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Savings cuts, energy deals, retirement income and motor insurance

12 July 2016

9:29 AM

12 July 2016

9:29 AM

The first half of 2016 was a total wipe-out for savers, an analyst has said. Research from Moneyfacts.co.uk shows that, since the start of the year, savers have witnessed a vast number of rate cuts, which have caused rates to plummet to new lows.

For example, the average five-year fixed rate has fallen by 0.63 per cent since January. There have been more than 900 cuts to savings rates since the beginning of the year compared with 111 rate increases.

Savers must brace themselves for ‘tougher times ahead’, Moneyfacts said. There is speculation that the Bank of England will cut rates this week.

Energy

The Guardian reports that 12 energy providers have pulled fixed-rate tariffs and replaced them with more expensive deals since 23 June, in signs that the pound’s fall in the wake of the Brexit vote could push up household bills.

Comparison website uSwitch found a dozen dual-fuel deals had been replaced since the referendum, with new offers costing up to £105 a year more for the average customer. It said wholesale energy costs had been rising for the past three months, and that the UK’s position as a net importer of energy meant the falling pound was pushing up prices.

British Gas, EDF and Scottish Power are among the firms to have repriced a fixed-rate gas and energy deal, although the biggest increase was by small provider Extra Energy, which replaced its Fresh Fixed Price October 2017 deal, typically costing £770 a year, with one fixed until August 2017 costing £875 for an average energy user.

Spending

 

UK retail sales fell 0.5 per cent in June on a like-for-like basis, triggered by weak clothing sales, according to the latest British Retail Consortium-KPMG survey.

Sales slowed in the last week of the month following the outcome of the referendum vote, but BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said it was ‘too early’ to say whether shoppers were spooked by the uncertainty surrounding the outcome.

‘Retail sales grew in June, albeit with total growth slowing to 0.2 per cent. While sales did slow towards the end of the month, it is too early to define this as a trend.’

Retirement

Britain’s over 50s need double the amount they think to generate a decent income in retirement, according to new research from Saga Investment Services.

In a new survey, over 50s were asked to estimate what kind of annual income they’d need to cover a range of different retirement lifestyles, and how much they believed would be enough to deliver the income they want.

To cover the essentials, over 50s said they’d need an average annual income in retirement of £15,200, estimating this could be generated from an average pension pot of £143,830. According to Saga figures, however, a pension pot of this size would only generate £7,940 in guaranteed annual income for life for a healthy 65-year old – a shortfall of almost 50 per cent – meaning they would need double the pension pot to meet their retirement income target.

Holidays

With schools across the UK breaking up for summer, new research from American Express reveals that the average family with two children is expecting to spend £640 on activities and treats to keep their kids amused over the school holidays.

Days out top the list of school holiday spending, with parents splashing out an average of £232 to entertain their two children. This is followed by treats and gifts (£134), general pocket money (£100) and summer camps (£88).

Motor insurance

GPs are the most likely to have an at-fault accident in their car according to Gocompare.com Car Insurance.

The study found more than one in 10 of GPs had made at least one at-fault claim in the past three years – more than double the national average across all occupations.

Research revealed that health and medical professionals were more likely to have an at-fault accident on the road than drivers with other occupations. Those working in the medical profession made up all of the top 10 drivers with the highest proportion of at-fault claims.

Economy

The pound rose 1.09 per cent against the dollar after the news that Theresa May will become the next UK Prime Minister. But it is still well below levels reached before the EU referendum, when it had been trading at about $1.50.

Meanwhile, shares in Britain’s leading companies moved into official bull market territory yesterday, enjoying fresh gains on the back of the dramatic exit of Andrea Leadsom from the race to be the new PM.


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