General Business Snippets - UK GDP Plunges

UK GDP fell 1.9% in the first three months of the year, according to the Office for National Statistics today. That is the biggest drop since Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979, much worse than the 1.5% that analysts had been expecting and the 1.6% fall in the last three months of 2008.

Cattles, the company that lends a few hundred quid here & there to bad risk borrowers to buy shell suits, fags & lager, suspended trading in its shares yesterday. The company said that it had found £850 million worth of "unexpected impairment provisions" relating to bad loans, sacked six senior executives and delayed the release of its FY figures.

Another High Street retailer goes into administration, with Bay Trading forced to shut up shop after credit insurance against it failing to pay its bills was withdrawn following a £27.7 million loss announced Wednesday.

It's not all doom & gloom on the High Street though, Debenhams reported half year profits up 10.7% to £104.2 million on sales growth of 6.1%. It says that its customers have more disposable income as mortgage & utility bills are falling. I think its down to those extra scanties I bought Mrs Nogger for Christmas.

If they have got more disposable income, they aren't spending it a WH Smiths, they reported half year earnings down 5% as sales continue to fall. I'm not surprised, who hasn't thought to themselves "if I wasn't going on my holidays I think I might baulk at paying a fiver for a bottle of lucozade and a packet of wine gums?"