Highlights Of The Year 2017
Saturday, January 6, 2018
Belsize Accountancy in 2017 budget, IT Contractors, Interest Rates, budget, budget 2017, contractors and self employed individuals, dividends, self employed freelancers, taxation

Here are our picks of the business news and highlights of the year 2017:

Summary

- The Budget 2017 provided good news for first time buyers with a stamp duty exemption up to £300,000. Landlords have been worse off over the past couple of years with restrictions on mortgage interest relief and allowable expenses.

- The 2017 Budget revealed a positive outlook for IT contractors. The Government has proposed to invest over £500m in a range of initiatives from artificial intelligence, to 5G and full fibre broadband.

- 2017 was a year of uncertainty for the UK economy with slow progress over Brexit negotiations throughout the year and little clarity over the likely outcome. Some large UK businesses have postponed their plans and some multinationals may move their headquarters abroad. Despite the uncertainty, business in the UK has continued to grow, particularly in the Tech sector, with stockmarkets hitting all time highs.

- The year 2017 started off with the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Trump received significant media coverage over decision made during his first term in office and statements made in his twitter campaigns.

- Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May heavily criticised for calling a snap general election in June 2017 only to lose seats and a Conservative majority following a weak campaign.

- The Pound weakened following the Brexit announcement in summary 2016 and continued at depressed levels against the Dollar and the Euro throughout the year. Businesses have been impacted by the rising cost of imports.

- The Euro reported its strongest year against the dollar since 2003 as economies strengthened in Europe.

- UK stocks rose to all time highs with the FTSE 100 reaching a high of 7,697 in the year.

- Cryptocurrencies were the highest moving asset class with significant gains realised in 2017. Bitcoin in particular rose from $1,000 at the start of the year to a high of $20,000 in December 2017.

- The Bank of England raised the base rate of interest from 0.25% to 0.5% for the first time in 10 years.

- The Federal Reserve raised US interest rates 3 times in the year.

 

December 2017

- The year ends with a surge in the valuation of Cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin in particular increased from $1,000 at the beginning of the year to a high of $20,000 in December. The volatile currency has since reduced to $11,500 at the end of December.

- The Chicago Mercantile Exchange began trading in Bitcoin futures in December 2017.

- UK listed companies paid a record £94 billion in dividends to shareholders in 2017. It has been a good year for investors with both capital and dividends rising to record levels.

- Strong economic performance in the US has led the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by 0.25 percent to a range of 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent.

- The British Pound ends the year at 1.13 against the Euro and 1.34 against the US dollar. The Pound has seen a downward trend since the Brexit vote in June 2016. Prior to that it was 1.30 against the Euro and 1.45 against the US dollar.

- Toys R Us announces that its UK operation has fallen into administration.

- Tech giants finished the year strongly with stocks in Amazon, Apple, and Facebook rising by over 50% in 2017.

- Disney acquires the entertainment business of 21st Century Fox for $52 billion.

 

November 2017

- UK Chancellor Philip Hammond announced his Autumn Budget 2017. First time buyers will no longer pay stamp duty for purchases up to £300,000.

- The Bank of England raised UK interest rates from 0.25% to 0.5%. This is the first increase in 10 years.

- FTSE 100 reaches all time high at 7,559.

- Monarch Airlines falls into administration.

- Details of confidential documents relating to offshore investments leaked in the Paradise Papers were made public on 5 November 2017.

- Apple launches iPhone X, its most expensive mobile phone to date, retailing at £1,000.

 

October 2017

- House prices in London fell for the first time since the financial crisis.

- EU orders Amazon to pay €200m in back taxes arising from illegal tax practices employed in its operations in Luxembourg.

- Apple launches iPhone X with all-screen display and wireless charging. The phone retails at £1,000. 

- Shares in tech giants Apple and Amazon reach all time high.

- Catalonia passes referendum for independence after heavy handed response from Spanish authorities.

- The EU commission demands that Ireland recovers additional €13 billion in taxes from Apple.

 

September 2017

- TFL rules that Uber is to lose its London licence, citing that the company’s practises are not “fit and proper”. Uber is appealing the decision.

- Ryanair cancels over 20,000 flights as the company failed to plan for pilot holidays.

- China regulators announce proposal to ban cryptocurrency trading, including the use of Bitcoin and Etherium.

- China bans initial coin offerings (ICO’s) as an illegal form of public financing.

 

August 2017

- UK inflation rose 2.9% in August

- Dow Chemicals to merge with Du Pont in $130 billion deal.

- Chem China acquires Syngenta for $44 billion.

 

July 2017

- Google fined a record €2.4 billion by the EU Regulator for unfair market practices in the web search market for favouring its own products in search rankings dating back to 2008.

- Amazon acquired upmarket US supermarket chain Whole Foods for $14 billion.

 

June 2017

- UK General Election results in Hung Parliament, with the Conservatives having a smaller majority than prior to the election. Theresa May criticised for weak campaign.

- The FTSE100 hits all time high due to a combination of low interest rates and strong economic confidence.

- The US central bank raised interest rates by 25 basis points to 1.25 per cent. BOE announce that UK rates to remain at 0.25%.

 

May 2017

- The Bank of England voted to leave interest rates on hold again at 0.25%.

- Donald Trump fires FBI director James Comey who was investigating him over allegations of links to Russia.

- The US state of Puerto Rico filed bankruptcy with debts of over $74 billion.

- The “WannaCry” ransomware attack affected 200,000 computers in 150 countries, including major disruption to the NHS. The attack was not confined to the UK, with a number of Russian businesses also affected. The attack exploited a vulnerability in the Microsoft system. The attackers demanded a ransom to be paid in Bitcoin.

- There are now over 900,000 employees on zero hours contracts in the UK.

- British Airways cancels flights over busy bank holiday weekend due to system error.

 

April 2017

- Teresa May announces a snap UK General election to take place in June 2017. It is anticipated that the Conservatives will strengthen their majority in advance of Brexit negotiations.

- The UK government’s ban on letting agents’ fees in England is effective from 6 April 2017.

 

March 2017

- Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50 on March 29 2017 which leaves the UK with two years to negotiate an exit deal. Britain will officially leave the EU by April 2019.

- New 12 sided Pound Coin released into circulation in the UK.

- Conservatives make a U-Turn on the Budget with the reversal of the proposed increase in NI for self employed.

- Philip Hammond announces 2017 Budget which includes increased NI for self employed and reduction in the Dividend Allowance.

- FTSE100 breaks 7,400 to reach all time high.

- Snap, the owner of popular app Snapchat floated on the US stock exchange in March 2017. Its share price rose 44% shortly after the IPO.

 

February 2017

- Donald Trump bans all visitors travelling to the US without a VISA from 7 “Muslim” countries. The ban was rejected by Congress and led to protests around the globe.

- Philip Green agreed with the Pensions Regulator to pay £363m to fund the deficit in the BHS pension scheme.

 

January 2017

- Trump’s shock election victory is believed to have been impacted by the rise of fake news on social media. The impact of technology provides an added dimension to modern day politics.

- Tesco acquires Booker for £3.7 billion.

- Toshiba shares fell 30% after multi billion write down of its nuclear business. This is another blow to management who have not yet recovered from the accounting scandal in 2015.

- US and UK stockmarkets hit all time highs in January 2017 following the election of Donald Trump. The US stock exchange the Dow Jones rose above 20,000 in the month.

- Donald Trump pulls out of Trans-pacific partnership (TPP), a free trade deal between the US and countries including Mexico, Australia and Japan.

- BT issued a profit warning in January 2017 following an accounting scandal at one of its subsidiaries in Italy.

Article originally appeared on Belsize Accountancy (http://belsizeaccountancy.co.uk/).
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