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Equilibrium's finance and investment news roundup

In our roundup this week we report on a consumer spending dip in the UK in May, as well as a drop in new car sales during the month. We also bring news of challenger bank Shawbrook Group rejecting a third buyout offer, and a new survey suggesting that the average employee's savings would only allow them to maintain their lifestyle for a month should their income suddenly stop.


Consumer spending dipped last month - BRC

New figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have revealed that consumer spending fell by 4.4% in the month to the end of May. It represents the sharpest such drop for four-and-a-half years.

The BRC cited rising inflation and poor wage growth as reasons for the dip, and described the reduction as "striking". It was shown that total retail spending during the month resulted in year-on-year growth of just 0.2%.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the BRC, said: "Overall, May's sales slowdown is indicative of a longer term trend of a decline in consumer spending power." 

SMMT: New car sales fell 8.5% in May

Caution among buyers ahead of the general election contributed to a reduction in new car registrations in May, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has found.

According to a new report from the society, sales of new cars dipped by 8.5% in May compared to the same month a year earlier. A total of 186,265 new cars were registered over the four-week period, while over 1.1 million have been registered in 2017; however, this is down 0.6% on the same time last year.

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of SMMT, commented: "Although demand has fallen, it's important to remember that the market remains at a very high level and with a rate of new models packed with the latest low-emission and connected technology coming to market this summer, we expect the market to remain strong over the year." 

Shawbrook rejects third buyout offer

A third buyout offer from private equity groups has been rejected by challenger bank Shawbrook Group. The third - and final - offer was an improved bid of £868 million.

Marlin Bidco, which was set up as a buyout vehicle by Pollen Street Partners and BC Partners, had raised its offer by just over 3% in a bid to encourage a further 5% of shareholders to agree to the proposed deal.

In a statement, Shawbrook said: "Independent directors believe that the final offer undervalues Shawbrook and its prospects and therefore advise that shareholders take no action with regards to the final offer." 

Average savings 'would only last a month if income stopped'

A new report from Legal & General (L&G) has found that the average employee would only have around a month's savings to maintain their current lifestyle should their income stop suddenly.

According to the findings, savings would only last for around 32 days. Just over one-quarter (26%) of people would be relying on savings that would run out in a week or less, while just under one-quarter (23%) have no savings at all.

Richard Kateley of L&G said: "Unfortunately, the UK still clearly suffers from a savings and protection gap".


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