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Equilibrium's Finance and Investment News Roundup

In our roundup this week, we bring news of a slight revenue increase for Royal Mail, a new survey showing manufacturer confidence has fallen to a two-year low post-Brexit, a new report highlighting income disparities between the old and young, and suggestions that people could soon receive text messages warning them if they are on low savings rates.


Royal Mail revenue edges up over 'quieter period'

Royal Mail has reported a 1% rise in revenue in the three months to the end of June, a quarter described by Chief Executive Moya Greene as traditionally a "quieter period" for the business. The company also reported a 2% climb in parcel volumes, although letter volumes were down 2%.

A 1% fall in revenue was reported by Royal Mail's UK business, but there was a 13% jump in revenue and volumes for GLS, the company's European parcels network. Ms Greene explained that low inflation and highly competitive markets are proving challenging at present.

"We remain, however, very focused on operational and financial efficiency and delivering a high quality service for all our customers," he added. 

Survey: Manufacturer confidence at 2-year low

A new survey has found that confidence about their business's outlook and the wider economy has fallen among manufacturers since Britain's decision to leave the European Union (EU). In a one-off version of its quarterly confidence survey, the EEF found that confidence has fallen to a two-year low.

It was found that 29% of firms expect domestic orders to reduce over the next six months as a result of the wider economy slowing, and around 12% anticipate a drop in EU orders.

Despite this, few companies have seen an immediate impact following the EU referendum vote, which was held on June 23 last month. Around 12% of those polled also expect to see a rise in non-EU sales in the months ahead. 

Report highlights income disparity between generations

New findings from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) have highlighted significant income disparities between different generations. The report revealed that while young people have suffered an income dip since the financial crisis, pensioners have fared much better.

It was shown that incomes for those between the ages of 22 and 30 have dropped by 7%, there have been no changes for those aged 31 to 59 and a climb of 11% for those over the age of 60.

According to the IFS, those of pensionable age have become the least likely to be in income poverty. It was also revealed that wages are currently rising faster than inflation and that record numbers of people are now in work.   

Texts for those on low savings rates?

People who receive poor rates of interest on their savings accounts could soon receive text messages warning of this. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is considering trialling the scheme as it aims to expose poor saver rates and encourage individuals to search for better deals.

Some savers are continuing to get an annual return of as little as 0.01% and the FCA is keen to put pressure on providers to offer improved returns. Trails of text alerts and email reminders have so far proven to have a positive effect on encouraging savers to consider their options.