21 October 2014
Why it is a concern that the UK has a record current-account deficit at a time when demand for exports and economic growth are set to fall
Home Retail Group says that store closures at Homebase will be accelerated, with the number of outlets cut by 25% by 2019.
Russian investigators say "criminal negligence" caused the crash that killed the boss of oil firm Total and the three crew members of his private jet.
Allowing UK cities to make their own decisions on tax and spending could boost economic growth by £79bn a year by 2030, a year-long study concludes.
Technology giant Yahoo reports profits of $6.8bn for the third-quarter, buoyed mostly by earnings from the firm's stake in Chinese firm Alibaba.
Italian police break a crime ring that defrauded the state of €1.7bn euros.
...and consequently so has its share price. The group is down 4.3% to 168.00 on the news of those Homebase store closures. Share slumped 6% at the open so have recovered slightly, 40 minutes into the trading day.
"Tomorrow, Tesco will reveal its latest results. Sales and profits are likely to be down again," BBC Business Editor Kamal Ahmed writes in his latest blog. "Many believe that Tesco should move away from vouchers and one-off price promotions and win back customers with lower prices across all its ranges."
Despite talking up the prospects for its full year profits, Home Retail is closing 25% of its 323 Homebase stores over the next four years. That's as it lets leases expire on some properties. Homebase managing director Paul Loft is also stepping down, although he will continue on in his role until a successor is found.
Homebase and Argos owner Home Retail Group has reported a 5% fall in half-year pre-tax profit to £13.5m. But like-for-like sales were up 2.9% at Argos, and 4.1% at Homebase. Chief executive, John Walden said the group expects to meet City expectations for its full year profit. But he added: "as always, the full-year outcome will depend upon the important Argos Christmas trading period".
Cigarette-pedlar BAT has said revenue for the nine months to the end of September grew by 2.4%. "Industry volume has declined at a lower rate than last year, but is being impacted by large excise-driven price increases," it said.
tweets: "Strong comeback from Sutherland who fell victim to all he tried to achieve at the Co-op Group, and can be credited with rescuing Co-op Bank."
Former Co-op Group chief executive Euan Sutherland is back having been announced as chief executive of SuperGroup this morning with immediate effect. He was previously CEO of Kingfisher UK, which operates B&Q, Screwfix and TradePoint.
Germany has very low unemployment, Dr Stephanie Hare, senior analyst for western Europe at Oxford Analytica tells Today. "Making more jobs for Germany isn't the issue here," she says. "We need stimulus and investment in countries that are going to help boost the future of Germany's trading partners in the eurozone. So we can either increase demand in Germany, or Germany could be part of a wider European solution to increase stimulus in its eurozone trading partners." She points out Germany has benefitted from other countries investing and stimulating its economy once or twice in the past century.
Eurostar results yesterday, Eurotunnel results today. Revenues for the third quarter of 2014 increased 7% to €343.9m (£271.5m).
"The main reason tax receipts aren't as high as you'd like is the increase in personal tax allowance," says Alan Clarke, UK and eurozone economist at Scotiabank on Wake Up to Money. He's talking about yesterday's disappointing figures. There are more people in work, though, which means less spending on benefits, he says. Low-paid jobs mean that doesn't help as much as you may think, points out presenter Mickey Clark.
Christian Schultz, senior economist at Berenberg Bank, tells the Today programme Germany needs to work on its infrastructure, but even if it started to work on inward investment now the effects would not be felt for several years. This as more political pressure builds on Germany to act to avert another eurozone crisis. But German inward investment doesn't solve the problem, he says. "How does Germany fixing some bridges make French and Italian entrepreneurs invest more?"
The UK's wind farms generated more power than its nuclear power stations on Tuesday, the National Grid says. The energy network operator said it was caused by a combination of high winds and faults in nuclear plants. Wind made up 14.2% of all generation and nuclear offered 13.2%. As BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin reports, for a 24-hour period yesterday, spinning blades produced more energy than splitting atoms.
On things like transport and education, local government can make better decisions, says Alexandra Jones, chief executive of the Centre for Cities, which does independent research and policy analysis on UK city economies on 5 live. "Whatever you're doing in a city, you have to balance the books, though, she says. Competitiveness on tax becomes a "race to the bottom" she adds.
"I think there's real momentum... this is the biggest opportunity in decades to transport the relationship with local government," says Mr Wakefield on 5 live. The debate for Scottish independence shows there are a lot of people interested in local powers, he adds.
Allowing UK cities to make their own decisions on tax and spending could boost economic growth by £79bn a year by 2030, a year-long study has concluded. "More people want local powers in Leeds," says Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council on Radio 5 live. He thinks councils can target some spending more efficiently.
Morning all. We have the latest minutes from the Bank of England's September Monetary Policy Committee meeting at 09:30; Argos and Homebase owner Home Retail Group publishes interim results before that and there are trading updates from GlaxoSmithKline, British American Tobacco and Everything Everywhere. We'll bring you it all as it happens.
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Last Updated at 03:53 ET
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