TODAY'S NEWS Hometrack U.K. House Prices ease for a second month in a row (MNI)** House prices fell 0.2% m/m, but are still up 3.6% from a year ago. In related news, the Times says that soaring repayments could lead to a mortgage crisis for Britons, similar to the one occurring in the U.S. Also, the FT points out that City tradeable deriviatives contracts are predicting a 7.0% fall in U.K. house prices during 2008. Retailers plan discounts to save Christmas sales from a downturn (Independent) Lloyds TSB November Consumer Barometer sees inflation rising over the next 12 months, employment prospects now slightly worse (BBG) U.K. Families stretched to the limit of their borrowing capacity, with personal debt having almost doubled since the turn of the century (Telegraph) WEEKEND PRESS U.K. High Street Retail cheer for Christmas (Sunday Times)** Only a handful of UK retailers expect to see a downturn in sales in 2007 according to EU wide survey. Internet retailers expect GBP 14bln of Christmas sales (Financial Mail on Sunday) Amazon said its sales growth in Britain in the run-up to Christmas is as strong as last year despite concerns that the High Street may be flagging. Property Market A zero year for property (Sunday Times)** The commercial property sector is facing its worst year since the early 1990's according to forecasters that include CB Richard Ellis. Returns will plunge to almost 0% by end 2007 vs 18.1% last year. U.K. lenders are cracking down on sub-prime borrowers and tens of thousands could be forced into sales of their homes (Saturday Times) Credit Market Turmoil Heat on Chancellor intensifies as small firms feel credit squeeze (Independent On Sunday) The CBI is warning that the credit crunch is now beginning to affect small companies in the U.K. Credit crunch bites as lenders push interest rates towards 10% (Independent On Sunday) The average rate on an unsecured loan of GBP 5,000 has risen to nearly 9.5%, according to MoneyExpert.com. Labour Market Thousands of jobs at British component suppliers to Airbus are under threat because of the collapsing dollar (Financial Mail on Sunday) Airbus currently employs 7,000 in Britain, but its hundreds of suppliers have 135,000 employees dependent on work coming out the of the Airbus factory in North Wales.