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Housing costs: Five surprises explained

The UK's housing market is changing. People are renting for longer and buying their first home later. Some buy-to-let investors are pulling out, blaming a greater burden of tax, while some potential home movers are staying put amid an uncertain economic and political climate. It means some assumptions about housing costs may no longer be true. Here are five things you may not know about. 1. FIRST-TIME BUYERS ARE THE MOST LIKELY TO BUY A HOME. ... Full story

Ministers spend £100m on Brexit consultant contracts

The government has agreed contracts worth £104m for outside help on Brexit, according to analysis for the BBC. Since the EU referendum, Whitehall has hired companies to do consultancy work to prepare for the UK's EU exit. Companies with the most valuable Brexit contracts include Boston Consulting Group, PWC and Deloitte, according to analysis firm Tussell . Departments drawing on the advice of external specialists was "standard", a government ... Full story

'Hyundai' struggles to keep up with the high demand for 'Palisade,' the SUV endorsed by BTS

' Hyundai ' is struggling with unexpectedly high demand for their latest ' Palisade' model. According to Joongang Ilbo , as of February 18, a total of 59,000 orders have been placed in South Korea for 'Palisade' - the SUV 'Hyundai' launched in December 2018. This is more than double the amount of 'Hyundai' had predicted for 'Palisade's domestic demand. Originally, 'Hyundai' estimated 25,000 domestic sales of 'Palisade' in 2019. As a result, ... Full story

Massive restoration of world’s forests would cancel out a decade of CO2 emissions, analysis suggests

Replenishing the world’s forests on a grand scale would suck enough carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to cancel out a decade of human emissions, according to an ambitious new study. Scientists have established there is room for an additional 1.2 trillion trees to grow in parks, woods and abandoned land across the planet. If such a goal were accomplished, ecologist Dr Thomas Crowther said it would outstrip every other method for tackling ... Full story

Surprise, no tax refund for you! What not to do if you owe the IRS.

Major tax law changes that took effect last year are impacting people's beloved refunds. The IRS reported that, as of Feb. 1, refunds are down 8.4 percent. The average refund was $1,865, compared with $2,035 for the same period a year ago. (Elaine Thompson/AP). This is turning out to be a difficult year for a lot of taxpayers. Major tax law changes that took effect last year are impacting people’s beloved refunds. The Internal Revenue Service ... Full story

Olives pitting US against EU in global trade fight

Image caption Olive farmers have found themselves at the centre of a global trade dispute. A trade battle is leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of Spain's olive growers. Tariffs levied against them by the US last year have cost the industry $27m (£20.8m) and are likely to have lasting effects on Spain's olive-growing regions. Antonio De Mora, general-secretary for Spain's Association of Table Olive Producers and Exporters (ASEMESA), says ... Full story

Gender pay gap grows at hundreds of big firms News

Four in 10 private companies that have published their latest gender pay gap are reporting wider gaps than they did last year, according to BBC analysis. The BBC looked at a company's median pay gap - that is the difference in pay between the middle-ranking woman and the middle-ranking man. This is different to unequal pay - paying women less than men for the same work - which is illegal. Big firms with a wider pay gap include Kwik Fit, Npower ... Full story

Alan raises another $45 million for its health insurance product

Paris-based startup Alan has raised a Series B round of funding of $45 million (€40 million). Index Ventures is once again leading the round, with partners of DST Global also participating. The company had raised a $28 million funding round only ten months ago. Alan is a software-as-a-service startup tackling a very specific industry — the health insurance market in France — and soon across Europe. The company wants to create a well-designed ... Full story

Whatever The Outcome Of U.S.-China Trade Talks, Global Supply Chains Are Set To Change

The hope for a deal in U.S.-China trade negotiations has been pushing the stock market higher. But the past two years of escalating rhetoric, tariffs, and counter tariffs has exposed the political risks of having a geographically undiversified manufacturing footprint. While potential new tariffs and restrictions on trade would certainly force changes, uncertainty about it has become the new normal. This is driving a major rethink of global ... Full story

When class sizes fall so does teachers' pay

Making class sizes smaller sounds like a success story. But an international analysis of its impact shows unintended consequences - it often seems to mean lower pay for teachers and there isn't much evidence that it brings better results. Reducing class sizes has been a popular policy in many countries, often supported by parents, politicians and teachers. It has been one of the big trends of the last decade. Class sizes fell on average by 6% ... Full story