London congestion charge to increase

Transport for London has confirmed that the daily congestion charge will rise to £11.50 in mid June.  This represents an increase of 15% over the current charge of £10 which is the first increase in three years.

April new car registrations rose 8.2% to 176,820 units

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has published the April new car market figures that show registrations up 8.2% over 2013, with unit sales at 176,820.  This takes the year-to-date volume up to 864,942 an increase of 12.5%.  This strong growth has resulted in a revision to the full year forecast by the SMMT of 6% over 2013 at 2.4 million new car registrations.

CO2 emissions 31.7% down since 1995

The European Environment Agency has published their 2013 average passenger car fleet emissions data.  Their findings report an average of 127g CO2/KM compared to 186g CO2/KM from data published in 1995.

Erik Jonnaert, Secretary General of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) thanked the European manufacturers for their efforts and significant investment in research and deveopment.

New car registrations rise to 464,824 in March

New vehicle registrations increased in March 2014 by 17.7% over prior year to 464,824 units.  This is the second highest March figure (March 2004 was the highest) since the introduction of the twice yearly plate change.

Consequently the year to date figures have risen by 13.7% to 688,122 units.

UK House Price Index continues to rise

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published the UK House Price Index for December 2013 showing an increase by 5.5% compared with a year earlier.  The average UK house price has now reached £250,000.  House prices grew by 5.7% in England, 4.8% in Wales, 0.5% in Scotland and 4.8% in Northern Ireland.  London continues to see the highest rise with growth in London (12.3%), the East (4.6%) and the West Midlands (4.3%).

Motor industry increases sales forecast for year

October saw the 20th consecutive month of growth in new car registrations, resulting in the SMMT revising its full year forecast to 2.25 million new units.  Ford continues to dominate the league table with the Fiesta selling nearly 105,000 cars so far this year.  Their Focus model is the second best selling vehicle with 76,493 registrations to date, followed by Vauxhall’s Corsa and Astra models.

ONS publishes NEET data

The Office for National Statistics has reported that for the April to June 2013 period, there were 1.09 million young people (aged from 16 to 24) in the UK who were Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), virtually unchanged from January to March 2013 but down 104,000 from a year earlier.

For the period April to June 2013, the percentage of all young people in the UK who were NEET was 15.1%, unchanged from January to March 2013 but down 1.3 percentage points from a year earlier.

For the period April to June 2013, just over half (53.6%) of all young people in the UK who were NEET were looking for work and available for work and therefore classified as unemployed. The remainder were either not looking for work and/or not available for work and therefore classified as economically inactive.


July car market grows 12.7% but van sales drop 2.6%

The car market for July has risen again for the 17th consecutive month. The SMMT figures report that total new vehicle sales were 162,228 in July, up 12.7% (18,344 units) on the prior year. Year to date the market remains up 10.3% over 2012 at 1,325,851 units to end July. This further increase in growth has resulted in a revised market forecast of 2.216 million units by the year-end.

By contrast the new van sales in July dropped by 2.6% over 2012 to 18,417 units in the month. Year to date remains slightly ahead at 151,594 units, up 1.6% over the prior year. The SMMT are predicting a strong end to the year and are forecasting 291,000 units by year-end.

Truck sales continue to see the effect of the Euro 5/6 transition with new sales up 10.3% in July to 3,794 units. However the year to date market is still down 8.8% over 2012 at 25,114 units.

Bank of England Governor suggests interest rates set to remain at 0.5%

Mark Carney, the new Bank of England Governor, has indicated that interest rates will remain at 0.5% until the national unemployment rate drops below 7% from its current level of 7.8%. This drop will see the creation of 750,000 new jobs in the UK and could take up to three years, the Governor suggest.

European car market continues to suffer

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has just published the June car market results in Europe.  The June month has dropped 5.6% from last year and is the lowest sales volume since 1996.  This brings the year to date total down 6.6% from the previous year at just over 6.2 million new units.  However the UK market remains strong and is the only European sector up on the previous year with the month seeing sales rise by 13.4% and a total increase year to date of 10% over 2012.