Fitch Downgrades United Kingdom To ‘aa+’; Outlook Stable

Eurovision 2014: United Kingdom confirms participation

– The international reserve currency status of sterling and the ability and willingness of the Bank of England to intervene in the UK government debt market largely eliminates the risk of a self-fulfilling fiscal financing crisis. – The gradual improvement in the UK banking sector’s capital and liquidity position has further reduced contingent liabilities arising from this sector. The UK’s ‘AA+’ rating is underpinned by its high-income, diversified and flexible economy as well as a high degree of political and social stability. The monetary policy framework as well as sterling’s international reserve currency status afford the UK a high degree of financial and economic policy flexibility. Strong civil and policy institutions and a high degree of transparency enhance the predictability of the business and economic policy environment that compares favourably with peers in the ‘AA’ category. Weak economic performance and growth prospects, relatively high levels of private and foreign as well as public debt, along with sizeable twin fiscal and current account deficits, are weaknesses relative to rating peers. RATING SENSITIVITIES The Stable Outlook indicates a less than 50% chance of a change in the UK sovereign ratings over the next two years. The main factors that could lead to a negative rating action, individually or collectively, are: – Failure to stabilise the government debt to GDP ratio over the medium term. – Increased threat to macro-financial stability, for example arising from an intensification of the eurozone crisis or an erosion of confidence in the UK’s policy commitment to price stability. The main factors that could lead to a positive rating action, individually or collectively, are: – Stronger economic recovery and rebalancing of the UK economy than currently forecast. – Government budget deficits and debt declining at a faster pace than currently projected so that GGGD is on a sustainable path towards 90% of GDP and below.

Apparel Retail in the United Kingdom

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The British broadcaster BBC is yet to determine the method and mechanism it will use to select its 2014 Eurovision Song Contest entry and representative. Further details regarding UK’s 2014 Eurovision plans will be released in due course. In 2013 Bonnie Tyler was selected to represent the United Kingdom via an internal selection with her entry Believe in me. The United Kingdom debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957 and has won the event a total of 5 times (1967, 1969, 1976,19881 and 1997). The UK also holds the record of being the country with the most 2nd places in the contest , achieving the runner up position a total of 15 times. We must not forget that the United Kingdom also holds the record of hosting the contest a total of 8 times: London 1960, 1963, 1968, 1977, Edinburgh 1972, Brighton 1974, Harrogate 1982 and Birmingham 1998. The UK has only missed one contest since their debut in 1957, notably the 1958 Eurovision Song Contest. The Brits have been competing in Europe’s favourite television show religiously every year since 1959. Sweden, Denmark , Finland , Norway, France, Albania , Iceland, Ireland, San Marino, Georgia , Switzerland, The Netherlands, Estonia , Malta, Russia, Germany, Austria , FYR Macedonia , Montenegro, Belgium , Spain ,United Kingdom and Latvia have all confirmed their participation at the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest next year in Denmark . Whilst Italy, Belarus , Ukraine, Moldova, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia have said they will most likely be in the competition. Who will follow into Bonnie Tyler’s footsteps and represent the United Kingdom at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest? Stay tuned to Esctoday.com for the latest information.

Essential resource for top-line data and analysis covering the United Kingdom apparel retail market. Includes market size data, textual and graphical analysis of market growth trends, leading companies and macroeconomic information. Highlights The apparel retail industry consists of the sale of all menswear, womenswear and childrenswear. The menswear market includes mens activewear, casual wear, essentials, formalwear, formalwear-occasion and outerwear. The womenswear market includes women’s activewear, casual wear, essentials, formalwear, formalwear-occasion and outerwear. The childrenswear market includes baby clothing, boys activewear, boys casual wear, boys essentials, boys formalwear, boys formalwear-occasion, boys outerwear, girls activewear, girls casual wear, girls essentials, girls formalwear-occasion, girls outerwear and toddler clothing. The industry value is calculated at retail selling price (RSP), and includes all taxes and levies. All currency conversions used in this report have been calculated at constant 2011 annual average exchange rates. The apparel retail industry consists of the sale of all menswear, womenswear and childrenswear. The menswear market includes mens activewear, casual wear, essentials, formalwear, formalwear-occasion and outerwear. The womenswear market includes women’s activewear, casual wear, essentials, formalwear, formalwear-occasion and outerwear. The childrenswear market includes baby clothing, boys activewear, boys casual wear, boys essentials, boys formalwear, boys formalwear-occasion, boys outerwear, girls activewear, girls casual wear, girls essentials, girls formalwear-occasion, girls outerwear and toddler clothing. The industry value is calculated at retail selling price (RSP), and includes all taxes and levies. All currency conversions used in this report have been calculated at constant 2011 annual average exchange rates. The UK apparel retail industry is expected to generate total revenues of $59.2bn in 2012, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.3% between 2008 and 2012.