Have a nose around some of the most weird and wonderful houses currently available on the UK market
'Indian summer' may aid economy woe
The bank holiday for the Diamond Jubilee helped keep the economy in its double-dip recession in the last quarter, according to experts
The economy failed to grow in the second quarter of 2012 but will enjoy an "Indian summer" as falling inflation helps hard-pressed households, according to a respected forecaster.
The Ernst & Young Item Club believes the extra bank holiday for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee helped keep the economy in its double-dip recession in the last quarter, capping a "dismal" first half in which confidence was hit by the eurozone debt crisis.
But it predicts a return to growth in the current quarter as faster-than-expected falls in inflation give consumers more money to spend on the high street, while the Olympics will provide a further boost.
However, the second-half growth will merely cancel out the falls in the first half, meaning the economy will be stagnant for 2012 as a whole. Just three months ago, the group had predicted 2012 growth of 0.4%.
It said inflation, which was at 2.8% in May, is set to continue to drop to 1.7% at the end of 2012, helped by the Chancellor's recent decision to postpone the increase in fuel duty and falling energy prices.
Chief economic adviser Peter Spencer said: "Spiralling inflation has cut real wages by 7.5% over the last four years, but the squeeze is almost over.
"The boost to household finances and the subsequent pick-up in spending should be enough to push the UK back into positive territory this year - but don't expect a consumer-led recovery further out.
"Longer term, consumers are going to be more focussed on reducing their debt burden rather than splashing the cash."
To generate a sustainable recovery, the UK needs to concentrate on improving its exports and encourage businesses to invest more, he said.
The medium-term outlook has "cheered up" since its last forecast three months ago, amid optimism that politicians are finally starting to get to grips with the eurozone debt crisis and efforts to boost bank lending in the UK.
related stories on msn
more on msn money
msn money poll
Which of these financial mistakes have you made most often?
Thanks for being one of the first people to vote. Results will be available soon. Check for results
- Accidentally giving wrong information on a credit application
- Forgetting to make a repayment on time
- Making multiple credit applications in a short space of time
- Not checking your credit report before applying for new credit
- Not staying within your agreed credit limits
- Taking on too much credit that you’ve then found hard to manage
- Forgetting to sever financial links with a previous partner
- Not having enough of a credit record