Inequality is on the rise, with the difference in financial fortunes between low and high income families becoming starker over the past year, according to Aviva's latest Family Finances Report. At the same time, families are also facing increased financial pressure from stalling incomes and savings, combined with rising debt and inflation fears. To talk through these findings, Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings and Retirement at Aviva, joined Share Radio Breakfast.
Companies vying to build nuclear power stations in the UK have been told they must offer lower electricity prices than that approved for the Hinkley Point plant last year. Government officials have indicated that future projects will be expected to deliver a discount of at least 15-20% on the price of electricity from the £18bn Hinkley plant in Somerset - a settlement widely criticised for its high cost. To discuss this further, Dr Jenifer Baxter, Head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, joined Nigel Cassidy on Share Radio Breakfast.
Supermarkets, everyone has their favourite. However some new players in the market have definitely shaken things up. We've seen the rise of 'budget' supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl becoming the new popular way to shop, Aldi recently overtook Co-op to become the UK's fifth largest grocer. So where does this leave the more 'high-end' supermarkets such as Waitrose? It was reported yesterday that Waitrose is planning to close some of it's stores, so could this mean the beginning of the end of the 'middle-class' supermarket? Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel gave Share Radio his analysis.
Tis the season to be jolly, and one form of festive relaxation is to imbibe with some fine wine. But will your glass be filled with something made in Britain? Lucy Winward from the award-winning New Hall Vineyard in Purleigh, joined Share Radio Breakfast to talk English wine.
The latest retail sales data for November is in and, as widely expected, Black Friday and other retail sales days boosted the numbers. The figures are nearly 6% higher than the same period last year. But do the figures tell the whole story of what’s going on in retail, especially in light of Brexit, and with sterling in flux? Matt Cox found out more from Mintel’s Retail Analyst, Richard Perks.
Oil prices are sitting at their highest level in a year. For now, financial markets seem convinced the Opec cartel's new deal to limit global crude production will stick. Motoring organisations have already warned petrol prices may rise by 9p a litre, adding about £5 to the average cost of filling up a car. But what of Oil's cousin, natural gas. How has the market for that been affected? Matt Cox has been hearing from Edgar van der Meer, Senior Analyst at industry specialists NRG Expert.
OPEC has reached a deal to cut oil supplies for the first time since the global financial crisis in 2008, prices are expected to rise above $50 a barrel as countries with large oil reserves like Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies accepted big reductions in production. OPEC decided to cut 1.2m barrels a day to about 32.5m b/d for six months from early 2017 after six hours of talks in Vienna. Our energy expert in Vienna Peter Bild joined the show to discuss.
There are calls for Ofgem to look at how to better protect energy consumers from their supplier going out of business. It comes as 160,000 energy customers face uncertainty, after GB Energy Supply was forced to shut down. USwitch is calling on the regulator to look at how suppliers can cope with fluctuating wholesale energy prices more effectively. James Brydges spoke to Claire Osborne, an energy expert from USwitch, about the increase in wholesale prices.
Black Friday is on and bargain hunting shoppers may spend an estimated £2 billion trying to beat expected new year price rises. And according to the online retailing association IMRG, well over half the spend will be done online. So it might seem surprising to find that two old pre-internet age stores are being revived on the High Street. Safeway and Austin Reed are both staging a comeback, so Matt Cox has been hearing from Mintel’s Retail Analyst, Richard Perks, about the return of these old names.
When it first crossed the Atlantic, Black Friday was a one day affair when we sat back in amusement watching punch-ups over cheap TVs. Now, hundreds of household name retailers are already dangling Black Friday carrots in front of our noses. Last year, amazon.co.uk sold more than 7.4 million items on the day at a rate of 86 items per second and are expecting to beat that this year. Fergal Gara is a Director of Amazon UK, and he joined Share Radio Breakfast to discuss the event.