Sun. Sep 20th, 2020

UK economy ‘shrinking’ as factories and services companies struggle – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news

Earlier:

12.02pm GMT

Britain’s FTSE 250 index of medium-sized companies is also having a strong day.

It’s up 1.2% or 258 points at 21766, back towards the record high touched on Friday.

Mike Ashley’s retail empire forecasts profits of up to £390.3m for the year to April 2020 after underlying pretax profits increased 58% to £101.8m in the first half. Losses almost halved to £15.9m at its premium lifestyle business, which includes House of Fraser, although the group plans to close more branches in the coming year.

Sales for the half year to 27 October rose 14% to £2bn, largely as a result of the inclusion of House of Fraser and growth at Flannels, the group’s designer fashion chain. Excluding acquisitions, revenue at the core sports business fell 8.6%.

Related: Sports Direct profits rise as it cuts House of Fraser losses

11.26am GMT

Rupert Harrison of BlackRock (a former top Treasury official) predicts better times ahead for the UK economy:

FTSE 100 is on a tear today. Global investors have been underweight the UK since 2016, now reallocating back given hugely reduced uncertainty

I suspect the same reduction in uncertainty will unleash some corporate investment and boost the real economy, despite poor PMIs today pic.twitter.com/Q6bN5H0F7I

Continue reading…Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial newsLatest: UK PMIs show economy struggling in DecemberPMI falls to 48.5, showing sharpest contraction in 41 monthsFactories suffer worst month since 2012Earlier:European stocks hit record highIntroduction: US-China trade deal lifts marketsEnd of political paralysis in UK 12.02pm GMTBritain’s FTSE 250 index of medium-sized companies is also having a strong day.It’s up 1.2% or 258 points at 21766, back towards the record high touched on Friday.Mike Ashley’s retail empire forecasts profits of up to £390.3m for the year to April 2020 after underlying pretax profits increased 58% to £101.8m in the first half. Losses almost halved to £15.9m at its premium lifestyle business, which includes House of Fraser, although the group plans to close more branches in the coming year.Sales for the half year to 27 October rose 14% to £2bn, largely as a result of the inclusion of House of Fraser and growth at Flannels, the group’s designer fashion chain. Excluding acquisitions, revenue at the core sports business fell 8.6%. Related: Sports Direct profits rise as it cuts House of Fraser losses 11.26am GMTRupert Harrison of BlackRock (a former top Treasury official) predicts better times ahead for the UK economy:FTSE 100 is on a tear today. Global investors have been underweight the UK since 2016, now reallocating back given hugely reduced uncertaintyI suspect the same reduction in uncertainty will unleash some corporate investment and boost the real economy, despite poor PMIs today pic.twitter.com/Q6bN5H0F7I Continue reading…