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May: Business orders rise, yet confidence wanes; whistleblowing on the increase and more…

Not so confident
Business orders have actually increased month-on-month so far in 2009, but
business confidence continues to fall as companies remain cautious. And it seems
companies are right to be anxious. According to
BDO Stoy
Business Trends Indices, compiled with information from
the Confederation of Business Industry and PricewaterhouseCoopers among others,
there will be a 0.8% decline in GDP over the next three months.

M&A activity down
The value of mergers and acquisitions dropped 40% in Q1 2009 compared with the
same period last year, according to research from
Q1 of 2009 saw the value of M&A activity fall 27% compared to the previous
quarter. Regionally, the UK and Ireland rank third for M&A deal activity in
Europe at 19% by value, Benelux is top at 33% and the Iberian peninsula second
at 21%.

Not going quietly
Disgruntled employees who are made redundant are fuelling a rise in
whistleblowing against senior management, according to risk consultancy
With around 3,000 redundancies per day in the UK, Protiviti says companies
should take preventative measures by developing more openness and transparency.
“We’re seeing an alarmingly high number of allegations being made,” says John
Cassey, Protiviti’s head of fraud and litigation.

OECD GDP warning
Statistics from the
for Economic Co-operation and Development
suggests GDP across OECD
countries will fall by 4.3% in 2009 and 0.1% in 2010. It also predicts the
unemployment rate will rise to 7.9% in the first half of 2009 and settle at 10%
by the end of 2010. International trade is expected to shrink 13% in 2009, but
the report suggests a “policy-induced recovery” will gradually start to build
momentum through 2010.

Men vs women
Male chartered accountants earn up to 50% more than their female counterparts,
according to the latest career benchmarking study by the
headhunter Robert Half. Male accountants can expect to earn an average of
£88,200 compared to £60,500 for women. Newly qualified men can expect to earn
£53,100 while women will make £41,800; the gap widens with age. However, last
year, male accountants saw their pay rise by just 7% whereas women saw an
increase of 10%.

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