News in Brief: ECB chief, CBR sector, Amazon, IMF chief, retailers

News in Brief

ECB chief calms market fears at Davos

Mario Draghi has stressed that the governing council is now united in its willingness to use necessary “instruments” to pull the eurozone out of the grip of deflation.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB) told delegates that the ECB would be successful in bringing inflation in the single currency back to the target of just below 2%.

Draghi said: “We’ve plenty of instruments and determination and willingness of the governing council to act and deploy these instruments.”

Asian stock markets jumped today (January 22, 2016) on the back of the comments earlier in the week by the ECB chief, suggesting more monetary easing was coming soon, reported The Independent.

Japan’s index, the Nikkei, rose almost 6% after Draghi said the ECB would “review and possibly reconsider” its monetary policy stance at its next meeting in March, 2016.

Commercial real estate worth one fifth of net wealth

Commercial real estate (CRE) represents 20.6% of the UK's total net wealth and is worth £1,662bn, according to a report.

A report commissioned by the British Property Federation (BPF) showed that CRE contributed £94.2bn to the UK’s GDP in 2014, and that construction work between 2002 and 2014 had employed on average 2.1 million people, which is 6.8% of the country’s labour force.

The report by Toscafund showed what role commercial real estate - including transport and infrastructure, universities and private rented housing - plays in creating sustainable communities and supporting business activity.

The BPF is calling on government to work with the CRE sector to ensure that it is subject to fair and appropriate regulation and taxation.

The report also showed how there are over seven million UK citizens whose retirement income is directly linked to the fortunes of the CRE sector.

Amazon to create 2,500 jobs in UK

Amazon said it will take on 2,500 new permanent staff in 2016, bringing its total number of UK employees to 14,000.

The online retailer will also create thousands of other of new jobs elsewhere in Europe, reported the BBC.

Amazon is investing to expand its European operations, including its warehouses, known as fulfilment centres.

The company currently employs 40,000 people in Europe and created 10,000 new jobs in 2015.

Amazon says it has invested more than £11.5bn (€15bn) on European infrastructure and operations since 2010, with £4.6bn invested in the UK.

IMF chief to run for second term

Christine Lagarde has confirmed her plans to run for a second term as managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF chief told France 2 television that she wanted to continue as the head of the organisation, reported The Independent.

“I am candidate to a new mandate. I was honoured to receive from the start of the process the backing of France, Britain, Germany, China and Korea,” Legard said on French television in an interview from Davos.

Chancellor George Osborne tweeted yesterday that he was “delighted to nominate” her for a new term.

Germany, China, France and Korea have also endorsed Lagarde for another term as the head of the IMF.

Retailers miss ‘£9bn opportunity’

Retailers are missing out on annual spend worth £9bn by not engaging with shoppers, according to research.

A study by a consulting firm revealed the shopping habits of women across the UK, who are increasingly researching fashion choices before purchasing.

Pragma surveyed 2,000 female shoppers and found online and mobile sources are increasingly important during the research phase of the shopping journey, with 30% of shoppers actively receptive to personalised email marketing.

Despite 26% of customers using Google Shopping to research before a purchase, physical stores remain the most important source of inspiration for female shoppers.

Pragma’s research showed that to leverage the £9bn opportunity with the market, retailers need to reconsider their marketing content to focus on product attributes over the brand image.

Pragma consultant Rosie Hartman said: “For brands looking to tap into this underserved market, they must go back to basics to engage with this fashion consumer.”

She added: “Brands must have a point of view on the latest fashion trends, and translate this through a high-quality, well-fitted product, and present it in curated collections in clearly laid out outfits to educate and guide these customers to purchase.”