Here are the business stories making the headlines locally and across the country this morning.

Bank of England pushed Britain into recession, economists say

The Bank of England has pushed the UK into recession by refusing to clearly communicate its plans to cut interest rates, top economists have warned.

Britain fell into a recession at the end of 2023, according to estimates by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), as GDP fell by 0.1% in part because of the Bank’s insistence high interest rates would not fall soon from their current 16-year high of 5.25%.

Ben Caswell, an economist at NIESR, said “a little bit of forward guidance may have helped tip [the UK] out of a technical recession”.

He added: “In comparison with the Federal Reserve or the ECB, the Bank of England has been a bit less communicative regarding when rate cuts are likely to take place."

Aberdeen TK Maxx confirms move to new Union Square home as M&S expands

TK Maxx has confirmed plans to relocate its Union Square branch by moving into adjacent units at the Aberdeen shopping centre.

The global clothing and homeware giant currently occupies a spot next to Marks and Spencer at the mall.

It was one of the anchor stores when the complex opened in 2009.

Read more in the P&J.

Income needed to retire jumps as family costs rise

A single person will need £31,300 a year for a moderate income in retirement, according to a pensions industry body.

The rising cost of living and an expectation to offer financial support to grandchildren had pushed up the income required by £8,000, it said.

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) uses evidence from focus groups to make the estimates.

It is intended as a guide for those planning their retirement savings.

The calculations are pitched at three different levels - minimum, moderate and comfortable - and are developed and maintained independently by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University.

Facebook and Instagram to label all images on their platforms created by AI, Meta says

Sir Nick Clegg - the politician turned Meta executive - says the lines between human and "synthetic content" is becoming "blurred", as the social media giant announced it would label all AI images on its platforms.

Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and Threads, has already been placing "Imagined with AI" labels on photorealistic images created using its own Meta AI feature.

The tech giant said it is now building "industry-leading tools" that will allow it to identify invisible markers on images generated by artificial intelligence that have come from other sites such as Google, OpenAI, Microsoft or Adobe.

Meta has said it will roll out the labelling on Facebook, Instagram and Threads in the coming months.

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