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Worldwide economic recovery on the cards

The report points to a global increase in business and consumer confidence and a strengthening of the US labour market, as representing a “correction” from the extra weakness which followed 11 September. While the outlook for the eurozone remains gloomy, D&T believes the UK economy is giving off more favourable signals.

FDs wrong on office costs

FDs could be overlooking up to 40% of the cost of office space by focusing on rent and rates as indicators, says MWB BusinessExchange. Hidden costs include maintenance, security, and communal, non-productive space such as receptions. The total cost of a single workstation in London’s West End is calculated to be over £20,000 a year.

Fall in net failures

Eighteen internet companies were recorded as having closed down or became bankrupt in February 2002, the smallest number of closures in a month since August 2000, according to This represents part of a continuing downward trend since May 2001 when closures peaked at 64. The total number of closures from January 2000 to February 2002 is 806.

Business failures up

UK business failures rose 15.4% during Q1 2002 (to 10,803) compared to Q1 2001, says Dun & Bradstreet. However, last year’s Q1 figures were exceptional – the lowest for ten years. Figures for Q1 2002 were only marginally above the total for Q1 2000 (10,710).

UK loses investment

The amount of overseas investment in UK fell by 34% in 2001, while the decline across Europe was only 12%, according to the Ernst & Young Investment Monitor. The UK’s share of European inward investment fell from 26% in 2000 to 19% in 2001. There was a 26% decline in the number of US investment projects in Europe to 733 in 2001. The telecoms sector suffered most, as the number of new projects fell 48%.

Exporters better off

UK companies that export perform better than those that do not, according to a study of 9,000 companies over an 11-year period, by Trade Partners UK. The Exporting and Business Performance report reveals that exporting increases the productivity of companies by 2.7% over the two years following entry to overseas markets and boosts sales by more than 5%.

South east FDs paid best

Group FDs in the south east of England in companies with a turnover of £100m+ can expect to earn between £130,000 and £250,000, while their peers in northern England only earn between £100,000 and £160,000, says Hays Accountancy Personnel.

Source: Incomes Data Services.

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