehicles that are not Ulez-compliant in return for the same grant payment available to drivers who scrap or retrofit their vehicles. Full story here

Drug maker Indivior considers ditching primary UK listing for US

Drugs firm Indivior has said it is considering moving its shares to the US public markets, in the latest blow to the UK’s position as a leading financial hub.

The company, which specialises in treatments for substance use disorders and serious mental illnesses, said it had kickstarted discussions with shareholders.

Earlier this month, travel group Tui’s shareholders approved the decision to abandon its London listing and focus on Germany, while building company CRH has opted to move its primary listing from London’s FTSE 100 index to the US.

Millions of workers doing unpaid overtime, research shows

Millions of workers are doing unpaid overtime, giving employers billions of pounds of free labour, research suggests.

A study by the TUC found that teachers topped a list of those putting in the most unpaid overtime at more than four hours a week, costing them an estimated £15,000 in lost earnings a year.

It has dubbed today ‘Work Your Proper Hours Day’, urging employees to take the breaks they are entitled to and finish their shifts on time.

Odysseus becomes first private spacecraft to land on the Moon

A lunar lander built by a US spaceflight company has become the first privately owned spacecraft to land on the Moon.

Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C Odysseus lander touched down in the south pole region at 11.23pm UK time yesterday and began sending data after blasting off last Thursday from Cape Canaveral on top of a Falcon 9 rocket made by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX.

The moment also marked the first US Moon landing since the final mission of the Apollo programme, Apollo 17, more than 50 years ago. The pole is thought to contain water ice, which would be a valuable resource for future human exploration.

ITV says yes to infected blood scandal drama after success of Post Office series

ITV has given the go-ahead for a drama about the infected blood scandal following the success of the channel’s series about Post Office workers fighting for justice.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office, which aired in the new year and starred Toby Jones, sent what has been called the largest miscarriage of justice in British legal history up the news agenda for weeks.

Campaigners have previously pushed for the infected blood scandal, where thousands died in what is widely recognised as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS, to receive the same attention. Peter Moffat, who won two Baftas for BBC series Criminal Justice, will write it.

Mercedes-Benz CLE Cabriolet interior, via PA

New Mercedes-Benz CLE Cabriolet goes on sale from £52,995

The new Mercedes-Benz CLE Cabriolet has gone on sale in the UK, with the drop-top available in a number of specifications and with a series of engine options.

The CLE Cabriolet uses a fabric folding roof that can be raised or lowered in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 37mph. When lowered, a powered divider helps to separate the collapsed top from the luggage in the boot.

Prices start from £52,995, rising to £76,765 for a top-spec Premier Edition model. Four- and six-cylinder petrol engines alongside a four-cylinder diesel are available.

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Market movements

The FTSE 100 closed 21.98 points up yesterday to end the day on 7,684.49. The Cac 40 was up 99.51 points at 7,911.60, the Dax was up 252.33 points at 17,370.45, and the Dow Jones was up 456.87 points at 39,069.11.

Weather outlook

Today will be breezy with showers in the west, wintry over north-western hills, says BBC Weather. It’ll be drier and brighter further south and east early on, but clouds and a few showers will move into these areas later.

Saturday will bring a mix of sunny spells and patchy cloud, with early mist or fog in the south-east. There will also be scattered showers, mainly in the west in the morning, and elsewhere later.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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