CBI pushing hard for UK and EU to find Brexit compromise

The clock is ticking quickly towards crisis point, the employers’ organisation says

The CBI has stepped up its campaign for the UK and the EU to strike a compromise Brexit deal after its latest snapshot of manufacturing showed the pace of output growth slowing.

Despite stronger order books the employers’ organisation said industry was struggling to cope with the twin impact of slower global growth and uncertainty about Britain’s future relationship with the EU 27.

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Sainsbury’s–Asda merger in doubt amid price rise concerns – business live

Competition regulator finds merger could impact choice and reduce quality

The Competition and Markets Authority has on Wednesday morning dropped a bombshell in the merger talks between Sainsbury’s and Asda which would create the biggest British supermarket.

It is “likely to be difficult for the companies to address the concerns it has identified”, the CMA said.

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Deal or no deal, UK jobs will remain hard to fill | Larry Elliott

Brexit might not have much of an effect on the labour market as unemployment hits a record low

Anybody expecting the Brexit impasse to harm the UK’s labour market has so far been proved wrong. Employment is at its highest ever level, the number of job vacancies has hit a new record and the unemployment rate for women has dropped below 4% for the first time. Growth slowed in the final quarter of 2018 but the dole queues shortened. Crisis, what crisis?

One possibility is that because the latest jobs and wages data from the Office for National Statistics only covers the period to December, it might not capture more recent surveys suggesting that firms have become warier about hiring since the turn of the year.

Related: Employers squeezed as job vacancies grow to record levels

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Britain’s EU workforce in decline as numbers from elsewhere soar

Number workers from EU27 nations falls by 61,000 as non-EU workforce hits record level

The number of workers in the UK from elsewhere in the EU fell by 61,000 at a time when the number of British and non-EU workers soared, official figures show.

There were an estimated 2.33 million workers from the EU27 in the UK between October to December in 2017, but that figure dropped to 2.27 million a year later. A notable drop in workers from A8 countries, which joined the bloc in 2004 and include Poland and the Czech Republic, largely accounted for the decrease.

Related: Honda’s Swindon factory closure threatens 7,000 jobs – business live

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Employers squeezed as job vacancies grow to record levels

UK firms struggle to find staff as unemployment falls to lows not seen since the mid-1970s

Record numbers of unfilled job vacancies across Britain appear to have strengthened the bargaining power of workers to demand higher wages, amid mounting fears over skills shortages at UK companies.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of vacancies in the British jobs market rose by 16,000 to an estimated 870,000 in the three months to January, the highest level since comparable records began in 2001.

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Most shoppers say Brexit has not affected spending habits

People in pro-leave areas of Britain have tended not to curb expenditure, finds PwC survey

British consumers are preparing to carry on shopping despite the mounting political chaos over Brexit, according to a survey, even as business leaders increasingly sound the alarm over the potential hit to the economy.

More than half of consumers in the nationwide survey told the accountancy firm PwC they had not, and would not, alter their spending habits over the course of this year as a consequence of Brexit.

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Oil hits three-month high as trade deal optimism boosts markets – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as investors cling to hopes that Beijing and Washington are making progress in their trade talks

Today’s rally means Brent crude has risen by 25% since the start of the year, when it was trading around $53 per barrel.

That reflects hopes that the US-China trade war will calm down, which would be good for global growth (and thus energy demand).

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

Hopes of a breakthrough in the US-China trade talks are ripping through the markets again, at the start of a new week.

Important meetings and calls on China Trade Deal, and more, today with my staff. Big progress being made on soooo many different fronts! Our Country has such fantastic potential for future growth and greatness on an even higher level!

Risk appetite is on at the start of the week with currencies and equities buoyed by the signs of progress in the US-China trade talks. Trump’s decision to declare a state of emergency didn’t seem to bother investors too much as they’ve grown accustomed to the US President’s radical character and markets’ focus lies squarely on any further progress on the trade front this week.,,,

Regarding trade, the most recent news out of the talks between the US and China suggests that the two sides have come closer to each other and an extension to the March 1st deadline for increased tariffs appears likely.

Global stocks start week in Risk-On mood. Asia equities rally to the highest level since October on trade talk and stimulus wagers. Signs mount major CenBanks turning reflationary. BUT trading be thin for Presidents’ Day holiday in the US. Oil rises to 2019 high. Bitcoin at 3.7k. pic.twitter.com/Q8qh0JmIT8

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Can Trump’s pick be stopped from leading the World Bank? | Larry Elliott

Many fear the abrasive David Malpass will use the bank to pursue White House’s agenda

Until a month ago David Malpass was a civil servant at the US Treasury with die-hard Republican sympathies and an abrasive management style. Jim Yong Kim’s decision in January to step down as president of the World Bank means he is now in line to head the international community’s flagship development body.

Kim’s decision to accept a job at a Wall Street private equity firm went down badly with staff at the bank, who were unimpressed that he could make more of an impact in global development through his lucrative career move. Instead, he is considered a greedball.

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