Business Diary: The real guide to what's to come
Wednesday 05 January 2011
Economic forecasting has its place, of course, but for a more accurate guide to what is likely to happen in the year ahead, abookmaker can often be evenbetter. So to Paddy Power and its odds on the events of 2011. It has China at 10/11 favourite to be the world's fastest growing economy (followed by India, Russia and Brazil) and will offer you asgenerous a price as 6/1 on the eurozone managing GDP growth of more than 1.8 per cent this year. Note, too, that it is backing News Corp to get the go-ahead for the Sky takeover at 2/5 (or you can gamble on it getting a knock-back from regulators at 7/4).
How to make some extra bread
Will eBay cope with the extra workload? The market research company Mintel reveals that the country's least usedChristmas present is none other than the once trendy breadmaker. More than a third of Britons who have received one of these delightful appliances in the past say they never use them. So if you got one this time around, be honest with yourself now and flog the thing before it begins gathering dust at the back of a cupboard.
Sales no longer sit comfortably
Here's a message one doesn'tnormally associate with the new year. Jason Tyldesley, the boss of the sofa retailer CSL, says: "From now on, we don't do sales." Tyldesley is so convinced that no one still believes furniture retailers when they advertise post-Christmas discounts, that this year he hasn't bothered. Instead, he decided to shell out £500,000 on a 30-second advertising spot featuring a remake of Duran Duran's classic hit, "Girls on Film". Top marks for bravery – and for musical taste. Now let's see whether sofa-buying punters are prepared to reward such honesty.
A rival on Lord Sugar's home turf
"I truly believe Essex has the most entrepreneurial spirit in the UK and that is why I amputting my money where my mouth is." So says Philip Miller, a local businessman, who is offering £100,000 of backing to the entrepreneur who puts the best business idea to him before the end of the month. It's a mini version of The Apprentice, which is handy since Lord Sugar is an Essex local – presumably he won't be applying.
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Orphan kangaroos spend Christmas without their parents
Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
New route to Mars could make manned mission much cheaper and easier
Isis 'did not shoot down Jordan war plane' before capturing pilot, says US
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
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