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The Bank of England has downgraded its growth forecast for the UK and braced households for an interest rate hike as early as the spring.
The Bank said in its latest forecast that growth in 2011 will be weaker than previously estimated but reassured that a double-dip recession was unlikely as growth is set to resume following the shock contraction at the end of 2010.
UK unemployment rose by 44,000 to almost 2.5 million in the three months to the end of December, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.
Youth unemployment rose to a fresh record high, with more than one in five 16 to 24-year-olds out of work after a rise of 66,000 to 965,000 without jobs.
The unemployment rate is now 7.9%, with youth unemployment running at 20.5%.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance increased by 2,400 last month to 1.46 million.
The number of people in part-time work because they could not find a full-time job rose by 44,000 to 1.19 million, another high since records began in 1992.
Long-term unemployment also deteriorated, with 17,000 more people out of work for more than a year, to a total of 833,000.
Other data from the ONS showed that average earnings rose by 1.8% in the year to December last year, slightly down on the 2.1% growth in the year to November.
European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet said Wednesday that food prices could keep rising due to increasing demand from emerging countries and suggested a global effort to raise production in Africa.
Taiwanese authorities plan to inject tens of thousands of rice into the market next month in a bid to stabilise domestic prices, officials said Wednesday.
Spain's economy underperformed the euro zone average in 2010 for the first time since joint data began in 1996 and is likely to stay weak through 2011, stuck with the legacy of a construction boom that went bust.
Banking group Barclays has reported pre-tax profits of £6.07bn for the full-year 2010, slightly higher than analysts were expecting.
The world's biggest mining firm BHP Billiton has made record half-year profits thanks to strong demand and high prices. Net profit jumped 72% to $10.52bn (£6.5bn) in the six months to the end of December, BHP said.
Prices are set to rise sharply in coming months and inflation could even top 6% in the short-term, the Bank of England has warned.
US bookstore chain Borders announced Wednesday that it has filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors so that it can reorganize and re-emerge as "a stronger and more vibrant book seller."
"It has become increasingly clear that in light of the environment of curtailed customer spending, our ongoing discussions with publishers and other vendor related parties, and the company's lack of liquidity, Borders Group does not have the capital resources it needs to be a viable competitor and which are essential for it to move forward with its business strategy to reposition itself successfully for the long term," Borders president Mike Edwards said in a statement.
Originally posted by marg6043
reply to post by Shenon
As soon as the US starts to hike food prices, oil and gas along with clothing other nations will follow sue, but remember what is happening in Egypt, the people took it to the streets.