Gatehouse Bank hands savers a boost with new best-buy fixed-rate bond paying 2.1 per cent
In addition to the new table-topping rate, the account is made more attractive by a lucrative sign-up offer from savings marketplace Raisin.
Those that sign up and fund a one-year bond via the Raisin website can earn a cash welcome bonus of up to £100, depending on how much they deposit.
Savings boost: Gatehouse Bank now pays the best one-year fixed rate bond
There has been a small, but welcome, revival in the savings market over recent weeks.
It's welcome news to savers that now banks have turned their attention to fixed rate bonds too.
After a drought of new rates over the one-year term, challenger bank, Tandem, was the first to raise its rates at the end of November. It pushed the best available one-year bond rate up to 2.05 per cent.
Since then, the app-only bank has been joined by rivals Atom and Investec Bank. Of the three, Atom offers the most affordable minimum deposit at £50, compared to Tandem at £1,000 and Investec at a whopping £25,000.
Gatehouse is Sharia compliant, which means it cannot pay interest. Instead it quotes an expected profit rate.
Money with the firm are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme limit of up to £85,000 - or £170,000 for couples.
As mentioned above, those who do open an account via Raisin earn cashback for doing so.
The welcome bonus offer pays £25 cash if you open an account and deposit more than £10,000.
If you can squirrel away more than £40,000 you earn a more generous £80, and for those who can commit £75,000 you earn £100 cash.
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Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group
December 17, 2018
Sources: Daily Mail
><p>These are external links and will open in a new window</p><p>These are external links and will open in a new window</p><p>These are external links and will open in a new window</p><p>These are external links and will open in a new window</p><p>These are external links and will open in a new window</p><p>These are external links and will open in a new window</p><p>Nordstream 2 is the name of the undersea pipeline that should soon pump more Russian gas into Europe.</p><p>It is a divisive project within Europe and has infuriated the US, which fears that more Russian gas means more Russian influence and less share of the lucrative European gas market for American liquefied natural gas.</p><p>BBC’s Berlin correspondent Jenny Hill has been looking at the issue.</p><p>These are external links and will open in a new window</p>
rading update today, its cancellation rate crept up from 11 to 13 per cent in the six months to the end of January.</p><p>Brexit jitters aside, Bellway said demand for affordable homes, low interest rates, cheap mortgage deals and the Government's Help to Buy scheme combined to stoke 'high' levels of consumer interest in the firm's homes.</p><p>Brexit outlook: Housebuilder Bellway has admitted that Brexit was 'inevitably' taking its toll on consumer confidence and the economy</p><p>The average cost of a home by Bellway increased by £17,855 to £293,800 in the last six months.</p><p>Bellway said it was expecting total revenues to rise by over 12 per cent to nearly £1.5billion for the half-year.</p><p>This increase has been driven by a 5.6 per cent rise in the number of housing completions, which grew to 5,007.</p><p>The firm said that while the rate of house price growth has moderated, it remained 'firm.'</p><p>In today's update, Bellway said: 'This is a robust performance given the ongoing discussions around our forthcoming exit from the EU, which has inevitably had some bearing on customer confidence in the wider economy.'</p><p>The group added: 'However, the board remains cautious given the uncertainty regarding the UK's forthcoming exit from the EU and the extent to which this will affect wider customer confidence.'</p><p>Paul Hampden Smith, Bellway's chairman, said: 'Bellway has delivered another strong trading performance, achieving growth in both volume and average selling price in the six month period. </p><p>Demand: Bellway said demand for affordable homes was helping it boost sales</p><p>'Further, disciplined investment in high quality land, together with a sizeable forward order book, ensure that the Group is well placed, over the longer term, to continue increasing its contribution to the supply of much needed new homes.'</p><p>He added: 'While the forthcoming exit from the EU is providing a degree of wider economic uncertainty, Bellway’s balance sheet is solid and the Group retains its ability to respond positively to opportunities in the land market as they arise.'</p><p>Today's update comes several months Bellway embarked on a cost savings programme in a bid to boost margins amid growing caution in Britain’s housing market. </p><p>Shares in FTSE 250 listed Bellway are down 1.7 per cent or 49p to 2,841p.</p><p>Ed Monk, associate director from Fidelity Personal Investing, said: 'Housebuilder Bellway’s trading update showed solid performance with only a small minus being higher cancellations, which the company said was driven by Brexit fears. </p><p>'The cancellation rate rose from 11% to 13%, but on most other metrics performance was strong. </p><p>'Average selling prices rose 6.5% and the company again cited the importance of the Help-to-Buy scheme for bolstering demand. Even the troubled Nine Elms development saw increased demand and jump in selling prices.'</p><p>On Brexit, all Barratt said is that it's working with suppliers to ensure the 'continuity of supply of non-UK manufactured components'.</p><p>Barratt's boss David Thomas added: 'Whilst we continue to monitor market conditions closely, current trading is in line with our expectations and we are confident of delivering a good financial and operational performance in full year 2019.'</p><p>Meanwhile, Redrow said that sales were 'negatively affected' towards the end of the calendar year as a result of the 'political uncertainty surrounding Brexit' and the effect of high stamp duty tax. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
ouseholds this April and could be the catalyst for many to hunt ways to cut down on their bills. </p><p>Ofgem, the energy regulator, announced that customers on standard variable tariffs will see the price cap increase by £117 to £1,254 per year, while those on pre-payment plans will see the cap increase by £106 to £1,242 per year - an increase of 10.3 per cent.</p><p>Overall, the price hike is expected to collectively cost energy customers £1.3billion, leaving many wondering what they can do to avoid mounting bills.</p><p>However, there is one simple way households can save money on their energy bills - switch providers and move onto a cheaper tariff, before the price cap comes into effect.</p><p>Price hike: The new price cap means that millions of UK households will see their bills increase</p><p>According to Ofgem and other consumer groups, switching supplier could save the average household nearly £200 a year, but yet millions remain on SVTs.</p><p>To help those looking to bring their bills down, This is Money turned to comparison website uSwitch, which has revealed the ten cheapest energy tariffs currently available - and small suppliers come out on top. </p><p>The cheapest deal is with renewable energy company, People's Energy, which is offering a fixed tariff that would cost customers, on average, £968 a year.</p><p>This means that customers on this deal could potentially pay £286 less than the increased price cap. </p><p>Orbit Energy, another small supplier, is second on the list with their '10 per cent off for life' variable tariff that will currently cost customers £974 - £280 cheaper than the price cap. </p><p>The firm, founded in 2017, promises to charge their customers at least 10 per cent under the Government price cap, guaranteed, for life. </p><p>Pure Planet rounds off the top three with their '100 per cent green' variable deal, costing on average £974 a year. </p><p>The renewable energy company is app-based, letting customers check their meter readings and bills on the go. </p><p>All but one of the tariffs included in the list are from small suppliers, revealing a shift away from the Big Six. </p><p>First Utility, which came tenth, is the seventh largest supplier in the UK, putting it just outside of the Big Six.</p><p>Although small suppliers have had a rough time in recent years, with many ceasing to trade due to market difficulties, they still offer some of the most competitive prices in the industry. </p><p>Not only are customers advised to switch supplier before the price cap, they are encouraged to change onto a fixed tariff, which means paying a set amount, protecting them from any energy price rises. </p><p>Peter Earl, head of energy at Compare the Market, said: 'The revised price cap level will shock people and usher in a spring of discontent for millions when it comes into force on 1 April. </p><p>'A rise was expected, but a hike of £117 represents a brutal hit to households on variable and default tariffs. </p><p>'This increase is a reminder that as Ofgem continues to review the cap, there could be more rises to come in the future. </p><p>'The reality is that the price cap, while well intentioned, will not save people from price hikes - people still need to take control of their own energy provision to have the best opportunity of making savings.' </p><p>The price cap, initially introduced in January, promised to save the average UK household £76 a year.</p><p>However, the decision was met with criticism and it was suggested that energy companies would use the cap as a 'target rather than a limit'. </p><p>Earl added: 'There is little doubt that energy providers will most likely immediately raise their prices to just below the new limit, adding extra pain on people already paying over the odds for their energy. </p><p>'The message is clear – shop around and move to a competitively priced fixed tariff or face an inertia tax of around £117 on your annual bill.' </p><p>Mark Ronald, lead engineer at Hometree, has given his top tips on how to keep your house warm in the winter months. </p><p>The price cap cap will continue to be reviewed every six months in April and October.</p><p>Using published algorithms, the regulator adjusts the level of the caps twice a year to reflect the estimated costs of supplying electricity and gas to homes for the next six-month period.</p><p>This means, for the cap starting on 1 April, it is prices from 1 August 2018 to 31 January 2019 which have been taken into account.</p><p>Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem, said: 'Under the caps, households on default tariffs are protected and will always pay a fair price for their energy, even though the levels will increase from 1 April.</p><p>'We can assure these customers that they remain protected from being overcharged for their energy and that these increases are only due to actual rises in energy costs, rather than excess charges from supplier profiteering.</p><p>'Alongside the price caps, we are continuing to work with government and the industry to deliver a more competitive, fairer and smarter energy market that works for all consumers.'</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
year to just 1.2 per cent as its policymakers held interest rates at 0.75 per cent today.</p><p>Amid signs that Brexit uncertainty is wreaking havoc on the economy, the monetary policy committee voted unanimously to keep rates unchanged. Experts said rate-setters are likely to hold off from raising rates for some time until Brexit clarity emerges.</p><p>Sterling weakened on the news and was trading 0.6 per cent down versus the US dollar at 1.285, while against the euro the pound was down 0.3 per cent at 1.134. </p><p>The Bank and Governor Mark Carney have ramped up their warnings over the worsening outlook for the global economy, and China in particular.</p><p>The Bank's latest rates decision comes just days after industry data showed output in Britain's dominant service sector almost ground to a halt in January, reaching its lowest level for two-and-a-half years.</p><p>Economists said the figures suggested growth may flatline in the first quarter of 2019, following disappointing purchasing managers' index readings for the manufacturing and construction sectors in January.</p><p>The uncertainty caused by Brexit appears to be weighing not just on businesses, but also consumers as retail and house purchases appear to be affected.</p><p>Retail sales fell 0.9 per cent in December after Black Friday brought spending forward to November, while there are also signs of sales stagnating in January.</p><p>Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said data suggests gross domestic product stagnated in January after eking out growth of just 0.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018.</p><p>He said: 'There is a heightened risk of the economy stagnating or even contracting in the first quarter, especially if Brexit uncertainty intensifies in the lead-up to March 29.'</p><p>The Bank - which forecast growth of 1.3 per cent in 2018 and 1.7 per cent in 2019 last November - cautioned at its rates meeting in December that Brexit uncertainties had 'intensified' and were slamming the brakes on the economy.</p><p>The Bank estimated UK growth was set to slow by more than previously expected to 0.2 per cent in the final three months of the year, down sharply on 0.6 per cent seen in the heatwave-boosted third quarter.</p><p>Since then, the economic signs have worsened, while the Bank and Governor Mark Carney have ramped up their warnings over the worsening outlook for the global economy, and China in particular.</p><p>Financial markets have cut nearly one full quarter point rate rise over the next two years since the last inflation report in November, factoring in just a 50/50 chance of one hike in 2019.</p><p>The pressure to raise rates has also eased as recent official figures showed inflation falling further in December, to 2.1 per cent from 2.3 per cent in November.</p><p>But Investec expects the Bank to tweak its inflation forecast to show a modest overshoot of its 2 per cent target over the next two years as it remains concerned about domestic pressures, such as wages.</p><p>James Smith at ING added: 'A rate hike in the first half of 2019 looks very unlikely, but further tightening later in the year shouldn't be completely ruled out.</p><p>'With wage growth continuing to perform strongly, we sense that policymakers would like to raise rates again if they can.'</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
to a 401(k), 403(b) or similar employer-sponsored plan are often plagued by this question: How do I go about evaluating and selecting which funds to invest in.</p><p>In some cases, the research shows that investors contribute equal amounts to all the funds on their menu of options. In other cases, investors – overwhelmed by the number of choices – choose not to contribute to their retirement plan. And in still other cases, according to new research, retirement plan participants use something called alphabeticity to select funds.</p><p>Using a proprietary database of 401(k) plans, researchers recently showed that alphabeticity – when fund names are listed alphabetically on an investment menu – significantly biases participants’ investment allocation decisions.</p><p>This as well as other factors that cause irrational investment in defined contribution savings plans are of great concern, the researchers concluded in their paper, "Alphabeticity Bias in 401(k) Investing." </p><p>“The paper confirms what many would suspect,” says Stacy Schaus, the founder and CEO of Schaus Group, a retirement consulting firm. “Participants choices are often irrational and/or uninformed.”</p><p>The research also suggests that a “more strategic ordering of funds could result in favorable outcomes for participants,” wrote Jesse Itzkowitz, a vice president at the Ipsos Behavioral Science Center, who co-authored "Alphabeticity Bias in 401(k) Investing." </p><p>For instance, if funds were listed in ascending order by expense ratio rather than alphabetically, then the plan design feature would help reduce investment fees paid by plan participants affected by alphabeticity bias.</p><p>In the absence of more strategic ordering of funds by plan administrators and plan providers, how might people in an employer-sponsored retirement plan go about choosing funds?</p><p>Itzkowitz says people should sort their choices according to what’s most important to them. “For example, a prudent strategy is looking for funds with minimal fees,” he says.”</p><p>Likewise, if you think that five-year returns are most important, sort by that criteria first. </p><p>People can also improve their ability to pick the best option by making sure that they are alert and focused, says Itzkowitz. “To do that, they should save important decisions, like how to invest their retirement savings, for when they are well rested, after a good meal, and before they done a lot of other difficult decision making,” he says. “Research has shown that when we are tired, both physically and mentally, all of our biases, not just alphabeticity, become more pronounced.”</p><p>In some cases, when plan participants are automatically enrolled in a 401(k), they are also placed into what are called qualified default investment alternatives or QDIAs. If that happens to you, consider sticking with them.</p><p>There are four types of QDIAs: a lifecycle or target-date fund; a professionally managed account; a balanced fund; and a capital preservation product such as a stable-value fund.</p><p>“We know that defaults can be very helpful,” Schaus says.</p><p>QDIAs, however, are targeted to the average worker without regard to their personal needs and circumstances. Given that each person has different goals and resources, what's needed is more customized and personal advice. And that's especially true as one gets older, as financial assets increase in value and as financial affairs become more complicated.</p><p>“The closer to retirement, the more important comprehensive planning becomes as participants are likely to have more outside assets, varying risk preferences and health considerations,” says Schaus. “Decisions also matter more when the participant has more at risk — accumulated balances and less human capital," she says. "Working with a financial planner to tailor the allocation within a defined contribution plan with a comprehensive view and objectives in mind would be ideal.”</p>
ive-thrus, called Chipotlanes, in 2019. </p><p>The company made the announcement during its fourth-quarter earnings call on Wednesday.</p><p>The exact locations haven't been released yet. However, the chain reported that the 10 locations tested in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia have been successful.</p><p>But burrito buyer, beware: You can't actually order food at a Chipotlane. There's no speaker to give a staffer your order, like you'd find at traditional drive-thrus. At the Chipotle version – which is billed as a "mobile order pick-up lane" – you have to mobile-order and then you go to the Chipotlane to pick up your food.</p><p>"You never have to get out of your car. You order from your app, pull up to the window and out comes Chipotle," CEO Brian Niccol said.</p><p>Customers also may place their order via the corporate website.</p><p>What enables the chain to accommodate the extra ordering via the car window is the second area in the restaurants where employees prepare customers' food – what Chipotle calls a "make line."</p><p>Niccol previously ran Taco Bell, a chain known for its vibrant drive-thru culture, but Chipotle's stab at it predates his time in the new position. The first Chipotle drive-thru window opened in Pickerington, Ohio, in January 2018 and Niccol took over the helm of Chipotle two months later.</p><p>"Consumers' No. 1 barrier to Chipotle is access," he said. "One way to access is to not have to have people get out of their cars."</p>
st year according to the latest Halifax house price index, which also revealed the second largest monthly drop in values since September 2010. </p><p>Across the country, annual price growth slowed from 1.3 per cent in December to 0.8 per cent in January, one of Britain's biggest lenders says. </p><p>Down: House prices have dropped £6,000 in a month, Halifax data shows</p><p>The average house price now stands at £223,691, more than £6,000 lower than December, meaning prices have now fallen in four months out of the last six. </p><p>However, December did see 102,330 home sales, which means 100,000 homes or more have now been sold for the fourth consecutive month.</p><p>Revising his bold projection from last month, Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said price growth is now expected 'to remain subdued in the near-term'.</p><p>He said: 'Attention will no doubt be drawn towards the monthly fall of 2.9 per cent from December to January, the second time in three years that we have seen a drop as a new year starts.</p><p>'However, the bigger picture is actually that house prices have seen next to no movement over the last year, with annual growth of just 0.8 per cent.</p><p>'This could either be viewed as a story of resilience, as prices have held up well in the face of significant economic uncertainty, or as a continuation of the slow growth we've witnessed over recent years.'</p><p>House prices dropped nearly 3% last month after a surprisingly strong December. Halifax has now revised down its prediction for house price growth in the near future</p><p>He added: 'There's no doubt that the next year will be important for the housing market with much of the immediate focus on what impact Brexit may have.</p><p>'However, more fundamentally it is key underlying factors of supply and demand that will ultimately shape the market.'</p><p>According to Halifax, the quarterly figure provides the clearest indication of overall market trends, 'smoothing out the monthly volatility caused by the reduced number of monthly transactions used to calculate all house price indices'.</p><p>On that basis, quarterly prices are down 0.6 per cent, which compares to a 0.3 per cent fall in December and 1.1 per cent drop in November. </p><p>The figures are based on its own mortgage approval data. </p><p>Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY ITEM Club, said: 'The Halifax reported house prices plunged 2.9 per cent month-on-month in January, which was the second largest monthly drop since September 2010.'</p><p>He said January's drop was 'clearly partly a correction' after house prices surprisingly spiked 2.5 per cent month-on-month in December.</p><p>Mr Archer added: 'Caution over making major purchases will likely be magnified in the near-term by current heightened uncertainties over Brexit.'</p><p>Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: 'What we are seeing on the ground is the release of some pent-up demand prompting more listings, viewings and offers over the past few weeks than we dared hope for.</p><p>'However, interest is very patchy and real value must be perceived, otherwise little market change will result.</p><p>'Looking forward, we do not expect any significant improvement at least until the odds on a Brexit deal improve.'</p><p>Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: 'Flat growth is probably the best we can hope for given the current tricky political situation we find ourselves in.</p><p>'Brexit has caused a slowdown in purchase activity as would-be buyers sit on their hands, waiting for the outcome before committing to something as major as buying a new home.</p><p>'Fewer transactions has meant less business for lenders, yet they remain keen to lend.'</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
Struggling fashion brand Superdry bemoans warm weather as store sales melt and online sales slip too
d coats - was not best pleased about last year's warmer-than-usual weather, and has blamed balmy temperatures for a sharp decline in sales. </p><p>The under-pressure company's store sales sunk 8.5 per cent in the last three months, including Black Friday and Christmas. </p><p>Melting sales: Superdry said that warm weather dampened its sales in the last three months </p><p>Unlike many of its rivals, there was no digital surge to help offset the High Street decay. Superdry's online sales slipped 0.7 per cent during the period. </p><p>Boss Euan Sutherland described the quarterly performance as 'subdued', pointing to 'ongoing legacy product issues' as well as the 'unseasonably warm weather'. </p><p>'We continued to be impacted by the ongoing product mix and relevance issues we have previously highlighted and by the lack, until the end of quarter three and the start of quarter four, of any prolonged period of cold weather in our key markets,' he said.</p><p>The stock barely moved in early trading today, however, with much of the investor disappointment already priced in. </p><p>Superdry is understood to be in the midst of a boardroom bust-up; co-founder and 18.5 per cent stakeholder Julian Dunkerton is frustrated by the firm's lacklustre performance and hankering to make a return to the helm. </p><p>Co-founder and stakeholder Julian Dunkerton (above) is said to be putting pressure on shareholders to vote for his reinstatement to the board </p><p>According to AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould, today's numbers will only have fuelled Dunkerton's ambitions further. </p><p>'Today's weak update from Superdry is hardly likely to dissuade Julian Dunkerton from his efforts to seize back control of the company. All eyes will be on Dunkerton now and what his next move might be,' he said. </p><p>Mould added that Superdry's falling online sales 'begs the question of whether its web-based sales platform is fit for purpose and/or if its brand still resonates with its target demographic'. </p><p>Global Data analyst Amy Higginbotham said Superdry's weak ecommerce performance is 'especially worrying' given that 'spend continues to shift online as competition from young fashion online pureplays intensifies'. </p><p>'Both ASOS and boohoo.com stock own-brand sportswear and athleisure ranges at competitive prices,' she said. </p><p>Superdry's saving grace was its wholesale division, where sales rose nearly 13 per cent. </p><p>Sutherland insisted that the company's transformation plan - aimed at slashing £50million of costs by 2020 and making its products more diverse - is making good progress. </p><p>'We are pleased with the early progress being made with our transformation programme, designed to reset the business and deliver a return to higher levels of growth and profitability,' he said. </p><p>A zipped up: Superdry is trying to become less reliant on its cold weather wear</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
'all options to enhance value to shareholders' sent the firm's shares up over 13 per cent this morning.</p><p>In its first quarter trading update, Thomas Cook revealed it has swung to a £60million operating loss. </p><p>Review: Thomas Cook could end up selling its airline arm </p><p>The company said it needed 'greater financial flexibility and increased resources' to invest in its own-brand hotels. </p><p>The group wants more control over its hotels to make them more customisable, it says, such as offering a sunbed booking service. </p><p>Thomas Cook's chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, said: 'As expected, the knock-on effect from the prolonged summer heatwave and high prices in the Canaries have impacted customer demand for winter sun. </p><p>'Where Summer 2018 bookings started very strongly, bookings for Summer 2019 reflect some consumer uncertainty, particularly in the UK, and our decision to reduce capacity which will both mitigate risk in our tour operator business and help our airline to consolidate the strong growth achieved last year.'</p><p>Results: Thomas Cook suffered a £60million loss in its last quarter</p><p>Thomas Cook's share price tanked last year after it posted a profit warning in September. </p><p>The travel group saw its operating loss rise by £14million year-on-year for the three months to the end of December, with holiday booking levels down.</p><p>The firm operates a fleet of 103 aircraft, carrying more than 20million passengers, and generated £3.5billion in revenue last year, with underlying operating profits growing 37 per cent to £129million. </p><p>Revenue increased by just over 1 per cent to £1.66billion over the period.</p><p>For its winter seasons, total bookings are up 8 per cent, but average selling prices are 10 per cent lower overall.</p><p>The summer 2019 programme is 30 per cent sold, slightly ahead of last year, and tour operator bookings are down 12 per cent.</p><p>Peter Knapp, chairman and chief creative officer at Landor: 'It comes as no surprise that Thomas Cook is looking to sell off its airline brand, which has become conspicuously old-fashioned. </p><p>'The market today is increasingly polarised between low-cost, low-frills short haul airlines and luxury, long-haul carriers. Unfortunately for Thomas Cook, its airline fits into neither category and no one knows what it actually stands for now.</p><p>'We don't yet know who will buy the brand, but easyJet and Ryan Air are potential would-be buyers, looking to grab its lucrative airport slots to holiday locations.'</p><p>Ed Monk, associate director from Fidelity Personal Investing, said: 'The past year has been a holiday nightmare for Thomas Cook. It plunged from profit to loss and saw its debts piled up to £389m at the time of its last update in November. </p><p>'Today's first quarter results show losses grew again but at least showed no worsening of full-year earnings expectations, with winter breaks to the Nordics and Continental Europe down on last year but trips to Turkey and North Africa higher.</p><p>'Net debt remains the huge problem, however, and jumped to £1.588bn. That coincides with the company announcing a 'strategic review' of the profitable and growing Group Airline business, which has seen profits rise 37% in the past 12 months. The company is now considering 'all options', which could mean a sale.'</p><p>Upbeat: Shares in Thomas Cook have increased by 13% this morning </p><p>Meanwhile, Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: 'Referencing a hangover from the warm and sunny summer of 2018 as part of an effort to explain a fall in winter bookings seems like clutching at straws by tour operator Thomas Cook.</p><p>'More credible is the argument that consumer uncertainty is pressuring bookings for this summer, where at least the company has adjusted its capacity accordingly.</p><p>'The most telling element of Thomas Cook's update today though is a strategic review of its airline business.</p><p>'This review, which could result in a sale of the division, is an acknowledgement that the company needs to take radical action to steady its performance and repair a fragile looking balance sheet. Investors will be hoping it might avert the need for a dilutive fundraising.</p><p>'There seems merit in the company concentrating on its portfolio of hotels instead. These typically generate better margins and it has plans to open 20 new hotels in 2019.' </p><p>Laith Khalaf, a senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: 'Reading between the lines of Thomas Cook's latest trading statement, Brexit is dampening summer holiday bookings, as consumers sit on their hands, waiting for more clarity on the UK's withdrawal from the EU.</p><p>'Part of the reluctance to book ahead may be logistical, part financial, as Brexit causes concern both over potential travel disruption, and the value of the pound.'</p><p>Thomas Cook's share price is up 12.07 per cent or 3.75p to 34.83. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
t rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 6.25 percent in a surprise move intended to keep growth on track.</p><p> The interest rate is what the federal bank charges on lending to commercial banks. Lower interest rates help borrowers but can also spur inflation.</p><p> The Reserve Bank of India judged the consumer inflation rate, which dropped to 2.2 percent in December — the lowest level in 18 months — from 3.4 percent in October, safe for loosening monetary policy.</p><p> In a bimonthly review of the economy released Thursday, the central bank forecast India's economy will expand at a torrid annual rate of 7.4 percent in 2019-20, up from 7.2 percent in this fiscal year. India's financial year runs from April to March.</p><p> The central bank said that was mostly supported by government spending on infrastructure though investment activity was recovering.</p><p> The rate cut was the first in 17 months. The bank hiked rates twice in quick succession in June and August of 2018 to keep inflation in check.</p><p> "Headline inflation is projected to remain soft in the near term, reflecting the current low level of inflation and the benign food inflation outlook," the central bank said.</p><p> The bank said its policy stance had shifted from "calibrated tightening to neutral."</p><p> Mizuho Bank economist Vishnu Varathan noted in a commentary that India has one of the highest policy rates in the region. He added that "hastily cutting rates alongside fiscal slippage (led by farm cash handouts and tax breaks) smacks of leaning into loose fiscal stance; potentially at the cost of rupee and wider macro-stability."</p>