25 October 2013 Last updated at 05:03 ET

Business Live: UK GDP figures and business headlines

Key Points

  • UK GDP grows by 0.8% in third quarter.
  • Ineos decision due on Grangemouth.
  • Twitter plans to raise $1.4bn in IPO.
    0600: Edwin Lane Business reporter, BBC News

    Good morning everyone. Welcome to another Business Live where it's GDP day in the UK. We will be bringing you all of that, plus the rest of the morning's business headlines and the best of the BBC's business coverage as it happens.

    0600: Anthony Reuben Business reporter, BBC News

    Good morning. There's no question that the economic growth figures due out at 09:30 will be our top story. Let us know what you think the figure is going to be - we'll be creating our own live page GDP forecast! E-mail bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or tweet @bbcbusiness.

    UK ECONOMY 0601: Radio 5 live

    The first prediction of the day comes from Philip Shaw of Investec, who tells Wake Up To Money that he think's we'll see GDP growth of 0.8% today. "The economy is still fragile, but I'm more confident now that recovery is sustainable than at any point in the last four years," he says.

    TWITTER IPO 0602:
    Twitter logo

    Twitter has unveiled the price range for its shares as it prepares for its initial public offering (IPO). In a filing on Thursday, Twitter said it plans to sell 70 million shares priced between $17 and $20 (£10 - £12) to raise up to $1.4bn (£865m). The offering represents 13% of Twitter and values it at as much as $11bn.

    US dollar notes being counted

    Lot of earnings being reported overnight in the US and in Asia. Microsoft saw its profits surge 17% in the July-to-September quarter from a year earlier. Samsung Electronics had another record breaking quarter. And there was good news for Amazon as well with its losses in the third quarter narrowing.


    It's still all happening at Grangemouth this morning, where workers are hoping that operator Ineos will grant a reprieve for the closure-threatened petrochemicals plant when it makes a statement later this morning.

    EARLY FACT 0607: Radio 5 live
    a brick

    Wake up to Money listeners have already learned something this morning. Apparently the indentation on the top of a brick is called a frog. Good job Dominic Laurie was at a brick kiln to answer than one! More from him in Breakfast.

    UK ECONOMY 0618:

    The influential National Institute of Economic and Social Research reckons that the economy grew 0.8% in the third quarter of the year. It also points out that that would mean the current level of GDP is 2.5% below its pre-recession peak reached in January 2008.

    EU TAX 0622: BBC World News

    The top story on World Business Report this morning is that EU leaders are expected to consider reforms to EU corporate tax laws, in response to complaints that companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon are avoiding tax. The French proposal is for a Europe-wide tax on digital companies.

    UK ECONOMY 0622: BBC Breakfast
    Dominic Laurie at a brick works

    Dominic Laurie is at a brick works in the West Midlands to talk about GDP this morning. It's had a tough recession, but now things are looking up. Its secret: making bricks "in weird shapes and sizes".

    UK ECONOMY 0629: Radio 4

    Simon Jack is talking to not one, but three bosses this morning in the Friday Boss slot on the Today programme. There's a PR executive, a manufacturer and a construction boss. They are all feeling pretty upbeat about the economy. Kari Owers, the PR boss, says her clients in other sectors are feeling more positive and that's feeding through as more work for her business.

    GRANGEMOUTH 0631: Radio 5 live

    Robbie Dinwoodie, chief political correspondent at The Herald says that Ineos owner Jim Ratcliffe "has now got literally everything he asked for and if he tries at this stage to squeeze something more it's going to look like he's not dealing fairly. Now, the question is whether he cares about that."

    UK ECONOMY 0638:

    We already know quite a lot about the state of the economy in the first months of the quarter. The service sector, which accounts for more than 70% of the economy, grew 0.2% in July compared with June. The index of production rose 0.1% in July and then declined 1.1% in August. Construction activity rose 2.8% in July and contracted 0.1% in August.

    PENSION FUND 0639:

    Analysis for the BBC's Newsnight suggests the shortfall in a pension scheme used by UK university staff is even worse than thought. Pensions expert John Ralfe suggests the deficit in the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is at £10.5bn.

    GRANGEMOUTH 0640: Radio 4

    Scotland correspondent Colin Blane says it has been a "bad week for Unite" at Grangemouth. He says their reputation and standing has been damaged by their handling of the dispute with Ineos.

    OXFAM JOBS Via Twitter Victoria Fritz Business reporter, BBC News

    tweets: A fall in revenues from shops & fundraising means 125 jobs to go at Oxfam. Mostly at the Oxford HQ

    UK ECONOMY 0647:

    This morning's GDP figures are particularly important because since 2010 the economy has been going up a bit one quarter and down a bit the next - it's basically been flat. It grew 0.4% in the first quarter of this year and 0.7% in the second, so if there is growth of the predicted 0.8% in the third quarter it begins to look like a proper recovery.

    UK ECONOMY 0650:

    If you want to put today's figures in context and see how the UK has been doing in GDP terms over the last few years, take a look at our GDP tracker.

    UK ECONOMY 0653:

    If you want to know everything there is to know about today's GDP figures, take a look at our fantastic Q&A here, including a video explainer from the BBC's very own Declan Curry.

    FUEL BILLS 0700:
    Pensioner in front of heater

    The UK is second only to Estonia for people struggling to pay their energy bills in Europe - that's according to campaigners warning of a "national crisis" of cold homes this morning.

    UK ECONOMY 0707: Via Blog Linda Yueh Chief business correspondent

    blogs that one important factor to look out for in today's GDP figures is a strong pick-up in business investment. "It implies that firms are increasingly optimistic about future demand, so they start to install extra capacity now," she says.

    RUM TOUR 0710:

    Every morning at 07:00, financial journalists watch the stock market announcements to check for breaking news. About 95% of the announcements are very dry, regulatory filings. But this morning there is news of a "Rum Shack 'pop-up' bar tour", which will be featuring four of RedLeg's most popular cocktails; Apple Shack, Ginger Mojito, Hot Rum Slap and RedLeg Libre. It's not quite what we're used to...

    FEELING BLUE 0718:

    Riding high on the BBC's most-read stories this morning is the news that Simon Webbe from boy band Blue has been declared bankrupt. He follows band mate Duncan James who filed for bankruptcy in September.

    UK ECONOMY 0720:

    The Bank of England is expecting 0.7% growth "or a little higher" for the third and fourth quarters. Investec's Philip Shaw is predicting a figure of 0.8% growth, but said it was "not impossible" that this could be closer to 1%.

    UK ECONOMY 0725:
    Tyne River scene

    Research in the Guardian yesterday suggested that an increasing proportion of the UK's growth is coming from London ,at the expense of the rest of the country. The BBC's Mark Broad has been in the North East finding out how the recovery looks from there.

    ENERGY PRICES Simon Jack Business correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: GDP 0930. While we wait - gov public health advice is that living room shld be 21 C and bedroom 18C how hot do u like it?

    UK ECONOMY 0730:

    Remember that the figure due at 09:30 is only the preliminary estimate - the quarter only finished 25 days ago. The ONS is taking an educated guess at a figure, based on knowing about 40% of the economic activity that will be included in revised estimates made over the next year.

    UK ECONOMY 0731: Radio 4

    The Today programme's Simon Jack has been to a plastics factory in Wokingham, where bosses say business has been improving for a long time. He thinks the economy is improving better than the official figures have so-far suggested.

    UK ECONOMY 0735:

    Joe Grice, chief economist at the Office for National Statistics, which calculates GDP, wrote this guide to preliminary growth figures for the BBC News website when the last quarter's data came out.


    Time for a quick look at the markets: In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 is down sharply - more than 2%. Meanwhile, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong is down 0.6%. Investors in Tokyo are concerned about the strengthening value of the yen against the dollar. The European markets will open in about 15 minutes.

    Royal Mail vans

    Analysts at Panmure Gordon have advised their clients to buy Royal Mail shares at the current price of £5.29 a share (remember, the government sold it at £3.30). Its price target is £5.70 a share.


    If you're just joining us, the top story today is the upcoming UK growth figures, which most analysts expect to show 0.7% to 0.8% growth for the third quarter of the year. Meanwhile, Grangemouth workers are waiting for operator Ineos to make a statement on the petrochemicals plant's future, and EU ministers are considering corporate tax reforms to target digital firms such as Google.

    UK ECONOMY 0755: BBC Breakfast
    Dominic Laurie

    Another top fact from Dominic Laurie, reporting from the Ketley Brick company in the West Midlands. Apparently, the tiles for David Beckham's roof were made there. You get all the top showbiz gossip here at BBC business.

    UK ECONOMY 0802:
    mark carney

    The governor of the Bank of England struck a cautiously optimistic tone when asked about the state of the economy last night, ahead of today's growth figures. "We take some encouragement from what we're seeing, but it's a long way back from where we were."

    Voices of technology

    Fantastic piece from Dave Lee on our technology team, who has been to meet the voice of Siri, the woman who says "the next station will be Oxford Circus" on the Underground, the man who says "cashier number three please" in Post Offices, and the voice of the speaking clock.

    Via Twitter Adam Parsons Business Correspondent

    tweets: Restaurant Group, owner of Chiquito's, Frankie and Benny's and Garfunkel's, to invest £40m in 35 new restaurants next year

    UK ECONOMY 0812: Via Email

    A note of caution from Eimear Daly, an analyst at Monex Europe. She says UK GDP figures out later will "expose an over-hyped recovery". She says there is a big discrepancy between the hard economic data and the positive tone struck by various business surveys. "Business surveys show unrealistic expectations relative to the economic reality," she says.

    MORTGAGE RATES Via Twitter Kevin Peachey Personal finance reporter, BBC News

    tweets: Nationwide cuts mortgage rates a bit today for those without big deposit. Its official line is 'undecided' on whether to join Help to Buy II

    GRANGEMOUTH Via Twitter Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    tweets: Alex Salmond sounds very positive about Ineos today reversing its #Grangemouth closure decision. On @bbcgms now

    Eddie Stobart lorries

    This morning's Telegraph reports that Avril Palmer-Baunack, who lasted 71 days as chief executive of Stobart Group, left with a pay-off of £1.13m plus "benefits on termination" worth £36,150. She was the fifth director to leave the group in a year.


    The European markets have opened lower this morning. The FTSE 100 is down slightly ahead of the GDP figures, due out at 09:30. Frankfurt's Dax and the Cac 40 in Paris are down, 0.3% and 0.7% respectively. Meanwhile, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo has seen a 2.75% fall, with traders concerned about the strengthening of the yen against the dollar. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong has closed down 0.4%.

    UK ECONOMY 0832:

    The service sector was very strong between July and September, according to the well-respected Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index. Its research suggested that the third quarter had seen the strongest growth in the sector since the second quarter of 1997.

    LISTEN AGAIN 0833: Radio 4

    In case you missed it, you can listen back to the Today programme's business news with Simon Jack by downloading the podcast. Hear him speaking to representatives from the services, manufacturing and constructions sectors about how they think the economic recovery is going.

    Buckingham Palace

    The Times reports this morning that Buckingham Palace is London's least energy-efficient home, thanks to its 760 windows and 1,514 doors. Apparently B&Q has sent the royal household an energy saving pack with draft excluders and tips to save on heating costs.

    UK ECONOMY 0847:

    Less than an hour to go until we get UK economic growth figures and there has been disappointingly little variety in forecasts. We've had a lot of 0.7% and 0.8% forecasts with the odd "could go up to 1%". But in recent years, City forecasters have predicted GDP consistently too high. Should the live page forecast 0.6%? Tweet @bbcbusiness or email bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk


    We're waiting for the Office for National Statistics to release the first estimate of UK GDP growth for the third quarter in about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, Grangemouth workers are still waiting to find out if Ineos will change its mind about the planned closure of part of the site, and Twitter plans to raise $1.4bn via its share sale.

    Alex Salmond in talks

    Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has said he is "absolutely certain" that the petrochemical plant at Grangemouth can be saved. Read the latest here.

    VOLVO JOBS 0900:
    Volvo truck

    World number two truck-maker Volvo is cutting 2,000 jobs after investments in new models and a rising Swedish kronor held back third-quarter profits.

    UK ECONOMY 0901: via Facebook

    Reader Jagdeep Singh Sohal posts on the BBCBusiness Facebook page: Recovery definitely seems to be on the way. Confidence is high especially in the property market and banks have become more relaxed in their lending. I am expecting good growth figures. The more the economy grows the more opportunity for the rest of us!

    Via Twitter Adrienne Murray BBC News, Johannesburg

    tweets: BBC's @BuntuWIlliams looks at South Africa's bid to end politicians' 'high lifestyle' http://bbc.in/1a3tJJx


    The German business climate index from the Ifo Institute has fallen for the first time in six months. October's figure was 107.4, down from 107.7 in September, but still considerably above the figure of 100.1 at this time last year.

    TWITTER SALE Via Twitter Rory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent
    Hatching Twitter cover

    tweets: Fascinating fact from great book - in 2007 Yahoo offered $12m for Twitter, now it's floating at $11bn pic.twitter.com/X9EcnnVtHb

    FRENCH FOOTBALL TAX 0915: Radio 4

    Footballers in France are threatening to go on strike at the end of November in protest at a planned 75% tax on earnings over 1m euros ($1.4m; £850,000). Speaking on the Today programme French football writer Julien Laurens says the extra taxes could have a very damaging effect on some of the smaller clubs.

    LISTEN AGAIN 0922: Radio 5 live

    If you weren't awake at 05:30 this morning, you can listen back to the Wake Up To Money podcast to hear how businesses around the country feel about the UK's economic recovery.

    UK ECONOMY 0924: via Facebook

    Reader Rffs Foregard posts about the UK economic recovery on the BBCBusiness Facebook page: "not from where I'm sitting!" but Jessica Ratty posts: "I have set up my business during the recession and we have had an incredible first year!"

    UK ECONOMY 0927:

    So, we're poised for the release of UK economic growth figures at 09:30. Will it be 0.8% as the NIESR says, 0.7% as the Bank of England says or 0.6% as the influential Business Live page says? Find out here in just a few minutes.

    UK ECONOMY 0930: Breaking News

    GDP in the third quarter of this year grew by 0.8%, according to the latest official figures from the Office for National Statistics.

    UK ECONOMY 0933:

    So the optimistic forecasters were right. It means that the UK economy is now 2.5% below the peak of output before the downturn. The service sector has fully recovered and is now 0.4% above its pre-downturn level, but manufacturing is 8.9% below it and construction is 12.5% lower.

    UK ECONOMY 0935: BBC News Channel

    ONS chief economist Joe Grice says that third quarter GDP was depressed by a fall in oil and gas output. Without that fall, GDP would have grown by 1%, he said.

    UK ECONOMY Via Twitter Linda Yueh Chief business correspondent

    tweets: UK economy still 2.5% smaller than pre-crisis peak, recession caused GDP -7.2%; recovery led least by manufacturing. #rebalancing challenges

    UK ECONOMY 0941: Hugh Pym Chief economics correspondent, BBC News

    Construction has seen solid growth, up 2.5% after a highly volatile performance over the last year, which could signal a recovery underway in that sector, but it's subject to revision of course.

    UK ECONOMY Via Twitter

    Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, tweets: Pleased to see recovery firmly underway. Balanced growth across all sectors. Jobs + growth = #strongereconomy

    UK ECONOMY Via Twitter

    The Chancellor, George Osborne, tweets: 0.8% growth. This shows that Britain's hard work is paying off & the country is on the path to prosperity.

    UK ECONOMY 0947: Via Email

    Peter Hemington from the accountants BDO e-mails to say: "The concern amidst the encouraging numbers is that real incomes are still very low and wage growth still very weak. It's good to see rising business and consumer confidence but incomes and buying power will need to improve."

    UK ECONOMY 0949: Via Email

    Samuel Tombs from Capital Economics e-mails to say: "It seems likely that the UK economy recorded the fastest quarterly growth rate within the G7 in Q3 - at last, some compensation for several years of underperformance."

    UK ECONOMY 0951: Via Email

    British Chambers of Commerce director general John Longworth e-mails to say: "Much more needs to be done to transform our economy from being good to being really great. Businesses are in desperate need of better access to finance, and trade promotion has to be prioritised so that firms who are looking to do business overseas are able to take that first step towards exporting."


    Not much reaction to the GDP figures so far on the FTSE 100, which remains slightly below its opening level after bouncing around all morning. The Dax in Frankfurt is down 0.2% and the Cac 40 in Paris is down 0.5%.

    UK ECONOMY 0954: Via Email

    Nancy Curtin from Close Brothers Asset Management e-mails to say: "We now have further confirmation that the UK has shaken off the last vestiges of economic stagnation, placing George Osborne in a position of strength ahead of the Autumn Statement."

    UK ECONOMY 0957: Via Email

    A pretty cautious response from Graeme Leach, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, to the GDP figures. He emails: "The recovery is likely to be short and sweet instead of long and strong."

    UK ECONOMY 0957: Via Email

    Shadow chancellor Ed Balls e-mails to say: "After three damaging years of flatlining, it's both welcome and long overdue that our economy is growing again. But for millions of people across the country still seeing prices rising faster than their wages this is no recovery at all."

    GRANGEMOUTH Via Twitter Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    tweets: Stand by for Ineos announcement. Staff meeting at #Grangemouth at 11


    That's it from us for today. We'll leave you with the BBC business pages for the rest of the reaction to this morning's UK GDP figures, hopes of a deal at Grangemouth and the rest of the day's business headlines. Join us again from 06:00 on Monday for more Business Live.


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