Money latest: Blow for hopes of June interest rate cut (2024)

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  • OECD warns UK shouldn't cut interest rates yet
  • UK ranks bottom in G7 economic growth forecast
  • New ISA rules were supposed to help savers - right now they've just made everything more complicated
Essential reads
  • How to nab yourself a free upgrade on a flight
  • Why you shouldn't buy a TV in May (or a mobile phone in October)
  • You're probably washing and storing your clothes wrong. Here's what you should do instead
  • Money Problem: 'Builders won't repair dodgy work - what are my rights?'
  • '£2,000 landed in my account' - The people who say they're manifesting riches

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UK ranks bottom in G7 economic growth forecast

Following on from our previous post, and the OECD also says the UK will grow more slowly next year than any other major advanced economy.

It puts this down to stealth taxes and high interest rates squeezing the economy.

The organisation, which is based in Paris, downgraded its forecasts for GDP to 0.4% this year and 1% in 2025.

In February, the UK had been in the middle of the rankings with forecast growth of 0.7% this year and 1.2% next.

The OECD pointed to the fact "tax receipts keep rising towards historic highs" - with National Insurance cuts not offsetting the additional burden Britons are feeling due to tax thresholds not rising along with inflation due to a government freeze.

Some good news is expected for UK workers as the OECD said there will be "stronger" wage growth when inflation is factored in against pay.


OECD warns UK shouldn't cut interest rates yet

One of the world's leading economic authorities has warned the UK that borrowing should remain expensive until the rate of price rises eases further and stays there.

Interest rates, which are at apost-2008-era high of 5.25%, should stay there, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

"The fiscal and monetary policy mix is adequately restrictive and should remain so until inflation returns durably to target," the OECD's economic outlook for 2024 said.

It's an endorsem*nt for the approach of theBank of Englandwhose statements on inflation have not indicated an imminent rate cut.

The OECD anticipates inflation will be "elevated" at 3.3% in 2024 and 2.5% in 2025 - above the Bank's 2% target.

No rate cut will come until at least August, the OECD added.


Why you shouldn't buy a TV in May (or a mobile phone in October)

It may not come as a surprise, but the prices of a whole range of items fluctuate throughout the year.

It isn't always easy figuring out what is best to buy when - but a price comparison website has dug into the numbers.

PriceSpy has analysed its price history data to help direct shoppers to the best time of year to buy common, popular products.

This table should help:

Its analysis shows June is a great month to get yourself a lawn mower but if you're after a barbecue, you're best off waiting until December.

Organised parents can take advantage of LEGO price drops in September for Christmas presents.

PriceSpy estimates consumers can save more than £800 on the "peak pricing premium" by following its advice.


'We've been married 53 years and have joint accounts - do we need lasting power of attorney?'

Following our feature on how assigning a lasting power of attorney may be more important than drawing up a will, a Money reader got in touch with a query...

As a married couple of 53 years, all our accounts are in joint names - so do we need lasting power of attorney? Thank you!


We asked Joanna Grewer, partner at Roythornes Solicitors, to respond: "If you have accounts in joint names then the account can be accessed by the person who has capacity.

"However, this won't entitle the capacitous person to deal with any of the income which comes into that account for the non- capacitous person, such as pensions, or to manage any outgoings in that person's name.

"If both parties lost capacity, then there would be no access to funds at all."

This featureis not intended as financial advice - the aim is to give an overview of the things you should think about. Submit your dilemma or consumer dispute, leaving your name and where in the country you are, by emailing with the subject line "Money blog". Alternatively,WhatsApp ushere.


Better news for drivers on oil prices?

By James Sillars, business reporter

Another cent has come off oil costs over the past 24 hours - hopefully signalling better news for drivers ahead.

A barrel of Brent crude is currently costing just over $84 and had been trading at $83 in Asian trading.

It had stood above $90 a month ago as the crisis in the Middle East played out.

Evidence of a cooling in tensions between Israel and Iran have assisted the downwards trend.

The FTSE 100 began the day by erasing the losses seen on Wednesday.

A solid set of results for Shellhelped the index climb by 0.3% in early deals...

Shell shares were more than 1% higher on the back of better than expected profits.

It revealed further shareholder awards in the form of a dividend and share buyback.


Online gamblers face vulnerability checks if they lose £500 a month - and it will come down to £150

Online gamblers who lose £500 a month or more will face financial vulnerability checks.

Checks will come into force from 30 August.

The figure will reduce to £150 a month from 28 February next year.

The Gambling Commission said this would help identify acutely financially vulnerable online customers, such as those subject to bankruptcy orders or with a history of unpaid debts.

The checks will only use publicly available data and will not require gambling operators to consider an individual's personal details such as postcode or job title.

As well as light touch checks, the commission said a pilot of enhanced assessments would go ahead, aimed at preventing cases where customers are able to spend large amounts in a short time without any checks, resulting in significant gambling harm.


How to nab yourself a free upgrade on a flight

It's not uncommon to feel uncomfortable with flying - but we'd probably all feel a bit better if we were sitting in first class, wouldn't we?

The lucky few might be able to pay for themselves, but for the rest of us, frequent flyer experts Flight Hackshave shared their top tips to get a free upgrade (and you can let us know your tips for getting upgrades in the comments box above)...

Stay loyal to one airline

Many airlines have a rewards scheme that offers free upgrades, early check-in and even free flights to loyal customers.

One research survey found 80% of staff said a customer in the airline's frequent flier scheme would be more likely to receive a free upgrade.

Plus, getting early check-in could place you first in line to secure a seat in the plane's front section.

Travel alone or during quieter times

Let's face it, a single person on an empty flight is much more likely to get an upgrade than a family of six on a booked-out plane.

Try flying in the middle of the week or at off-peak times to get a quieter plane.

Dress to impress

If you're dressed smartly and look like a frequent flier, this can boost your chances of getting an upgrade.

Business travellers are an airline's favourite type of passenger as they fly regularly and are more likely to spend freely on their company cards - so it could be worth dressing in business attire.

Don't be afraid to ask

It doesn't hurt just to enquire, as long as you're polite.

Be flexible

Airlines will frequently overbook flights to compensate for no-shows and ensure the planes are full.

If there aren't enough seats after everyone checks in, they will often offer incentives to passengers willing to switch to a later flight.

This can mean seat upgrades or cash incentives.

Take advantage of special occasions

If it's your birthday, honeymoon or a special anniversary, it could be worth casually dropping this into conversation with the check-in staff.

Be polite when checking in

Perhaps all of these tips should be caveated with the need to remain polite.

As there is often no strict criteria on how airline staff may choose to give out free upgrades, the number one tip is to be nice.

Travel expert Immanuel Debeer, from Flight Hacks, says "being respectful and friendly is by far the best way to increase your chances of an upgrade".

"There are plenty of simple tricks to increase your chances of getting an upgrade, but the most important thing to remember is that airline staff are human."


New ISA rules were supposed to help savers - right now they've just made everything more complicated

Every Thursday Savings Champion founder Anna Bowesgives us an insight into the savings market and how to make the most of your money. Today she's focusing onISAs after new rules came in last month....

New ISA rules were introduced from 6 April that should make opening and funding ISAs simpler. But what many people may not realise is that ISA providers do not need to implement most of the new rules – and many haven't yet, or may have no intention of doing so.

As a result, savers have been left scratching their heads, unsure if their ISA provider will allow them to make use of the rules or not.

What are the key new rules?

Harmonise ISAs to those over 18:This is not an optional change. The minimum opening age for adult cash ISAs is now 18, so not good news for those aged 16 and 17 who previously could have funded a junior ISA andan adult cash ISA.

Allowing multiple ISA subscriptions:People should now be allowed to open and pay into multiple ISAs of the same type in a single tax year. Previously people could only pay into one of each type of ISA every tax year, unless their ISA provider offered what we called "portfolio ISAs".

A portfolio ISA (other names for this have been used such as "ISA wallet" with Paragon Bank) allows savers to open more than one cash ISA with the same provider in the same tax year - but only a small number of providers offer it, such as Paragon, Aldermore and Charter Savings Bank, Nationwide and Ford Money.

With the new rules, savers assume they can open more than one ISA with either more than one provider or with the same provider. However, our research has shown that while many providers will allow you to open another cash ISA with them if you have already opened and funded an ISA with someone else in the current tax year, this doesn't mean they have adopted the portfolio ISA rule – so you may not be able to open two ISAs with them.

Partial transfers allowed:Partial transfers of ISA funds for the current tax year should be allowed, rather than being forced to transfer the whole amount of your current tax year ISA. Previously you could only make a partial transfer of old ISAs; you'd have to transfer the current tax year's ISA entirely.

Once again not many have adopted this rule yet.

The bottom line

So, while in theory these new changes should have made ISAs more flexible, in reality they have added an extra complication for savers and the bottom line is that you need to ask your existing and potential ISA providers about which of the rules they have adopted or are looking to adopt.


Pets at Home opens convenience stores

The pet supply retailer has opened two convenience stores in a move to branch out from its typical retail park sites.

The stores, which are in Sutton, south London, and Whetstone, north London, will sell a range of pet owner essentials and offer an advice counter.

They are much smaller than the usual Pets at Home stores and will not have the typical vet and grooming services.

Speaking to Retail Week, the chain did not confirm whether it would be opening more high street stores in the future.

Pets at Home Sutton store manager Rachel Etherington told the news outlet the location would "allows us to provide pet owners with convenient access to all their pet care essentials, as well as expert advice from our specially trained colleagues, right on their doorstep".


US Federal Reserve holds interest rates steady

The Fed has issued its latest policy statement, announcing it will keep interest rates at the same level.

It did note inflation has eased over the past year, and it is still leaning towards eventual reductions in borrowing costs.

However, it pointed to recent disappointing inflation readings, suggesting moves towards more balance in the economy had stalled.

If you're wondering why we're telling you this, it's because there is a link between the Fed's interest rate and the Bank of England's base rate.

The interplay between the two can affect the value of the pound and currency alternatives such a gold.

Market expectations for the UK base rate are often heavily influenced by what's going on in the US.

Money latest: Blow for hopes of June interest rate cut (2024)
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