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UK shoppers face biggest price rises since 1990 in Christmas rush – business live UK Christmas shoppers face biggest price rises since 1990; Covid hits German consumer confidence – as it happened
(33 minutes later)
Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial newsRolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news
Time to wrap up
UK shoppers face the sharpest rise in prices in 30 years this month, as fears of Christmas shortages spur people to get their purchases sorted early.
Two more UK energy firms, Orbit and Entice, have collapsed, leading to more criticism of regulator Ofgem, as taxpayers face a £1.7bn bailout of Bulb.
One in 10 UK families – about 3m households – are facing a cost of living crunch this winter, unable to cover even basic bills such as food and heating, according to Citizens Advice.
The pound has hit its lowest level against the US dollar this year, after some US central bank officials suggested they could end their bond-buying stimulus programme faster than expected.
Some analysts think the Fed could complete tapering by next March, three months earlier than anticipated.
The latest minutes from the European Central Bank’s policy meeting show that supply chain problems have lasted longer than thought...
...but the head of the WTO remains hopeful they’ll be temporary.
Consumer confidence in Germany has fallen, as the fourth wave of Covid-19 hits morale and puts people off spending.
Germany’s economy also grew less strongly than expected in the last quarter, with business investment, government spending and net trade all dragging on growth.
China’s CO2 emissions have dropped, suggesting that power cuts, curbs on polluting industries, and the property slowdown have hit economic growth.
The pub and restaurant group Mitchells & Butlers has warned that problems caused by Brexit and rising costs will hurt the hospitality sector, just as businesses return to profit after the easing of pandemic restrictions.
Multipack crisps are still the item in shortest supply at UK shops, after production problems at Walkers, followed by painkillers, frozen turkeys, sparkling water and fresh pork.
Goodnight. GW
Stock markets across Europe also had a solid day, with the Stoxx 600 ending 0.4% higher tonight.
France’s CAC and Spain’s IBEX both gained 0.5%, with smaller rises on Germany’s DAX (+0.25%) while Italy’s FTSE MIB was flat.
Britain’s FTSE 100 has posted its fourth daily rise in a row.
After a quiet session, with Wall Street closed for Thanksgiving, the blue-chip index has closed 24 points higher at 7310, up 0.33% today.
Hospitality firms finished the day on top of the risers, with catering firm Compass (+3.2%), and hotel groups Whitbread (+2.8%) and InterContinental (+2.8%) leading the way.
Vodafone led the fallers, down 3% after its shares went ex-dividend today.
Cyber-security firm DarkTrace also lagged, down 2%, and is likely to be ejected from the index after next week’s reshuffle.
After that earlier confusion, Ofgem have now confirmed that Entice Energy has collapsed, alongside Orbit Energy.
Entice Energy supplies around 5,400 domestic customers and Orbit Energy supplies around 65,000 domestic customers, the regulator says. Their customers will now be transferred to a new supplier.
It means 25 suppliers have now collapsed since the start of August, with Bulb, the biggest casualty, becoming the first to be placed into a special administration” process.
Gillian Cooper, Head of Energy Policy at Citizens Advice, says the regulator faces serious questions.
Brrrrr it’s cold out there today in Europe, in a cold snap that is pushing up power prices:Brrrrr it’s cold out there today in Europe, in a cold snap that is pushing up power prices:
Bloomberg’s Stephen Stapczynski has the details:Bloomberg’s Stephen Stapczynski has the details:
Americans sitting down for Thanksgiving lunch also face the sharpest jump in prices in 30 years.Americans sitting down for Thanksgiving lunch also face the sharpest jump in prices in 30 years.
Jim Reid of Deutsche Bank explains, in his Chart Of The Day (below):Jim Reid of Deutsche Bank explains, in his Chart Of The Day (below):
The head of the World Trade Organization said on Thursday that she expects global supply chain problems to be short-lived, saying that they will go into 2022 but not beyond, Reuters reports.The head of the World Trade Organization said on Thursday that she expects global supply chain problems to be short-lived, saying that they will go into 2022 but not beyond, Reuters reports.
“Our assessment of this situation is it is not a structural issue. It’s a transitory issue,” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told a media briefing, saying she expected them to stretch into 2022 and then work themselves out after several months.“Our assessment of this situation is it is not a structural issue. It’s a transitory issue,” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told a media briefing, saying she expected them to stretch into 2022 and then work themselves out after several months.
Supply chain problems have emerged as the global economy has pulled out of a pandemic-induced recession and threaten to slow recovery. They have already stoked inflation.Supply chain problems have emerged as the global economy has pulled out of a pandemic-induced recession and threaten to slow recovery. They have already stoked inflation.
Another UK energy supplier has gone bust, following the collapse of Bulb earlier this week, bringing the number of households affected by a supplier failure closer to the 4m mark.Another UK energy supplier has gone bust, following the collapse of Bulb earlier this week, bringing the number of households affected by a supplier failure closer to the 4m mark.
Orbit Energy confirmed it was the latest casualty of the energy market crisis, as companies unable to withstand higher wholesale prices go under.Orbit Energy confirmed it was the latest casualty of the energy market crisis, as companies unable to withstand higher wholesale prices go under.
The latest collapse was announced by the energy regulator Ofgem in a tweet that also named Entice Energy – but the post was later deleted. A spokesperson for Entice could not be reached for comment.The latest collapse was announced by the energy regulator Ofgem in a tweet that also named Entice Energy – but the post was later deleted. A spokesperson for Entice could not be reached for comment.
An Ofgem spokesperson said the tweet was sent in error.An Ofgem spokesperson said the tweet was sent in error.
However, Orbit later updated its website to say it was ceasing to trade.However, Orbit later updated its website to say it was ceasing to trade.
It added:It added:
Poland has announced a 10 billion zlotys (£1.8bn) package to help its citizens cope with the jump in inflation.Poland has announced a 10 billion zlotys (£1.8bn) package to help its citizens cope with the jump in inflation.
The programme will temporarily cut taxes on petrol, gas and electricity and provide cash payments to households, to cushion the cost of living squeeze.The programme will temporarily cut taxes on petrol, gas and electricity and provide cash payments to households, to cushion the cost of living squeeze.
Associated Press has the details:Associated Press has the details:
Mexico’s economy shrank by more than expected in the last quarter as the Covid-19 pandemic hit businesses.Mexico’s economy shrank by more than expected in the last quarter as the Covid-19 pandemic hit businesses.
Mexico’s GDP fell by 0.4% in the third quarter of the year, updated data show, twice as bad as the 0.2% contraction first reported.Mexico’s GDP fell by 0.4% in the third quarter of the year, updated data show, twice as bad as the 0.2% contraction first reported.
A nearly 1% contraction in tertiary activity, which includes services and transport, hit the economy, as the Delta variant hit service sector companies.A nearly 1% contraction in tertiary activity, which includes services and transport, hit the economy, as the Delta variant hit service sector companies.
Global supply chain disruptions have weighed on a recovery in manufacturing, with ‘secondary activity’ such as factories only rising 0.3%.Global supply chain disruptions have weighed on a recovery in manufacturing, with ‘secondary activity’ such as factories only rising 0.3%.
The global supply chain problems pushing up the cost of UK goods in the shops, and weighing on the eurozone recovery are partly due to delays at China’s ports.The global supply chain problems pushing up the cost of UK goods in the shops, and weighing on the eurozone recovery are partly due to delays at China’s ports.
Bloomberg has looked into this, and found that China’s tough quarantine rules are hitting the shipping industry’s recovery:Bloomberg has looked into this, and found that China’s tough quarantine rules are hitting the shipping industry’s recovery:
Carbon dioxide emissions in China have fallen for the first time since last year’s lockdown, a report today shows.Carbon dioxide emissions in China have fallen for the first time since last year’s lockdown, a report today shows.
It’s a sign that the downturn in China’s property sector, energy shortages, and the clampdown on polluting industries have all hit factory output.It’s a sign that the downturn in China’s property sector, energy shortages, and the clampdown on polluting industries have all hit factory output.
Emissions declined by about 0.5 per cent in the three months to the end of September, according to data published by Carbon Brief, a climate research and news service.Emissions declined by about 0.5 per cent in the three months to the end of September, according to data published by Carbon Brief, a climate research and news service.
It is the first decline since the first quarter of 2020, when the pandemic forced China to impose lockdowns and travel restrictions.It is the first decline since the first quarter of 2020, when the pandemic forced China to impose lockdowns and travel restrictions.
It might show that China will hit peak emissions earlier than forecast. Alternatively, Beijing could stimulate its economy again, leading to a pick-up in emissions.It might show that China will hit peak emissions earlier than forecast. Alternatively, Beijing could stimulate its economy again, leading to a pick-up in emissions.
Carbon Brief’s Simon Evans has tweeted the details:Carbon Brief’s Simon Evans has tweeted the details:
The supply chain problems hitting the euro area have lasted for longer than policymakers expected.The supply chain problems hitting the euro area have lasted for longer than policymakers expected.
The minutes of the European Central Bank’s last meeting, at the end of October, show that governing council members “widely acknowledged that supply bottlenecks were lasting longer than initially thought”.The minutes of the European Central Bank’s last meeting, at the end of October, show that governing council members “widely acknowledged that supply bottlenecks were lasting longer than initially thought”.
Some EB officials pointed out that firms relying on “just-in-time” delivery systems had suffered most, raising the question of whether future systems would return to relying more on inventories and buffers. Others suggested that the move towards more globalisation in manufacturing could reverse, the minutes say, adding:Some EB officials pointed out that firms relying on “just-in-time” delivery systems had suffered most, raising the question of whether future systems would return to relying more on inventories and buffers. Others suggested that the move towards more globalisation in manufacturing could reverse, the minutes say, adding:
The meeting also discussed the surge in energy prices, which could increase the likelihood of “scarring effects” that could hamper future growth.The meeting also discussed the surge in energy prices, which could increase the likelihood of “scarring effects” that could hamper future growth.
But policymakers pushed back at the idea that Europe faces stagflation, pointing out that the euro area is still seeing robust growth, while a 1970s-style wage-price spiral is less likely today:But policymakers pushed back at the idea that Europe faces stagflation, pointing out that the euro area is still seeing robust growth, while a 1970s-style wage-price spiral is less likely today:
Sterling has now slipped to its lowest level of the year against the resurgent US dollar.Sterling has now slipped to its lowest level of the year against the resurgent US dollar.
The pound eased by 0.1% against the dollar to $1.3304, the lowest since last December.The pound eased by 0.1% against the dollar to $1.3304, the lowest since last December.
Uncertainty over when the Bank of England might raise interest rate, and last night’s hawkish tone in the Federal Reserve minutes, are weighing on the pound.Uncertainty over when the Bank of England might raise interest rate, and last night’s hawkish tone in the Federal Reserve minutes, are weighing on the pound.
Jeremy Thomson-Cook, chief economist at international business payments firm Equals Money, says:Jeremy Thomson-Cook, chief economist at international business payments firm Equals Money, says:
Meanwhile, the dollar benefited from yesterday’s big fall in jobless claims, which adds to pressure to slow the Fed’s stimulus programme faster:Meanwhile, the dollar benefited from yesterday’s big fall in jobless claims, which adds to pressure to slow the Fed’s stimulus programme faster: