Wednesday newspaper round-up: UK economy, Dow Jones, retail figures…
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 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 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%. According to the Guardian, 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.
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 reported. It is understood Qatar is in talks with IAG to ask whether the airline group would welcome the Gulf country shareholder.