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Live Reporting

By Joe Miller and Matthew West

All times stated are UK

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Matthew West

Business Reporter

Right that's it for another day. Tomorrow we have full year results from Thomas Cook. Plus Moya Greene, chief executive of the Royal Mail, will be giving evidence to the Business Committee - as will a number of her rivals - on competition in the postal sector and the universal service obligation. We'll see you at 06:00.

Rating Russia

A senior director at ratings agency Standard & Poor's has said the firm is unlikely to downgrade Russia's sovereign debt rating - currently just above "junk" status - even if the country's economic state worsens. "External and fiscal buffers are strong enough to support the rating even if the economy goes into recession," said Christian Esters.

UK economy

The UK economy will out perform the eurozone and Japan over the next two years, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has said today. It adds the eurozone may be stuck in a spiral of persistent stagnation as a result of insufficient policy stimulus. The OECD says it expects eurozone inflation to stand at 0.6% next year and 1% in 2016. That's still well below the European Central Bank's inflation target of at, or slightly below, 2%.

House prices

Colourfully painted houses in London,
PA

Halifax bank is predicting "a further moderation in house price growth" next year. It forecasts house prices nationally to grow between 3% and 5% in 2015. This year house prices have grown by around 10% according to most indexes. The main reason for the more muted growth will be the prospect of interest rate rises at some point later in the year, the bank says.

Carney evidence

"As an immigrant to this country I would like to put on the record that I'm extremely grateful for the open policy this country has," Mr Carney adds. And that's it for another session.

Carney evidence

We seem to have moved into a debate over immigration. "I'm not well placed to judge people's opinions on these issues. When we look at migration we look net migration, so there are people leaving as well," Mr Carney says, visibly uncomfortable. "Isn't that time up?" He asks when Conservative MP Steven Baker asks him whether the economy will be better off or worse off if there were an Australian style points based immigration system in the UK.

Via Email

BT

Robert Prince emails: "On the subject of BT buying O2. I would like to ask the question - will BT's appalling levels of customer service affect the O2 business? I would very seriously consider moving my mobile contract away from O2 if BT takes over.."

Carney evidence

To what extent is the growth of part time working and zero hours contracts becoming structural in the economy? Asks Andrew Love MP. "In the end we won't go back to historic levels [of employment]," Mr Carney says. "There are some structural changes that are driven as much by technology as they are by policy," he adds.

Carney evidence

We've moved onto household debt. Mr Carney says the Committee has to set monetary policy on aggregate information. There may be a bigger reaction to rate moves, because there are a larger number of indebted households, Mr Carney says. The concern is that those households with lower earners will feel the effects of interest rate rises most keenly.

Via Twitter

Jonty Bloom

Business correspondent, BBC News

tweets: "Mark Carney playing a straight bat, as Mervyn would have said"

Carney evidence

"You can't just have figures without context, chairman," quips the governor, in response to pressure by Mr Tyrie to name a long term growth rate. "Well why don't you start with the figure?" pushes the chairman, after which Mr Carney tentatively mentions 2.25%.

Via Twitter

Julian Harris, news editor at City AM

tweets: "Carney says high net immigration is due to 'relative [economic] strength in the UK'. Something millions of Brits would do well to understand."

Carney evidence

Mr Carney gets a question about the "productivity puzzle" from Liberal Democrat MP John Thurso, who claims to have read in the Wall Street Journal that the Bank governor had solved the UK productivity issues. "I'll have to go through my back issues of the Journal and find out how I fixed it," responds Mr Carney, rather suggesting he hasn't.

Carney evidence

Bank members
BBC

Four Bank officials are present in the committee room.

Carney evidence

Mr Carney says the Bank's message in recent months has been "boring because it's consistent".

Carney evidence

"A balanced recovery between consumption and investment remains our forecast," Mr Carney says. The Bank softened its forecast "a bit" because of external factors and global economic risks. The main risk to business investment in the UK is another eurozone recession and that could still "materialise," he says. It is more likely the eurozone will be stagnant, he adds. And with no material improvement in output or employment, the eurozone will continue to bounce along the bottom next year with below 1% growth.

Carney evidence

Carney
BBC

Some data-dependence humour in the Grimond Room. The governor echoes Ian McCafferty's assertion that his predictions are tied to hard numbers. "We would take that as read," says the chair, to which Mr Carney flashes his trademark grin. The chairman adds that the moment a Bank official feels they are not data dependent, they should let the committee know, "preferably in writing".

Carney evidence

"Are there any upsides in the world economy?" asks Conservative MP Alok Sharma. Ian McCafferty replies in the affirmative, and says there is a "possibility that the US recovery will strengthen," and that the "chances of collapse in the eurozone are small". He adds that Europe's recent woes "may have been caused by short term or erratic factors". Additionally, the "sharp fall in oil may stimulate the world economy".

Carney evidence

"The biggest risks I worry about today are external," says Prof Forbes. She mentions "continued stagnation or a sharp downturn in the eurozone" as specific concerns, as well as geopolitical risks.

Carney evidence

"None of us know what's going on, do we?" says John Mann, talking about the accuracy of the data collected by the Bank of England.

Via Twitter

BT

Rory Cellan-Jones

Technology correspondent

tweets:. "Source at BT rival tells me would be amazed if regulators waved through O2/EE purchase without forcing Openreach sale"

Carney evidence

Forbes
BBC

"Wage inflation has been surprisingly low given the strength of the economy... but wages are starting to pick up according to the latest data," new Monetary Policy Committee member Professor Kristin Forbes tells MPs. "The thing about wage growth is that it is evidence of a sustained recovery," she says. Higher wages feed into higher consumer spending, for example.

Carney evidence

"I don't think it's my job to encourage wage inflation," says Bank economist Ian McCafferty, in response to a question by Labour MP John Mann on the low recovery in pay growth.

Carney evidence

"It is more likely than not that inflation will fall below 1% and that I will have to write a letter to the chancellor," Mr Carney tells the committee. "The discussion we have been having has been around the pace... timing of monetary tightening," he adds.

Carney evidence

"Forward guidance still has a role," Mr Carney tells MPs on the Treasury Select Committee. He says businesses understand the role of forward guidance in determining policy and there is still much to unwind.

Carney evidence

Carney
BBC

The governor is challenged over his policy of forward guidance, which was meant to reassure markets, business and consumers that interest rates would not rise suddenly. He says that it "provided greater clarity" and helped build confidence, despite no change being introduced once unemployment fell to 7% - one of the measures that the Bank of England had said would trigger a rate increase.

Carney evidence

"We are not mechanistically mapping policy to an estimate of spare capacity," adds Mr Carney.

Carney evidence

The Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has begun giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee. He says there is a "substantial degree of uncertainty", with regard to the amount of spare capacity in the economy.

Via Twitter

Office for National Statistics

tweets: "9.9% of workers were #underemployed & another 9.7% were over-employed in 2014"

New Santander boss

Spanish bank Santander has named former chief financial officer Jose Antonio Alvarez as its new boss. He takes over from Javier Marin, who has only been in the position for a year-and-a-half. "This is the first big management shake-up at the eurozone's biggest bank, since Ana Botin took over as chairman following her father's death in September," Reuters reports.

German spending

German consumer spending grew considerably in the third quarter - up 0.7% - helping the economy narrowly avoid recession,

official figures show. The rise in household spending will be a welcome relief to the European Central Bank which has spent much of the year fretting about deflation.

Nationwide trading update

Android Wear
Nationwide

Nationwide proudly proclaims in its half-year results today that it is "the first UK financial services provider to deliver access to real-time account balances on Android Wear smartwatches".

ING job cuts

Dutch bank ING has announced it is cutting 1,700 jobs over the next three years as part of an online banking push and has set aside €320m the fourth quarter to finance them. Cuts and associated IT investments will yield annual gross savings of around €270m a year from 2018, it added. Most of the cuts are expected to be in retail banking headquarters, back offices, call centres and IT departments.

Market data

A brief warning about our continuing problem with the BBC website's market data figures. Share prices and other data are fine, as are the graphs for the stock markets, but index figures are not accurate. Our engineers are working on this. Sincere apologies

De La Rue profits fall

Polymer £10 pound British (GB) sterling bank notes
Getty Images

On the plus side, De La Rue saw its Bank of England contract renewed for another 10 years last month and Mike Sutherland has joined as chief executive from BAE Systems. He says he will be evaluating the strategy of the group and expects to report on this with the full year results in May 2015. In less good news, the firm also confirmed a 41% cut to its dividend - to 8.3p

Markets update

The main European markets are largely flat this morning. The biggest loser in London is oil giant Petrofac, down a further 4% after yesterday's profit warning.

  • In London, the FTSE 100 is down just 0.01% at 6,728
  • In Frankfurt, the Dax is up 0.1% at 9,796
  • In Paris, the Cac-40 is up 0.02% at 4,369

Pinewood profits

Costumes on the set of Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron
Marvel

"Exceptionally strong" demand for space at Pinewood's facilities has driven the film studio's pre-tax profits up to £1.76m, from £1.6m in the same six-month period last year. The biggest titles were Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens and Avengers: Age of Ultron, which will star Idris Elba, alongside Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston.

De La Rue profits fall

De La Rue - the firm that prints bank notes for the Bank of England, among others - has reported a 26% fall in pre-tax profits to £18m for the six months to the end of September. The company says it expects profits to be £20m lower this year as a result of "challenging market conditions". This, however, is simply a restatement of the same profit warning issued at the end of September, which caused its share price to plunge some 30%.

Topps trumps

Topps
Topps

Annual pre-tax profits at home improvement retailer Topps Tiles have shot up 57.5%, to £16.7m. A new marketing campaign featuring Phil Spencer of "Location, Location, Location" fame has helped ring the register, the company says.