United Kingdom

IBTimes/Lisa Mahapatra Nearly 60 percent of EU Internet users made purchases online in 2012, according to recently released data from Eurostat . Clothes and holiday accomodations are the most common online purchases, followed by books, according to the report. However, online grocery is yet to really catch on among Internet users in the EU. One in three EU Internet users reported buying clothes online, while fewer than one in 10 said that they had ordered food and groceries online. Among member states, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Sweden had the highest proportion of Internet users making purchases online. In Romania and Bulgaria, however, fewer than 20 percent of Internet users had made a single online purchase in the past year. Its important to keep in mind that there are still many EU countries in which a fairly large section of the population doesnt use the Internet. For example, in 2012, 65 percent of Greeks had never used the Internet . Heres the data released by Eurostat in an interactive map. Click on any EU country for more info on their online shopping habits: Here’s the total percentage of Internet users who shop online in each EU member country:

Fitch Downgrades United Kingdom to ‘AA+’; Outlook Stable

But most importantly, a commitment to conduct business with a high level of integrity, respect, and philanthropic dedication allows the organization to make a difference in the lives of their customers, employees, investors and global community. For more information please visit www.cuiglobal.com About CUI Inc CUI Inc is a technology company dedicated to the development, commercialization, and distribution of new, innovative electro-mechanical products. Over the past 20 years, CUI has become a recognized name in electronic components worldwide in the areas of power, interconnect, motion control, and sound. CUI’s solid customer commitment and honest corporate message are a hallmark in the industry. CUI is a wholly owned subsidiary of CUI Global, Inc. For more information, please visit www.cui.com. About Orbital-UK Orbital-UK is the largest natural gas systems integrator in the U.K. For over 25 years, Orbital has developed its portfolio of products, services and resources to offer a diverse range of personalized gas engineering solutions to the gas utilities, power generation, emissions, manufacturing and automotive industries. Orbital-UK’s internationally recognized expertise in the natural gas industry, including bringing together the patented VE-technology with the ground-breaking GasPT2 device, offers natural gas operators and users a comprehensive engineering array for the next generation of energy metering systems. For more information, please visit www.orbital-uk.com. About National Grid PLC National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an international electricity and gas company and one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world. It plays a vital role in providing energy to millions of customers across the northeastern U.S. and Great Britain in an efficient, reliable and safe manner. According to its website, in Britain, National Grid runs the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.

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The previous Negative Outlook on the UK’s sovereign ratings had been in place since 14 March 2012. KEY RATING DRIVERS The downgrade of the UK’s sovereign ratings primarily reflects a weaker economic and fiscal outlook and hence the upward revision to Fitch’s medium-term projections for UK budget deficits and government debt. Despite the loss of its ‘AAA’ status, the UK’s extremely strong credit profile is reflected in its ‘AA+’ rating and the Stable Outlook. – Fitch now forecasts that general government gross debt (GGGD) will peak at 101% of GDP in 2015-16 (equivalent to 86% of GDP for public sector net debt, PSND) and will only gradually decline from 2017-18. This compares with Fitch’s previous projection for GGGD peaking at 97% and declining from 2016-17 and the ‘AAA’ median of around 50%. – Fitch previously commented that failure to stabilise debt below 100% of GDP and place it on a firm downward path towards 90% of GDP over the medium term would likely trigger a rating downgrade. Despite the UK’s strong fiscal financing flexibility underpinned by its own currency with reserve currency status and the long average maturity of public debt, the fiscal space to absorb further adverse economic and financial shocks is no longer consistent with a ‘AAA’ rating. – Higher than previously projected budget deficits and debt primarily reflects the weak growth performance of the UK economy in recent years, partly due to headwinds of private and public sector deleveraging and the eurozone crisis. Fitch has revised down its forecast economic growth in 2013 and 2014 to 0.8% and 1.8%, respectively, from 1.5% and 2.0% at the time of the last review of the UK’s sovereign ratings in September 2012. The UK economy is not expected to reach its 2007 level of real GDP until 2014, underscoring the weakness of the economic recovery. – Despite significant progress in reducing public sector net borrowing (PSNB from a peak of 11.2% of GDP (GBP159bn) in 2009-10, the budget deficit remains 7.4% of GDP (excluding the effect of the transfer of Royal Mail pensions) and is not expected to fall below 6% of GDP and GBP100bn until the end of the current parliament term. The slower pace of deficit reduction means that the next government will be required to implement substantial spending reductions (and/or tax increases) if public debt is to be stabilised and reduced over the medium term. The Stable Outlook on the UK’s sovereign ratings reflects the following factors. – Under Fitch’s baseline economic and fiscal scenario, which assumes a continued policy commitment to reducing the underlying budget deficit and medium-term annual growth potential of 2%-2.25%, government debt gradually falls as a share of national income in the latter half of the decade.

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