Colors: Purple Color

Almost one million passengers passed through Birmingham Airport last month, making it the busiest June in the airport’s history. A record 988,916 people chose the Midlands airport throughout June, beating its previous record for the month, set in June 2014 by 2.8%. Long-haul traffic experienced significant growth in June, up 20% compared to the same period last year.

One of the key speakers at the next month’s Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) Expo event at the National Motorcycle Museum is well-known entrepreneur and innovator Simon Jenner. Simon runs a chain of coffee shops, Urban Coffee Company, which has three outlets in Birmingham and one in Coventry. He’s been running the chain with his business partner for four years, and the business now has a turnover of £1m.

The Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan is set to be adopted by the city council at its cabinet meeting on the 27 July. The masterplan, which was launched for public consultation in 2014, sets out proposals to deliver a world class integrated city centre terminus station – Birmingham Curzon – along with major regeneration across Eastside, Digbeth and the City Centre Core.

Whilst house price growth has slowed down in the West Midlands in the last year, average house prices are expected to keep growing at around 5.5% for the rest of the decade, according to PwC analysis in its latest UK Economic Outlook report.  From a 5.9% growth rate in 2014, PwC predicts growth of 3.7% in 2015, 4.6% in 2016 and 5.5% in 2017-2020. Average house prices in the West Midlands are expected to rise from £195k in 2014 to £261k in 2020.

Underused and poor quality court and tribunal buildings are being recommended for closure in a consultation published by Courts Minister, Shailesh Vara. The buildings being consulted on represent 16% of hearing rooms across the estate in England and Wales, which are, on average, used for only a third of their available time. That is equivalent to fewer than two out of five days in a week.

National research tracking the actions of UK pension planners imminently affected by the April 6th pension reforms has unveiled 73% of those aged 55+ (and financially eligible) have chosen not to withdraw any funds since the freedoms became available. This is despite 60.4% of the same survey sample intending to do so in April, 2015 - before the reforms went live.

The West Midlands continues to buck the national trend on jobs after figures released showed that the number of people out of work in the region fell by 7,000 to 165,000. Figures for Birmingham were also positive as the number of those unemployed fell. In the West Midlands there was a 0.3% growth in employment and a 1.9 per cent decrease in the Jobseeker’s Allowance Register in West Midlands compared to 0.3% decrease nationally.

It is no secret that getting on the property ladder is more difficult than it once was, so making use of schemes such as Help to Buy makes great sense to thousands of first-time buyers. Kevin Shaw, national sales director at Leaders, is one advocate of the government’s flagship housing policy, which is designed to assist people who have a relatively small deposit in proceeding with their plans to buy a property.

World Travel Market (WTM) London, the leading global event for the travel industry, boosted the London economy by more than £244million. WTM London 2014 - which ran from Monday, November 3, to Thursday, November 6, at ExCeL, London exhibition center – attracted a record 51,500 participants from the global travel and tourism industry’s most senior executives, who all came to London to profile the hottest travel destinations.

A group of cantaloupe farms in Costa Rica became the first in the world to obtain Rainforest Alliance certification, after fulfilling the sustainability guidelines of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), which protect the environment, wildlife and worker welfare. The farms produce for the company SFG Dulce, which has also earned the green frog seal for watermelon production.

Greater Birmingham’s manufacturing industry is booming compared to the rest of the UK. Forty per cent of manufacturers reported increased domestic sales in Q2, up from 33 per cent in Q1. That’s in contrast with British Chambers’ Q2 UK figures, where only 20 per cent reported increased domestic sales.