Petrol and diesel pumps – Peter Byrne:PAPetrol and diesel pumps – Peter Byrne:PA

News Round-Up

Jun 17: Rates set to hold; Fresh E. coli fears; Fuel retailers accused over margins

  • Here are the early headlines for Monday, June 17

Time 6:51 am, June 17, 2024

Bank of England set to hold rates to avoid ‘rocking the boat’ pre-election

Hopes that the Bank of England may start cutting interest rates this month could be dashed as experts expect policymakers not to ‘rock the boat’ in the run-up to the general election.

The central bank is due to announce its latest decision on interest rates on Thursday but experts think it isn’t ready to reduce rates, which have stood at 5.25% since August last year – the highest since 2008.

Sandra Horsfield, an economist for Investec, said the Bank wouldn’t be able to ‘correct any misinterpretations’ about its rates decision until after the election. ‘Why rock the boat when there is no need for haste and no opportunity to steady it?’ she asked.

Third company in recall over potential E. coli contamination

A third company has recalled a product as a ‘precautionary measure’ because of possible E. coli contamination.

Manufacturer THIS! has issued a recall notice to customers over its vegan chicken and bacon wrap, which is sold only at WH Smith. Anybody who bought one with a best before date of up to and including June 18 shouldn’t eat it and instead return it for a full refund.

It comes just days after manufacturers Greencore Group and Samworth Brothers Manton Wood recalled a variety of sandwiches, wraps and salads sold in major UK supermarkets because of a potential link to an E. coli outbreak that left people across the UK in hospital.

Fuel retailers accused of exploiting general election focus

Fuel retailers are exploiting the focus on the general election by keeping their margins ‘persistently high’, a motoring group has claimed.

The RAC said wholesale costs have fallen since the end of April but the average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts is 146.3p – ‘5p more expensive than it should be’, given Northern Ireland, which faces competition from forecourts in the Republic of Ireland, is charging 141.1p. Diesel costs an average of 151.5p, while in Northern Ireland it’s 141.9p.

RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: ‘We believe there’s no good reason for retailers in Great Britain not cutting their prices at the pumps far further [as in Northern Ireland]. We can only think they’re hoping no one will notice due to the distraction of the general election.’

80 pubs shut for good each month, says new data

The number of pubs disappearing from communities across England and Wales jumped during the first months of 2024 amid pressure on punters’ budgets, according to new figures.

Official government statistics out today have revealed that 239 pubs were demolished or converted for other uses over the three months to March 31.

It means around 80 pubs shut each month versus the closure of 51 pubs a month over the first quarter of 2023. Pub sector bosses have said it reflects the impact of high energy and food costs, tighter consumer spending and a significant tax burden on hospitality businesses.

Steady demand for workers as recruiters place 1.7m job adverts

The number of job adverts has settled at about 1.7m amid steady demand for workers, according to recruiters.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation said the figure had remained roughly the same for months.

Occupations with notable increases in adverts last month included stonemasons and forestry workers, while there were falls in adverts for nannies, au pairs and probation officers.

London jumps into top 10 of global ‘most expensive cities’

London has jumped into the top 10 list in a global index that looks at the most expensive cities for emigrant employees.

The city has moved up nine places since last year, to be ranked eighth in Mercer’s 2024 cost-of-living city ranking.

Placed just below New York on the list, London jumped up the list thanks to factors including the general cost of living and rental prices. Hong Kong retained the top spot.

78 countries agree territorial integrity of Ukraine must be basis of peace deal

Almost 80 countries have jointly called for the ‘territorial integrity’ of Ukraine to be the basis for any peace agreement to end Russia’s war, but some nations at a Swiss conference didn’t sign up.

The joint communique on Sunday capped a two-day conference at the Buergenstock resort in Switzerland marked by the absence of Russia, which wasn’t invited but many attendees hoped could join in on a road map to peace.

India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were among those that didn’t sign up to the final document, which was agreed by 78 nations and focused on issues of nuclear safety, food security and the exchange of prisoners.

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Weather outlook

Today, northern Scotland and central areas of the UK will start cloudy with patchy rain, says BBC Weather. Elsewhere will have a sunnier and dry start but showers will develop later, some heavy and thundery in the east.

Tuesday will see further spells of rain in the far north. Elsewhere, after a sunnier start showers will redevelop in the afternoon, especially in northern England and southern Scotland.

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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