Business news in brief
Car registrations up 26% compared to last year
Britain’s new car market has grown for seven consecutive months due to an easing of global supply chain shortages. Some 74,441 new cars were registered last month, up 26.2 per cent on February 2022, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said. It anticipates that registrations across the whole of 2023 will reach 1.79 million, up 11.1 per cent on last year. Registrations of hybrid electric vehicles were 40 per cent higher in February than during the same month in 2022. The market share for pure electrics was 16.5 per cent, down from 17.7 per
cent a year ago. Combined, plug-ins account for more than a fifth (22.8 per cent) of all new cars delivered last month. PA
Unexpected growth in construction sector
Britain’s construction sector recorded surprise growth in February as recession expectations eased. New figures showed that activity in the construction industry grew at a strong rate for nine months. The latest S&P Global/CIPS construction purchasing managers’ index scored 54.6 last month, rising from 48.4 in January. Any score below 50 is considered a decline whereas anything above is seen as growth. Tim Moore, economics director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said: “Some firms noted that fading recession fears and an improving global economic outlook had boosted client confidence in the commercial segment.” Civil engineering returned to growth with a reading of 52.3, but residential building recorded a 47.4 reading. PA
Teslas recalled over seat belt safety issue
Thousands of Tesla’s Model Y vehicles are being recalled in the US because of loose bolts in the rear seats. The safety issue in the nearly 3,500 car units may reduce the seat belt system’s performance and increase the risk of injury during a potential crash, according to the report. Tesla said it became aware of the loose bolt defect in December last year and began performing risk assessments this year. The company’s service centres will reportedly inspect and tighten the bolts free of charge in 3,470 vehicles upon recall. The EV said it is not aware so far of any injuries or deaths related to the issue.
Crypto market crash sees $60bn wiped from value
More than $60bn (£50bn) has been wiped from the crypto market in recent days, driven by the plunging price of bitcoin. The world’s leading cryptocurrency suffered a flash crash on Friday following uncertainty surrounding the crypto-friendly
bank, Silvergate. Bitcoin has so far failed to recover from the sudden drop, leading to fears among investors that the strong start to 2023 may already be over. Data from leading price index CoinMarketCap shows that BTC’s price dropped by more than $1,000 in just 20 minutes, dragging prices down below $23,000. Despite the uncertainty surrounding Silvergate Bank, other crypto-friendly banks have seen success; UK-based Revolut announced its first ever annual profit last week.
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