EUROPE - Investors took heart from positive figures registered by the European Commission this week, showing the first surge of business confidence in the eurozone since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The Commission’s Business Climate Indicator (BCI) posted a -1.03 figure for January 2002 - a climb of almost 0.2 points over December’s year-low value of -1.21. The Commission added that such developments were principally driven by positive production expectations.
To improve the understanding of the business cycle, the Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN) formulated a monthly indicator designed to deliver an assessment of the cyclical situation within the euro area.
The indicator uses five balances of opinions from the industrial survey undertaken in the framework of DG ECFIN’s business and consumer surveys, and separates out the information that is common to each of the series.
Generally then, a high level indicates a healthy cycle, with low level points conversely indicating an adverse business climate.
The next business indicator is scheduled for March 4.
By Madhu Kalia
The Co-operative Group's Somerfield Pension Scheme has completed a buy-in with Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC), insuring the benefits of its pensioner members.
Caroline Rookes CBE and Michele Hirons-Wood have joined The Pension Superfund's board of trustees to focus on maintaining governance standards and safeguarding member benefits.
The first specialist independent firm advising pension schemes on bulk annuities or moving to a consolidator has been set up with ambitions to shake up the market.