In Brief: Confidence at a high; Jets fly with 3-D printer parts; Britain hosts intellectual property fights; Bank likely to hold rates low


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The Independent Online

Confidence at highest level for 20 years

Metal components created through 3D printing have been flown on Tornado fighter jets for the first time. The move paves the way for the defence contractor BAE Systems to use 3D printed parts in other military kit, which could end up saving the Royal Air Force more than £1.2m to 2017.

Fighter jets fly with parts from 3-D printer

Business confidence is at its highest level for exactly 20 years, according to Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. Its twice-yearly survey of 1,500 businesses showed that firms are generally hopeful of increased sales, orders and profit over the next six months, with the potential for increased employment in the overall economy.

Britain hosts more global intellectual property fights

High Court disputes over trademarks leapt more than 30 per cent to 114 cases in 2013, according to analysis by the legal firm RPC. British courts are a favoured battleground for international businesses to seek protection of global intellectual property rights. Major copyright cases jumped by 9 per cent.

Bank likely to hold rates at historic low

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee is expected to hold interest rates at 0.5 per cent on Thursday, meaning that the historic low will have been held for just two months shy of five years. The European Central Bank’s benchmark interest rate should also hold at 0.25 per cent for a second successive month.