PLC 4ever Thu, 24 Nov 2022 01:45:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 PLC 4ever 32 32 How to get tickets to the Mayor’s Christmas Carol Service Thu, 24 Nov 2022 01:45:59 +0000

The Mayor’s Christmas service will recognize and celebrate the important work of select London organisations

Details of the Mayor’s Christmas carol service were announced later that year. Sadiq Khan has been Mayor of London since 2016 after taking over from former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

On his official Twitter account, Mayor Khan tweeted: “Join me for my annual Christmas service. This year we will recognize and celebrate the incredible work of organizations in the heart of our city, from food banks to refugee groups.”

According to the London Government website, The service will be led by Revd Andrew Nunn, Dean of Southwark, in the presence of The Rt Revd Dr. Rosemarie Mallett, Bishop of Croydon. The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan will deliver a Christmas message to all Londoners.

Every year there is a theme associated with the event. This year the theme is service to London communities as they recognize and celebrate the important work being done by London organizations in the heart of our great city, from food banks to refugee groups.

Selected individuals from these groups will also be invited to share Bible readings during the service alongside traditional Christmas carols sung by The Spirituals Choir.

When is the Mayor’s Christmas Service 2022?

The 2022 Mayor’s Christmas Service will be held on Wednesday 14 December 2022. It starts at 7pm and ends at 8pm and takes place at Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge, London, SE1 9DA, UK.

How to get tickets to the mayor’s Christmas service

Tickets for this December event are free. All you have to do is register for a ticket by reserving one on Eventbrite. First come, first served, so act fast!

If you don’t manage to get a ticket, don’t worry! The entire event will be streamed live and free of charge on the London Government website.

Half of fixed-payment adjustable-rate mortgages have hit the trigger rate: Bank of Canada Tue, 22 Nov 2022 20:20:48 +0000

The Bank of Canada said half of all homeowners with an adjustable-rate, fixed-payment mortgage would have met their trigger rate by October 2022. (Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)

About half of homeowners who have a fixed-payment adjustable-rate mortgage had reached their trigger rate by October 2022, according to a research note released Tuesday by the Bank of Canada.

The release also warned that homeownership could jump to 65 percent if the central bank hikes interest rates by half a percentage point at its upcoming December meeting, as many Bay Street economists expect.

Most adjustable rate mortgages in Canada have static monthly payments, meaning the payment stays the same even as interest rates change. Trigger rates are activated when the interest portion exceeds the payment itself, and this trend has become more widespread given the sharp rise in interest rates this year.

Once a homeowner reaches their trigger rate, the lender typically gives them several options, including paying a lump sum on the loan to reduce the principal amount, increasing their monthly payment to cover the entire interest portion, or extending the payback period.

A small number of lenders also allow for negative amortization, where the mortgage loan grows month by month.

The Bank of Canada said half of all homeowners with an adjustable rate and fixed payment mortgage would have met their trigger rate by October 2022.

Bank of Canada, Staff Analytical Note 2022-19

The bank noted that its calculations did not take into account homeowners who have already taken steps to reduce their mortgage loan and bring their amortization back into line.

Separately, Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Carolyn Rogers said in a speech on Tuesday that the central bank is monitoring them how higher borrowing costs affected homeowners.

“One group of Canadians who will find this adjustment painful are those who recently bought a home, may have stretched their budget, and have opted for an adjustable rate mortgage,” Rogers said.

“This is not a large proportion of households, but it is larger than would have been based on historical trends.”

Variable rate mortgages have been prevalent in recent years, but particularly during the pandemic, with interest rates at historic lows. In the note, the Bank of Canada says these types of mortgages accounted for about a third of all outstanding mortgage debt, up from about 20 percent at the end of 2019.

The bank reported that the average payment increase for mortgages that have reached their trigger rate is probably about 5 percent.

Michelle Zadikian is Senior Reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @m_zadikian.

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Extinction Rebellion: Protesters target 13 London businesses Mon, 21 Nov 2022 14:28:51 +0000 The City of London Police said five arrests had been made today in connection with the protest activities.

Extinction Rebellion and other climate activist groups have targeted 13 central London businesses and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) building after COP27.

The eco-group said fake oil was splattered across offices and front steps and left handprints of fake blood and oil on buildings believed to have ties to the fossil fuel industry as of Monday morning.

Cast members of Ocean Rebellion outside the Defra offices. Photo credit: Ocean Rebellion

Protests took place at BP, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, BAE Systems, Church House, Ineos, Eversheds Sutherland, Schlumberger, International Maritime Organization, Institute of Economic Affairs, JP Morgan, Arch Insurance, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and the Department for Corporate, energy and industrial strategy.

The actions follow the conclusion of the COP27 in Egypt, which was widely criticized for the heavy presence of oil and gas company officials.

Extinction Rebellion spokeswoman Sarah Hart said: “Behind incomprehensible government decisions to double down on fossil fuel development, sign new oil exploration licenses and allow record profits for big energy companies, lies a network of companies and organizations that are profiting from this destructive one Path.

“While the rest of us worry about the cost of turning on the heating, our government is prioritizing the profits of the very companies that are putting our climate and environment at risk. But ordinary people are far ahead of politicians.

“They want to be able to heat their houses and they want a future for their children.

“So today Extinction Rebellion are sending the message that it is time to sever ties to fossil fuels or lose the social license to operate in the UK.”

Ocean Rebellion performers wearing “fish heads” and pinstripe suits lit a fire and stood in pools of blood, dead fish and guts outside the main entrance of the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) building.

While Doctors for XR taped themselves to the windows of JP Morgan’s London headquarters and taped images to the building’s front facade depicting scenes of climate collapse.

Christian Climate Action also took action outside Church House in Westminster to highlight the Church of England’s failed strategy to remain invested in fossil fuels and influence the industry as shareholders.

A spokesman for Christian Climate Action said: “The church should show moral leadership by refusing to profit from investments in companies that continue to fuel climate suffering.”

The City of London Police said five arrests had been made today in connection with the protest activities.

TC Biopharm (Holdings) Plc (NASDAQ:TCBP)’s biggest owners are retail investors, who got richer after shares rose 11% last week Mon, 21 Nov 2022 10:55:35 +0000

A look at TC Biopharm (Holdings) Plc (NASDAQ:TCBP) shareholders can tell us which group is the strongest. We can see that individual investors own the lion’s share of the company at 51%. In other words, the group will gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment in the company.

Individual investors clearly benefited the most after the company’s market cap rose $32 million last week.

In the chart below we zoom in on the different ownership groups of TC Biopharm (Holdings).

View our latest analysis for TC Biopharm (Holdings).

<a class=property breakdown” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTQyOA–/”/>

property breakdown

What does institutional ownership tell us about TC Biopharm (Holdings)?

Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they’re often more excited about a stock once it’s included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially as they grow.

Because institutions only own a small portion of TC Biopharm (Holdings), many may not have spent much time considering the stock. But it is clear that some have; and they liked it enough to shop. If business picks up from here, we could see a situation where more institutions are interested in buying. When multiple institutional investors are looking to buy stocks, we often see the stock price rising. Past sales performance (see below) may be an indication of future growth, but there are no guarantees.

Profit and Revenue Growth

Profit and Revenue Growth

Hedge funds don’t hold many shares in TC Biopharm (Holdings). Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is Scottish Enterprise with 11% of the shares outstanding. For comparison, the second-largest shareholder holds about 9.2% of the outstanding shares, followed by an 8.4% holding by the third-largest shareholder.

In examining our ownership data, we found that 18 of the top shareholders collectively own less than 50% of the share register, meaning no single person has a controlling interest.

Studying institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock’s expected performance. The same can be done by studying analyst sentiment. We are not currently taking analyst reports on the stock so it is unlikely that there will be widespread coverage on the company.

TC Biopharm Insider Ownership (Holdings)

The definition of corporate insider can be subjective and varies by jurisdiction. Our data reflects individual insiders and captures at least board members. Management ultimately reports to the board of directors. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be board members, especially if they are founders or CEOs.

In general, I think insider ownership is a good thing. In some cases, however, it becomes more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

It appears that insiders own a significant stake in TC Biopharm (Holdings) Plc. It has a market cap of just $320 million, and insiders have $40 million worth of shares in their own names. We’d say this shows the focus on shareholders, but it’s worth noting that the company is still quite small; Some insiders may have started the company. You can click here to see if these Insiders have bought or sold.

General Public Property

The general public – including retail investors – own 51% of TC Biopharm (Holdings). With this amount of ownership, individual investors can collectively play a role in decisions that affect shareholder returns, such as: B. Dividend Policy and Appointment of Directors. They can also exercise the power to vote on acquisitions or mergers that may not improve profitability.

Private Equity Ownership

With a stake of 8.4%, private equity houses are able to help shape the corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally they have a shorter investment horizon and – as the name suggests – don’t invest much in publicly traded companies. After some time, they might try to sell capital and reallocate it elsewhere.

ownership of public companies

Public companies currently own 14% of the shares of TC Biopharm (Holdings). It’s hard to say for sure, but this suggests they may have intertwined business interests. This could be a strategic investment, so it’s worth watching for ownership changes in this area.

Next Steps:

While it’s worth considering the different groups that own a business, there are other factors that are even more important. For example, consider the ever-present specter of investment risk. We have identified 5 warning signs at TC Biopharm (Holdings) (at least 2 that cannot be ignored) and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Of course This might not be the best stock to buy. So check this out free free List of interesting companies.

Note: The figures in this article are calculated using data for the last twelve months, relating to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month to which the financial statements are dated. This may not tally with the annual report figures for the full year.

Do you have any feedback about this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch directly with us. Alternatively, send an email to the editorial team (at)

This Simply Wall St article is of a general nature. We provide comments based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended as financial advice. It is not a recommendation to buy or sell any stock and does not take into account your goals or financial situation. Our goal is to offer you long-term focused analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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Don’t blame Brexit for our economic woes Mon, 21 Nov 2022 06:00:00 +0000

The sixth anniversary of the Brexit referendum triggered another wave of warnings about the economic cost. If the recent headlines are to be believed, leaving the EU was indeed an economic catastrophe and one of the main reasons why public finances are so ailing.

The goal seems to be to convince us that the UK cannot thrive outside the EU and should at least rejoin the single market, either formally or under the Swiss model of ad hoc deals that could amount to the same thing.

Several of the usual media suspects are involved. One of the low points, however, was former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s claim that the UK economy had shrunk from 90 percent the size of Germany’s to less than 70 percent since 2016.

Even economists, notoriously skeptical about Brexit, denounced it as “nonsense”, but Carney followed up by implausibly blaming the recent rate hike on Brexit. In his view, leaving the EU “slowed down the pace at which the [UK] economy can grow”.

In order to investigate and, if necessary, correct such claims, we recently published a detailed report on the BriefingsforBritain website. This carefully describes the evidence and methods used in a range of studies and articles, showing how the UK has fared compared to other countries since 2016 in terms of GDP, trade, inflation, exchange rates and the financial sector.

The hard evidence is that leaving the EU has had remarkably little impact on the UK economy. Between the first quarter of 2016 (the quarter before the referendum) and the third quarter of 2022, OECD data shows that the UK economy grew by an overall 6.7 percent. This was a little behind France (7.4 percent) but ahead of Spain (6.6 percent), Germany (6.2 percent) and Italy (4.9 percent). UK exports to the EU have recovered to long-term trend levels and the City of London has been little affected.

This, of course, contradicts Carney’s claim, which was based on data at prevailing market exchange rates and therefore reflected the pound’s decline since 2015. But the net impact of a weaker currency on the economy is uncertain and it is wrong to assume that sterling would not have weakened whatever the outcome of the referendum. Sterling already looked overvalued in 2015 – as the UK ran a huge current account deficit – and the fall in the effective exchange rate in 2016 was only slightly below the 2009-2013 average.

Another stubborn belief is that the vote to leave the EU has resulted in a slump in investment that has left it well below its trend rate. The studies that make this claim are mostly based on a simple extrapolation of investment growth between 2009 and 2016 and the implausible assumption that this growth would have continued indefinitely. In fact, investment growth during those years was a strong but inevitably temporary rebound in investment from the depths of the world
financial crisis.

Looking further ahead, business investment in the UK is only slightly below its historical trend and part of the gap can be explained by lower investment in oil and gas in the North Sea, which is clearly unrelated to Brexit.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the UK has also held up well since 2016, contrary to predictions that it would collapse. In particular, greenfield FDI to the UK increased by a third between 2016 and 2021 and was the highest of any major European economy in any year during that period.

There is also little evidence that Brexit has contributed to (at least not permanent) labor shortages. UK employment has not recovered to pre-Covid levels and this helps explain the UK economy’s relatively weak growth since 2019. However, this mainly reflects an increase in long-term illnesses. The failure of many EU migrants to return to the UK can also be attributed to the pandemic, which has had a similar impact on migrant workers in other European countries, particularly Germany, where job vacancy rates are similar.

That leaves two more channels through which Brexit may have “destroyed” the UK economy. One is inflation. However, inflation in the UK has been similar to that in the US and EU, including food price inflation. The other is trade. Far from collapsing as some claim, UK trade with the EU has fully recovered after initial disruptions.

The views of the Office of Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) have been widely quoted here. It would be odd to deny that the rise in trade tensions between the UK and the EU has had a negative impact. However, it is not clear that there has been a significant drop in trade intensity, at least in the most recent data, or that the drop is mainly due to Brexit. It is certainly a big step to assume, as the OBR is doing, that this is a permanent blow that will reduce the UK’s long-term productivity by up to 4 per cent.

In particular, there was not much difference between the performance of UK exports to the EU and those to the rest of the world. In addition, the UK’s trade balance with the EU was actually improving up until the energy crisis as exports held up better than imports.

It’s also worth noting that the OBR’s 4 percent assumption is based on an average of external studies and not original papers. Evidence for a strong link between changes in trade intensity and productivity in an economy like the UK, which is already relatively open and developed, is also weak.

The lack of evidence of significant economic damage from Brexit is particularly important given that it was always likely that most costs would be upfront and relatively visible. In contrast, the main benefit of Brexit has always been greater freedom to create one’s own economic policies, the benefits of which would take longer to take hold.

Success or failure will depend on how effective these policies prove. But it would be wrong to back down now on an anti-Brexit campaign built on such flimsy foundations.

dr Graham Gudgin is a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge CBR and Julian Jessop is a Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs

Personal Group Holdings Plc (LON:PGH)’s dismal stock performance reflects weak fundamentals Fri, 18 Nov 2022 13:24:07 +0000

It’s hard to get excited looking at the recent performance of Personal Group Holdings (LON:PGH) when the stock is down 17% over the past three months. We decided to examine the company’s financials to see if the downtrend will continue, as a company’s long-term performance usually dictates market outcomes. In this article, we have chosen to focus on the ROE of Personal Group Holdings.

Return on equity, or ROE, is a test of how effectively a company is increasing its value and managing investors’ money. In other words, it is a profitability metric that measures the return on capital provided by the company’s shareholders.

Check out our latest analysis for Personal Group Holdings

How do you calculate return on equity?

The return on equity can be calculated using the following formula:

Return on Equity = Net Income (from continuing operations) ÷ Equity

So, based on the formula above, the ROE for personal group holdings is:

3.7% = £1.5m ÷ £40m (based on trailing 12 months to June 2022).

The “return” is the profit of the last twelve months. This means that for every £1 worth of equity, the company makes £0.04 profit.

Why is ROE important for earnings growth?

So far we’ve learned that ROE is a measure of a company’s profitability. Depending on how much of those earnings the company reinvests, or “retains,” and how effectively it does so, we can then assess a company’s earnings growth potential. Assuming all else being equal, companies that demonstrate both higher return on equity and higher earnings retention tend to be those that exhibit a higher growth rate than companies that do not share the same characteristics.

Personal Group Holdings earnings growth and 3.7% ROE

At first glance, Personal Group Holdings’ ROE doesn’t look very promising. We then compared the company’s ROE to the industry as a whole and were disappointed to find that the ROE is below the industry average of 10%. As such, it might not be wrong to say that Personal Group Holdings’ five-year net income decline of 16% was likely the result of lower ROE. However, other factors can also cause earnings to fall. For example, it is possible that the company has allocated capital poorly or that the company has a very high payout ratio.

Next, when we compared it to the industry, which shrank its earnings by 7.1% over the same period, we still found Personal Group Holdings’ performance to be rather dismal, given that the company has shrunk its earnings faster than the industry.

past earnings growth

Much of the basis for increasing the value of a company is tied to its earnings growth. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company’s expected earnings growth (or decline). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is Personal Group Holdings fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 evaluation criteria could help you with the decision.

Is Personal Group Holdings reinvesting its profits efficiently?

Personal Group Holdings has a high three-year median payout ratio of 83% (meaning it retains 17% of its earnings). This suggests that the company pays out most of its profits as dividends to its shareholders. This explains to some extent why revenue has shrunk. With very little left to reinvest in the business, earnings growth is far from likely. You can see the 3 risks we have identified for Personal Group Holdings by visiting our Risk Dashboard for free on our platform here.

Additionally, Personal Group Holdings has paid dividends for at least a decade, meaning the company’s management is committed to paying dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth.


Overall, we would be extremely cautious before making any decision on Personal Group Holdings. The company has experienced a lack of earnings growth as it retains very little earnings and what little it retains is reinvested at a very low rate of return. However, given the current analyst estimates, we noted that the company’s earnings growth rate is expected to see a huge improvement. Are these analyst expectations based on broader expectations for the industry or on company fundamentals? Click here to go to our analyst’s forecast page for the company.

Do you have any feedback about this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch directly with us. Alternatively, send an email to the editorial team (at)

This Simply Wall St article is of a general nature. We provide comments based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended as financial advice. It is not a recommendation to buy or sell any stock and does not take into account your goals or financial situation. Our goal is to offer you long-term focused analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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Over $800,000 in illegal cannabis seized in London after months-long Ontario distribution process – London Thu, 17 Nov 2022 19:05:48 +0000

An OPP investigation into an illegal cannabis distribution network in southwestern Ontario, with the help of the London Police Service, resulted in the seizure of over US$800,000 worth of illegal cannabis and cannabis-related products.

The investigation began in May after London Police submitted information to OPP and formed the Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team (PJFCET).

Continue reading:

London, Ont. Police seized $14,000 worth of drugs in downtown arrest of wanted man

On November 9, PJFCET executed three search warrants in the City of London and one in Woodstock.

Police seized approximately 110 kilograms of dried cannabis, five kilograms of cannabis resin, two kilograms of cannabis shatter, more than 4,500 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) vape pens, 170 vials of cannabis shatter, 280 THC bars and more than 5,000 THC gummies.

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The Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team (PJFCET) seized a total of approximately 110 kilograms of dried cannabis on November 9, 2022.

Ontario Provincial Police

Nine hundred psilocybin gummies were also seized, along with 800 psilocybin bars, more than 1,000 pre-rolled cannabis cigarettes, 60 THC suckers, 55 milliliters of cannabis oil, 16 ounces of cocaine, more than 100 suspected oxycodone pills, more than 200 suspected Percocet pills and more than 150 suspected hydromorphone pills.

The estimated street value of the drugs seized is approximately $876,895, according to police.

In addition, officers seized more than $1 million in Canadian currency, two gold Rolex watches with an approximate value of $20,000 each, and three vehicles with an estimated combined value of more than $270,000 as crime-related property . A sawn-off shotgun with ammunition was also seized.

The Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team (PJFCET) seized more than $1 million in Canadian currency on November 9, 2022.

Ontario Provincial Police

Five people, including four Londoners, have been charged with a total of 25 offences.

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Kyle Catherwood, 28, Mariah King, 28, Keiryn Jacobs, 32, and David McNiven, 55, all from London, and Matthew Blumenstock, 31, from Woodstock, have been charged with a total of 25 offenses, including multiple possession of an illegal substance for the purpose of trade and theft.

They were released from custody upon arrest and are due to appear in court in January 2023.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

UK announces budget after political chaos and market turmoil Thu, 17 Nov 2022 06:44:00 +0000

Barclays: Government’s commitment to fiscal sustainability doubtful if measures are ‘loaded back’

Barclays is expecting a tough budget from Treasury Secretary Jeremy Hunt but hinted the government could have questions about its commitment to financial sustainability if a significant chunk of the new measures are “reloaded”.

“In order to maintain investor credibility, we believe the government will focus on the extent of fiscal tightening. However, the composition and timing of fiscal tightening will also play a role,” said Silvia Ardagna, Barclays Chief European Economist.

“In the short term, we expect most of the fiscal adjustment to come from tax hikes. We believe that spending cuts will mainly be planned after the 2024 general election. Therefore, the implementation of these spending cuts remains uncertain.”

-Elliot Smith

Barclays Private Bank sees £30bn in tax hikes and cuts in public spending

Barclays Private Bank said on Wednesday it was “pessimistic” about the UK’s growth prospects, citing “wobbly economic data, political turmoil and political confusion”.

“The government mini-budget in September sent a shockwave through UK assets as investors questioned the sustainability of the country’s finances,” said Henk Potts, EMEA market strategist at Barclays Private Bank.

“Additional pressure on the UK’s fiscal position has been created by the deteriorating growth profile, the rapid rise in interest rates and the higher cost of servicing inflation-linked debt.”

Potts estimates that additional tax hikes or public spending cuts totaling around £30 billion ($35.6 billion) will be needed for the government to restore fiscal sustainability and bring the deficit back to 1% to 2% of the budget GDP can be reduced.

“Given the multiple pressures on the UK economy, we believe a deeper and longer-lasting recession is inevitable,” Potts added.

“We expect the economy to post five consecutive quarters of negative growth beginning in the third quarter of 2022.”

-Elliot Smith

“Anything that can be taxed will be taxed,” says the fund manager

Asked about more windfall taxes for energy companies amid rising commodity prices, Daniel Avigad, partner and portfolio manager at Lansdowne Partners, told CNBC on Wednesday that “anything that can be taxed, will be taxed.”

“This applies not only to oil and gas, but to all aspects of the economy as governments have large deficits in terms of primary resources and self-sufficiency to fund and will therefore seek to raise capital from all possible sources,” Avigad said.

UK inflation hits 11.1%, a 41-year high, as food and energy prices continue to rise

UK inflation soared to a 41-year high of 11.1% in October, beating expectations as food, transport and energy prices continued to weigh on households and businesses.

“Indicative modeled estimates of consumer price inflation suggest that the CPI rate was last higher in October 1981, when the estimate for the annual inflation rate was 11.2%,” the Office for National Statistics said.

On a monthly basis, the CPI increased by 2% in October, in line with the annual CPI inflation rate between July 2020 and 2021.

Read the whole story here.

-Elliot Smith

Live News Updates: US retail sales beat forecasts with biggest jump since January Wed, 16 Nov 2022 18:45:42 +0000

The interior of the Mercedes EQS electric sedan © Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz Group has slashed the prices of some electric car models in China, joining a list of automakers that have followed suit Tesla’s price cut last month, in the latest sign of slowing demand in the world’s largest EV market.

The entry-level prices of the EQE model, EQS model and its luxury edition – the AMG EQS 53 model – sold in China will be reduced by Rmb 50,000 ($7,000), Rmb 204,600 and Rmb 198,600, respectively, the German said car manufacturer .

“Our goal is to flexibly adapt operating strategies to changing market requirements,” the company said in a statement.

Mercedes-Benz is facing increasing competition from local rivals in the process of electric and digital transformation, Hubertus Troska, Daimler’s China boss, said earlier this month at the China International Import Expo, state media reported.

In October, Tesla lowered prices for its Model 3 and Model Y sedans in China. Days after Tesla’s move, Ford Motor’s EV division and Aito, a Huawei-backed EV brand, followed suit.

Analysts warned of a price war in the country’s increasingly crowded EV sector.

“This price-cutting strategy would create an overall negative sentiment,” Citigroup analyst Jeff Chung wrote in a research note, citing stalled electric vehicle sales growth due to economic headwinds and zero-Covid controls in China.

Chung added that Tesla’s move would also put pressure on other high-end EV makers, including XPeng, Volkswagen and BYD.

China’s sales of new energy vehicles, including pure electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen-powered models, rose 81.7 percent year on year to 714,000 units in October, the slowest pace of growth since April, according to data from China Automakers Association.

Thousands are demanding the return of free early London travel for over-60s Tue, 15 Nov 2022 06:24:34 +0000

The benefit – granted to around 1.3million people over 60 – was suspended for weekday travel before 9am shortly after the pandemic began in June 2020, mainly to ensure public transport remained free for key workers.

However, the Mayor is due to decide by the end of the year whether to keep the restriction permanent, which would result in fares of around £15million to £18million for transport for cash-strapped London.

Charity Age UK London will bring a petition signed by more than 10,000 people to City Hall on Tuesday afternoon calling for the benefit to be reinstated.

The permanent cancellation of freedom to travel before 9 a.m. is the “wrong decision at the wrong time” due to the cost of living crisis.

There are also concerns that the qualifying age for the 60+ Oyster, which gives Londoners free bus, tube and train travel until they receive the Freedom Pass at retirement age 67, is being raised each year to exclude more people .

Peter Henderson, 65, an NHS carer who signed the petition, said he spent around £30-35 a month getting home to Harlesden at 8am after a 12-hour night shift in Harrow.

He said the power withdrawal a week after Thursday night’s “Clap for the NHS” events ended “felt like a kick in the teeth”.

He said: “After being applauded one week, the next week I was asked to reach into my pocket. I accept that TfL has lost a lot of money during the pandemic, but asking the older and more vulnerable members of society is unacceptable.

“Not only do the reduced fares help those who have physical problems, for those living alone, being able to get around London instead of staring at four walls is a significant way to maintain and improve their mental health.”

A study by Age UK London found that 39 per cent of Londoners over 60 had to travel before 9am. More than a quarter went to work, while 31 percent attended health appointments. Eight percent had to travel to fulfill care responsibilities.

More than a quarter of respondents said the ban on free travel before 9am prevented them from making essential trips.

Mr Khan last December first announced proposals to increase the qualifying age for the 60+ Oyster by six months every year for the next 12 years – until it is effectively merged with the Freedom Pass, which is funded by London Councils.

However, the qualifying age has yet to change – and City Hall says a final decision on the 9am start time has yet to be made.

A spokesman for Mr Khan said: “The Mayor fully understands how concerned Londoners are about rising inflation, costs and survival.

“TfL’s finances have been decimated by the pandemic and the Government has imposed strict conditions under emergency funding arrangements to keep essential services running.

“He was forced to consider permanently restricting the use of the liberty passes for over-60s and older to after 9am and to consider a gradual increase in the eligibility age for the over-60 concession. However, no final decision has been made yet.”