News in brief - 12 January 2024

Welcome to the News in Brief, a daily summary of the latest banking and finance news.


UK GDP grew more than expected in November, with the economy growing by 0.3 per cent according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) (The Times).  

The improvement follows a 0.3 per cent contraction in October and is thought to be due to a strong month for services and industrial businesses.  

The figures do still show the possibility of a recession in the near future, with GDP falling by 0.2 per cent in the three months to November. Analysts expect the UK economy to have grown by just 0.5 per cent during 2023 and another fall in GDP in Q4 would signal the UK entering a recession (City AM). 


The number of British households failing to pay their energy bills was 39 per cent higher last month than a year ago, according to the ONS (Reuters).  

Failed direct debits accounted for 1.17 per cent of energy payments last month. The increase is thought to be due to falls in wholesale energy prices not yet being reflected in tariffs.  

For mortgage payments, the number of missed direct debits has risen by 20 per cent year-on-year to 0.46 per cent in December. The figure for missed consumer loans remained steady at 1.7 per cent for the same period (The Independent). 


The UK government is due to publish a series of “key tests” that need to be met for it to pass new laws regulating artificial intelligence (Financial Times).  

The average UK adult withdrew £1,500 from cash machines in 2023, according to Link (Evening Standard).  

British employers advertised 32 per cent fewer jobs last month than in December 2022, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (Reuters).  

National Savings and Investments is reducing the number of top premium bond prizes each month (The Telegraph).  

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