Consumer confidence remains fragile

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) latest retail sales figures, retail sales volumes fell by 0.3 per cent month-on-month in November. Year-on-year sales were up 3.1 per cent during the same month, a slow-down from October’s 3.7 per cent rise.

Jane Whitlock, consumer business partner at Deloitte in Birmingham, said: “Today’s figures from the ONS show that whilst consumer spending has been resilient in 2009, confidence remains fragile.  Consumers recognise that 2010 will bring a number of challenges for their personal finances, starting with the VAT increase on 1 January.  These challenges will undoubtedly influence their purchasing habits and lead to continued weakness in consumer spending growth.

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Deloitte rowers stick their oar in for charity

Deloitte corporate finance manager Martin Prophet and tax manager Stuart Woodward put in an ‘oar-some’ performance by taking part in a charity ‘rowathon’ organised by the firm.

Martin, who specialises in forensic and dispute services, and Stuart both work at Deloitte’s Birmingham office. They joined 70 other employees from across the UK to take part in the event to help raise more than £80,000 for Deloitte’s two national charity partners, Cancer Research UK and NSPCC

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Entrepreneurs could face tax changes after Pre-Budget Report

The Pre-Budget Report (PBR) is likely to introduce a number of tax measures targeting entrepreneurs, according to Deloitte.

Colin Hailey, tax associate director in the entrepreneurial business team at Deloitte in Cambridge, said the PBR was likely to have two dominant themes: the recession with its impact on the economy, tax receipts and public borrowing, and the General Election in 2010. Continue reading

Mills & Reeve on a roll with Swiss acquisitions

The Birmingham office of national law firm Mills & Reeve has advised Helvetia Wealth AG on the acquisition of two financial services businesses.

Helvetia Wealth, a leading asset management business based in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, has bought Glasgow-based City Gate Money Managers Limited and a majority stake in London-based TAM Asset Management, which provides investment products and services to financial intermediaries and investors, for an undisclosed sum.

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Deloitte launches “Made in the UK” manufacturing report

Jane Lodge and Professor David Bailey

Support for exporters, jobs and making sure that credit flows through to business remain the top priorities for the manufacturing sector and wider economy, according to a leading business commentator and Midlands academic.

Professor David Bailey, from Coventry University Business School, said these, along with growth in export markets, could help trigger a mini-renaissance in manufacturing. He also pointed to the fact that more needs to be done by government to support the manufacturing industry.

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Women entrepreneurs remain positive

More than a third of women entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom are projecting positive revenue growth this year, according to figures from Deloitte.

Deloitte’s Entrepreneurship UK: 2009/10 report found that 36.7 per cent of women entrepreneurs are forecasting up to 10 per cent revenue growth in 2009/10. Continue reading

Wolverhampton’s Carillion ranked second largest construction company in the UK

Wolverhampton’s Carillion ranked second largest construction company in the UK

West Midlands based firm Carillion is the second largest construction company in the UK, according to a survey by business advisory firm Deloitte.

It is one of only three UK listings in the top 20 of Deloitte’s European Top 100 Construction Companies ranking. Continue reading