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News Round-Up

Nov 30: Hunt coy on fuel duty; Economy lags; Goodwood goes green; Geely and Nio deal

  • Here are the headlines on Thursday, November 30

Time 6:50 am, November 30, 2023

Hunt refuses to commit to maintaining fuel duty cut

Jeremy Hunt has refused to commit to maintaining a freeze in fuel duty, saying he would ‘look at that decision again’ in the run-up to next year’s budget.

The Chancellor is unlikely to impose a massive tax hike on motorists in election year, but the state of the public finances may force him to act.

The budget watchdog bases its assessment of the public finances on fuel duty rising at 1p above inflation – even though this has not happened since 2011 – and maintaining the cut would further add to the squeeze on departmental budgets.

UK set for slower growth next year as economy lags behind G7 peers

The UK economy is set for the second-slowest growth of the world’s G7 advanced economies, according to new forecasts.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has reduced its forecast UK growth rate for 2024.

Growth across the global economy has been stronger than expected but is beginning to slow as higher interest rates, weaker trade and lower business and consumer confidence take a toll, economists for the globally recognised organisation said.

Halfords cautions over weaker big-ticket sales as customers feel pinch

Halfords has cautioned over a slowdown in sales growth as demand for big-ticket products weakened in recent months.

It came as the motoring and cycling retailer revealed a rise in sales and profits for the past half year in an otherwise positive update to shareholders.

However, the company said on Wednesday it has seen ‘volatile’ trading patterns so far this financial year amid uncertainty in the wider economy.

European markets outperform UK’s FTSE 100 as Asia-focused shares drag

The UK’s top share index lagged behind European peers on Wednesday, amid new forecasts warning of a slowdown in global economic growth next year as higher interest rates weigh heavy.

London’s FTSE 100 struggled for gains with Asia-focused stocks Prudential, Standard Chartered and HSBC all moving lower. It was down 31.78 points or 0.43 per cent to close at 7,423.46.

It was a stronger trading session for other European markets, with Germany’s Dax rising by 1.09 per cent and France’s Cac 40 closing 0.24 per cent higher.

Wednesday’s Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Johnson said ‘malingering’ people should get back to work, Covid inquiry hears

Boris Johnson said ‘malingering work-shy people’ needed to get back to work in July 2021 and the Government ‘can’t have the b******s of consulting with employees and trade unions’, the Covid inquiry has heard.

Extracts from Professor Sir Patrick Vallance’s diaries, when he was Government chief scientific adviser, show the then prime minister getting increasingly frustrated at the remaining restrictions in the summer of 2021.

A diary entry dated July 2 2001 said: ‘PM meeting – cases up, hospital admissions up. PM looks downbeat and talks of grim predictions.’

Geely and Nio enter partnership for battery-swapping technology

Chinese car manufacturers Geely and Nio have signed a strategic partnership to share electric vehicle battery-swapping technology.

The system was pioneered by Nio and allows an electric vehicle’s depleted battery to be swapped for a fully charged one in under three minutes at stations located in handy areas. Though predominantly in China, these sites have now been created in many European countries.

This agreement will see greater cooperation between Geely and Nio, with the two major companies co-developing battery swapping technology ‘for private cars and commercial vehicles’ so that both firms are able to use the system.

UK mortgage approvals increase after interest rates held at 5.25%

The number of mortgages approved for home buyers picked up last month after interest rates were held steady and mortgage increases eased.

Bank of England figures showed that 47,400 mortgages were approved for house purchases in October.

The Bank’s monthly Money And Credit report revealed the improvement from the eight-month low of 43,300 recorded in September.

Goodwood Revival to become first classic motorsport event to use sustainable fuels in all races

The 2024 Goodwood Revival will become the world’s first historic motorsport event to use entirely sustainable fuels in its races.

Goodwood tested the use of sustainable fuels at this year’s Revival event – which celebrates historic motor racing – but only used them in a single race, the Fordwater Trophy.

For 2024, however, each race in the event will be conducted on sustainable fuels.

Weather outlook…

A generally dry and cold day for most today. Cloudy in southern England with showers pushing into the south-west, these falling as snow on the hills. The BBC reports there will be sleet and snow showers in the north-east.

Tonight, scattered showers along eastern, northern and some western coasts of the UK, these falling wintry in the north-east. Dry and mostly clear inland but thick cloud for some in southern England.

A crisp and largely dry day for most tomorrow with sunshine. Scattered showers continue in far northern Scotland and most North Sea coasts with some sleet or snow; less showers for Northern Ireland.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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