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Bank of England study supports UK's EU membership.

Membership of the EU has made the UK economy more dynamic and able to grow without generating inflation or a financial crisis. That is the conclusion of a much-awaited Bank of England study.

It found the UK economy was more open and go-ahead because of its EU membership.

The Bank said it was supportive of further integration within the eurozone area. But, it said that for those economies not in the single currency, there would be a need for "clear principles to safeguard the interests of non euro member states" when further integration went ahead.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney told an audience at St Peter's college, Oxford: "The evidence suggests the UK has successfully harnessed the benefits of openness afforded by its EU membership while avoiding some of the drawbacks of reduced flexibility from which some continental European economies suffer."

He added: "Put simply, economies with sustainable dynamism can grow more quickly before running into excessive price pressures. The UK's greater openness as a result of EU membership provides potential for greater growth."
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October 2015

Two cheques a year by typical adult

Consumers will only buy something with cash twice every three days, and only write two cheques all year, by 2024, a trade association claims.

By then, it says debit cards will be the most common method of payment, followed by cash and direct debits.

The predictions suggest a move away from cash as people use contactless cards or devices, such as smartphones, linked to their debit card.

Non-cash payments recently overtook cash payments by shoppers and firms. Payments UK predicts that the number of non-cash payments by consumers alone will be higher than the use of notes and coins during 2016.

The association's long-term forecasts suggest that people will move away from paying with cash to buy items such as groceries and lottery tickets online. Small-value transactions, such as newspapers and lunch, may be bought by card.

It predicts that the average adult will make 225 cash payments in 2024, compared with 345 last year. Debit card payments will typically rise from 172 to 282 over the same period, it predicts
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October 2015

Amazon targets 1,114 fake reviewers in lawsuit

Amazon is taking legal action against more than 1,000 people it says have posted fake reviews on its website. The US online retailer has filed a lawsuit in Seattle, Washington.

It says its brand reputation is being damaged by false, misleading and inauthentic reviews paid for by sellers seeking to improve the appeal of their products.

It comes after Amazon sued a number of websites in April for selling fake reviews.

Amazon says the 1,114 defendants, termed "John Does" as the company does not yet know their real names, offer a false review service for as little as $5 (3.24) on the website Fiverr.com, with most promising five-star reviews for a seller's products.
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October 2015

Cyprus economic growth accelerates

It has been quiet recently around the ailing economy of Cyprus, once as weak as Greece. Hopefully, the finance minister says he expects the economy to grow at least 1.5% next year, beating creditors' forecasts, and above 2% in 2017.

Harris Georgiades says that high unemployment and bank's bad loans are still a problem, but that Cyprus will not need any more bailout money.

The country is expected next year to end a 10bn rescue deal it got from creditors in March, 2013. Good news all around.

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October 2015

China's economic growth slows to 6.9%

China's economy grew 6.9% in the third quarter, the weakest rate since the global financial crisis. The year-on-year growth rate is also below the government''s 7% target.

Though slightly above expectations, the data is expected to raise pressure on policymakers to step up monetary policy to stem the slowdown.

China's economy has been hit by extreme stock market volatility over the summer and weak economic data, causing concern on markets around the world.

Most analysts were expecting growth figures of 6.8% for the July to September period.

The latest growth figure comes after a slew of disappointing data out of China. Earlier in the month, manufacturing data suggested the sector continued to contract for September.
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October 2015

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