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  1. UK unemployment falls to 5.6% - lowest since 2008
  2. General Electric reports $13.6bn loss on GE Capital charges
  3. Rolls-Royce confirms $9.2bn order from Emirates

Live Reporting

By Howard Mustoe

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Howard Mustoe

Business reporter

That's all for this week. Join us on Monday from 06:00 for, among other things, the ITEM Club Spring economic forecast. It will also be the fifth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

Via Twitter

Joe Lynam

BBC Business Reporter

tweets: Obama on Greek woes: No good trying to get blood from a stone but also G has to show that it's trying to help itself-making tough decisions

Greece cash reserves

Greece has hit back at reports it needs to use all its cash for public sector pay and pensions. "News agencies' reports that refer to the state's cash reserves are groundless, we categorically deny them," the Finance Ministry said in a statement, without elaborating. Reuters reported earlier that Greece will need to use about €2bn to pay civil service wages and pensions at the end of the month.


Today's Dilbert is for those who work with someone who dines out (or drinks out) a lot on past glories.

Market Update

US stocks are falling in early trading following steep losses in Europe and some disappointing results from big American firms.

American Express fell 4.8%, to $77.02 as a strong dollar hit earnings.

Via Email

Bloomberg disruption

Here's the latest from Bloomberg: "Service has been fully restored. We experienced a combination of hardware and software failures in the network, which caused an excessive volume of network traffic. This led to customer disconnections as a result of the machines being overwhelmed. We discovered the root cause quickly, isolated the faulty hardware, and restarted the software. We are reviewing our multiple redundant systems, which failed to prevent this disruption."

Via Twitter

World Bank view

Michelle Fleury

BBC business correspondent, New York

Jim Kim

tweets: What does World Bank think about AIIB, resettlement failures and ebola crisis? My interview w/ WB President Jim Kim

Clearing house regulation

The G20 economies will back action by regulators to ensure that clearing houses can withstand shocks to financial markets. Clearing houses, which sit between two sides of a deal, will grow quickly as more derivatives - bets - pass through them. This is part of a move to make markets more transparent. "We will identify and address gaps related to the resilience, recovery and resolution of central counterparties," G20 officials said in a draft prepared for a meeting underway in Washington, Reuters reports.



Poundland, you'll remember, is trying to buy 99p stores. The Competition and Markets Authority regulator said the retailer may have to sell some stores if it doesn't want the CMA to do a more thorough investigation. Poundland has now rejected this and

asked for three weeks' grace to "consider carefully" whether to endure the more thorough review "or to withdraw from the proposed transaction."

Greek loans

The head of Germany's central bank has criticised the emergency funding of Greek banks, saying the loans and bond-buying spree risked violating a ban on state financing by central banks. Jens Weidmann was speaking at a press event with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble as part of the International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington.

Falkland legal challenge

BBC News Channel


Argentina has begun legal proceedings against three British and two US companies for drilling oil near the Falkland Islands. BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed told the news channel: "What you are getting to is a revelation that the Falkland Islands could become rather valuable in resources... who then will get the economic benefit of that, will it simply be the Falkland Island government itself and possibly the British government or will the Argentine government also get a slice?"

'Frustration' over petrol prices

BBC News Channel


Edmund King, president of the AA, is now on the news channel. "We've found an anomaly between diesel prices and petrol prices. Wholesale prices are about the same," for the two types of fuel, he says. But at the pump, diesel buyers are paying about 6 pence extra per litre, he says. He can't resist a pun: "diesel drivers are being taken for a ride."

Get Involved


Ed Miliband has pledged to put an end to long-term unpaid internships if he becomes the next prime minister. Adam Marshall, executive director of the British Chambers of Commerce, has this to say: "Internships can provide a valuable stepping stone to introduce young people to the work environment. While no business should use unpaid interns as a substitute for paid staff, no government should put the prospect of work experience at risk through blanket legislation or regulation."

Via Blog

Why aren't UK pay rises delivering votes to Cameron?

Robert Peston

Economics editor

It is probable that the rises in average pay - both the headline rate and the real rate of disposable income - are disguising an uneven distribution of rises, such that those who have been in employment for longer and on higher pay are getting the lion's share of the improvement in living standards.

Read more on Robert's blog.

Bloomberg disruption 'internal'

Mike Bloomberg

Financial data company Bloomberg says there is no sign that major disruption to its systems this morning had been caused by hackers, and that it had restored service to most customers. "There is no indication at this point that this is anything other than an internal network issue." Bloomberg

said in a tweet. Pictured: owner Mike Bloomberg.

Howard Mustoe

Business reporter

Welcome to the evening service of the Business live page. Get in touch with the news that affects you

US inflation data

US consumer prices rose 0.2% March, the Labor Department says, after a similar gain to the Consumer Price Index in February. In the 12 months to the end of March, the CPI slipped 0.1%.

FCA looks at Bloomberg terminal impact

UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority has said it is looking at the fallout for firms it supervises resulting from a disruption to Bloomberg's trading systems. "We are aware of the issue and are monitoring the impact on our firms," it said.

Ex-IMF head released

Rodrigo Rato is escorted from his home by investigators, Madrid, 16 April 2015

Spanish tax agents have spent a second day searching the home of former IMF head Rodrigo Rato (left). Prosecutors are investigating Mr Rato for possible fraud, money laundering and asset concealment. He was detained yesterday and released at midnight in Madrid.

UK debt auction back on

Following an outage of Bloomberg trading terminals which forced the postponement of a £3bn UK debt auction, the sale of UK Treasury bills is back on. The tenders are being conducted between 12.30 and 14.30. That's all from the UK debt management office.

General Electric reports a loss

GE logos
Getty Images

General Electric reported a first quarter loss of $13.57bn. The loss is mainly due to a charge related to the sale of assets belonging to GE Capital, its financing business.
Last week GE announced plans to sell most of GE Capital, to focus on its industrial units.

Workers in demand

Welding UK factory
Getty Images

There are 50,000 more people employed across the manufacturing sector now, than this time a year ago, says Lee Hopley, chief economist, at EEF (which represents manufacturing firms) on BBC News Channel. There's a "real challenge" in hiring engineers and staff with the right technical skills. That's "bidding up" wages in some parts of manufacturing, she says.

Greek talks to continue on Saturday

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis

Greece will continue to negotiate with its international creditors on Saturday. "The Brussels Group is meeting this weekend, as of tomorrow afternoon, so work is ongoing and then the informal Eurogroup of April 24 will be the opportunity for finance ministers to take stock of progress," Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told reporters. That should keep Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis busy over the weekend.

Via Twitter

Bloomberg outage fallout

Rob Young

Business reporter, BBC World Service

The #UK has had to postpone borrowing £3 billion on the markets because of @Bloomberg trading computer problems. #bloombergdown #debt

Sterling rises

Pound v Dollar

The pound has hit a four-week high against the dollar

helped by that strong UK employment data. In morning trading £1 was buying around £1.50270.

Via Email

'The Apple of Hollywood'

Joshua Raymond

Chief Market Strategist, City Index

"Since buying LucasFilm, Disney's shares price has rocketed by 132%, boosting its market cap by $108bn, 27 times that of the amount it paid for LucasFilm, which is an incredible return in two and a half years... Disney is becoming the Apple of Hollywood."

Via Twitter

UK employment

Norman Smith

BBC News assistant political editor

tweets: We are on the cusp of full employment; a job for everyone who wants one - PM

Via Twitter

Richard Westcott

Transport correspondent

tweets: Biggest ever deal for @rollsroyce

Eurozone deflation eases

Euro" by the artist group Superflex at Art Cologne, Germany

Consumer prices in the eurozone have risen for the second month running, but not enough to pull annual inflation out of negative territory,

according to Eurostat. Eurozone annual inflation was -0.1% in March, an improvement on -0.3% in February.

Via Twitter

Richard Westcott

Transport correspondent

tweets: Emirates boss Sir T Clark takes opportunity to say how gr8 A380 is. 7000 UK jobs created by the plane

Star Wars plane promo

Business Live

Business Live

R2-D2 dreamliner

Japan's All Nippon Airways has promoted the new Star Wars movie by branding a Dreamliner aircraft with a Star Wars logo and an R2-D2 paint job. (For non-Star Wars fans, R2-D2 is a robot character from the franchise).

Rolls Royce $9.2bn engine order


Rolls-Royce says it has won a $9.2bn (£6.2bn) order to supply engines for 50 A380 aircraft for Dubai's Emirates airline. It's a boost for Rolls Royce, which has had a tough time with profit warnings over the past year.

Wages vs. inflation

ONS earnings and CPI figures

Wage growth is not exactly stellar, but at least it is running ahead of inflation, as the chart above shows.

Via Email

UK unemployment

Samuel Tombs

Senior UK Economist, Capital Economics

With the jobless rate now only a fraction above its average of 5.3% seen in the decade before the recession, it is unsurprising that wage growth is gradually building. Admittedly, the headline growth rate of average weekly earnings including bonuses dipped from 1.9% to 1.7%. But this entirely reflected a shift in the timing of bonus payments. These rates of pay growth are still not strong enough to suggest that inflation will swiftly return to the MPC's 2% target. As a result, the likelihood of an interest rate rise within the next year still looks slim.

Bloomberg terminal problems

Bloomberg terminals are suffering a "global network problem", the company's technical department has acknowledged. "Our network teams are trying to resolve the problem," a Bloomberg representative says.

Greece brinkmanship

Business Live

Business Live

Brenda Kelly

In saying that

Greece is welcome to look elsewhere for creditors, Germany appears to be "pretty much washing its hands of Greece", Brenda Kelly of IG Group, tells Business Live. "If Greece wants to leave the euro, if they want to default on their debt, that is going to be their own lookout at the end of the day." She adds that if you look at the wide divergence between bond yields, (which determine government borrowing costs) - low for Germany, and high for Greece , "you have to question whether this is going to end very well".

Via Twitter

Andrew Verity

BBC economics correspondent

With inflation at zero in February, the 1.8% rise in average earnings (excluding bonuses) was the highest real terms rise for years.

Via Twitter

UK jobs

Duncan Weldon

BBC Newsnight

Employment growth driven by full time employee positions. Labour market composition shifting towards that over last year. Total hours worked at 0.5% on the quarter. Just below NIESR GDP estimate suggesting weak but at least positive productivity growth.

UK unemployment

The unemployment rate has fallen to 5.6% for the three months to the end of February,

according to the Office for National Statistics. Average total pay for the three months to the end of February rose 1.7% from a year earlier. Regular pay (which excludes bonuses) rose 1.8%.

Bloomberg problems

There are reports of problems with Bloomberg terminals this morning. If that does not mean much to you then don't worry. At considerable expense, Bloomberg terminals give traders real time market prices and up to date economic news and city traders use them heavily. Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC markets,
tweets: "Bloomberg problems argggghhh".