NEWS DIGEST 04.08.2021: UK petrol prices on the rise

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Petrol prices have reached an eight-year high after nine straight months of rises, according to the RAC. The group said the average price of a litre of petrol is now 135.13p, a level not seen since September 2013, as rising oil prices push up fuel costs. Diesel now costs an average of 137.06p a litre, its highest price since 2014. “Prices really are only going one way at the moment – and that’s not the way drivers want to see them going,” warned RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams. The latest RAC Fuel Watch figures show that another 3.4p was added to a litre of petrol in July, the largest rise in the price of unleaded since January, while diesel climbed 2.7p a litre. As demand outstrips supply, wholesale fuel prices are pushed up, which has a knock-on effect for motorists. Despite the recent price increases, petrol prices are yet to reach the highest level we saw in the middle of 2012. In April 2012, prices peaked at 142p a litre for unleaded and 148p for diesel, according to Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association – Petrol prices at eight-year high, says RAC (BBC News Business)

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Motorists are facing a ‘relentless’ increase in fuel costs as figures today confirmed a ninth consecutive month of price increases at the pumps. The jump in petrol price is the biggest posted in a single month since January and means that, on average, a litre of unleaded now costs 135.1p – up from 131.8p at the start of the month, and a price not seen since late September 2013.It also means that petrol is now 21.1p-a-litre more expensive than it was in November and means an average 55-litre fuel tank is now £11.60 pricier than it was nine months ago. A litre of diesel now costs an average 137.1p per litre, up from 134.4p at the beginning of July.The price rises meant that last month was the most expensive July to fill up with petrol since 2013, and for diesel since 2014. A driver filling up a 55-litre car with petrol now pays on average £3.08 more to fill up than they did at the start of June, and £11.47 more than they did in July 2020. The picture is barely better for diesel drivers. Current petrol prices are now just 7p-a-litre shy of the record high of 142.5p posted in April 2012 and ministers have already revealed that unleaded will rise by around 0.2p per litre next month when greener E10 petrol with a higher 10 per cent bioethanol mix replaces existing 5 per cent E5 unleaded. The prices of a litre of petrol is around 3p cheaper compared to the average and more than 16p less than at motorway service areas – Petrol prices rise for NINTH straight month as ‘relentless’ pump inflation pushes unleaded to an eight-year high with a tank of fuel £11.60 pricier than November (This is Money)

Concerns about the Delta variant don’t appear to be weighing on Asian stock markets today, which have been moving towards one-week highs. Data overnight from China showed that the country’s services sector accelerated in July, hitting its highest level since May, although the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant in the country is threatening the recovery. The survey, which tends to focus on smaller firms in China’s coastal regions, contrasted with official data which had showed a slight slow-down in Chinese services data in July. A recent rise in coronavirus infections and the spread of the Delta variant remain a dark cloud on the horizon. Will China set the pace for the rest of the world? We’ve got a day of services PMI data coming up – kicking off with the euro zone and the UK later this morning, and followed by the US. Analysts seem to have fewer concerns about European economies for the time being, thanks to higher vaccination rates across the region – Chinese services activity accelerates, but Delta variant concerns remain – business live (The Guardian UK edition News Business live)

People who receive Pension Credit could also qualify for additional financial help with Council Tax or Housing Benefit and if they are over 75, they will also get a free TV licence. The Department for Work and Pensions estimates that up to one million pensioner households across the UK may be entitled to Pension Credit, but are not claiming the benefit. Some pensioners think because they have savings or own their home they won’t qualify for the benefit boost, but many are missing out on extra money every month, Daily Record reports. This is because people who receive Pension Credit could also qualify for additional financial help with Council Tax or Housing Benefit and if they are over 75, they will also get a free TV licence – a saving of £159 on the annual fee. To encourage people over State Pension age and their families to make a claim, the DWP recently shared two new short videos on YouTube that cover the basics of Pension Credit with a link to the dedicated pages on GOV.UK. They also launched a new Pension Credit Toolkit which includes a quick guide to entitlement, details about payments and a link to the online Pension Credit calculator – Pensioners urged to check if they qualify for £3,000 annual benefit by DWP (Mirror)

Newcastle United owner and retail entrepreneur Mike Ashley is poised to step down from his role as chief executive of Frasers Group, it has been reported. Mr Ashley is expected to reveal plans to step back from his role as chief executive of Frasers Group to become deputy chairman tomorrow, when the firm is due to announce its latest set of annual results. The group is now worth around £3bn and operates almost 1,000 shops. Mr Ashley was previously executive deputy chairman of the retail group – which changed its name from Sports Direct International to Frasers Group last year – until 2016, when long-serving chief executive Dave Forsey resigned. Frasers Group will reveal its latest full-year trading figures tomorrow, and is expected to highlight a recovery in sales following the reopening of high street stores in April – Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley to step down from top job at Frasers Group, reports claim (ChronicleLive News)

Summarised with SMMRY.

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