Chancellor George Osborne is said to be “braced” for the outcome of a review of the UK economy by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) starting today. The Independent said. Although the Treasury is ready to sing the praises of Plan A, “there is growing concern among ministers that the IMF will make its most explicit call for the spending cuts to be slowed at the end of its two-week visit”, the paper said.
The British Retail Consortium has revealed that UK retailers saw a decline in sales during April, with its three-month average showing a slowdown in growth to 2.6%. Retailers suffered a 2.2% drop in sales last month compared with a year ago, largely as a result of the timing of Easter and the wintry weather. The Guardian
Qatar has approached International Airlines Group about becoming the largest shareholder in the parent company of British Airways and Iberia by buying a stake held by Spanish bank Bankia, the Financial Times reports. It is understood Qatar is in talks with IAG to ask whether the airline group would welcome the Gulf country shareholder.
The Dow Jones reached a new high on Tuesday evening, climbing above the 15,000 mark. The gains were made as investor confidence drove stock markets to record highs, although the rally came amid mixed signals from the wider US economy, The Guardian.
Big news in the domestic football front with all the red-tops and National’s covering news that Sir Alex Ferguson could be due to announce his retirement. David Moyes, the Everton manager, has seen is odds to take the hot seat slashed this morning. A number of Wednesday’s national newspapers, claim the 71-year-old is ready to stand down, bringing an end to his hugely successful 26 and a half years at the helm. “Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United future was shrouded in doubt on Tuesday night with the Scot understood to be giving serious consideration to ending his 26-year reign as manager,” The Telegraph’s report claims. “Senior figures at the club failed to respond to repeated attempts to confirm or deny the story, which emerged following United’s player versus coaches golf day at Dunham Massey on Tuesday afternoon.” Claims that several “sources close to the players” confirmed that the annual golf match “was overshadowed by suggestions that the Scot would be making an announcement ahead of Sunday’s clash with Swansea.” The paper points out that if there is anything in the rumour, the club are legally obliged to say so since they are a listed company: “With United now forced to adhere to the strict rules and regulations of the New York Stock Exchange in terms of the release of significant information relating to the running of the club following last August’s partial flotation, any change of management would fall within those requirements,” The Telegraph.
Measures to combat immigration and schemes to help businesses are among the Government’s priorities which are due to be outlined in the Queen’s Speech. David Cameron says the new policies – including a crackdown on foreign criminals and rogue employers who take on illegal migrants – will back the people of Britain “every step of the way”. The agenda for the next session of Parliament will also see powers strengthened to deport foreign criminals by preventing the abuse of human rights laws. The Prime Minister and his deputy Nick Clegg will say in a joint foreword to the speech: “In May 2010 we came together to govern in the national interest. “We knew the road ahead would be tough and so it has proved to be. “But three years on, our resolve to turn our country around has never been stronger. We know that Britain can be great again because we’ve got the people to do it. “Today’s Queen’s Speech shows that we will back them every step of the way. It is all about backing people who work hard and want to get on in life.” Yahoo news