Things are starting to look UP!

• UK manufacturers’ optimism and output have both increased slightly, according to BDO Stoy Hayward research.

• The price of oil shot up from under $34 a barrel in February to touch $60 in mid-May thanks to improved confidence in the economy and commodities and a weaker dollar. Unsure as to whether this is a good or bad thing but at least it indicates the economy going in the right direction

• Peak-to-trough, the FTSE-100 index fell 3,203 points, or 48%, between June 2007 and March 2009. Since then, the index has regained almost 30% of its losses, climbing 916 points or 26% to 4,446.

• Retail sales in the UK were up 0.4% in February, March and April compared with the same period last year, according to the British Retail Consortium. In London, sales were up 5.5%. In April alone, nationwide sales were up 4.6% year-on-year, 5.2% in London.

• Travel group Thomas Cook reported a larger first-half loss on increased revenue, but increased its dividend, confident that full-year forecasts would be met.

• SABMiller said that British drinkers were sticking with expensive brands such as Peroni, which saw UK sales up 40% year-on-year.

• Invensys said it would make its first dividend payout since 2003.