Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.


  1. Get in touch:
  2. US committed to tax reform deadline
  3. Excel loses 'gig economy' court case
  4. Household borrowing jumps in February

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Test Card F

That's it for another week with Business Live.

For those in the UK, don't forget that the clocks go forward one hour on Sunday, 26 March.

See you bright(-ish) and (much) earlier on Monday at 6.00am for all the latest business news and analysis.

Tax reform 'difficult but not impossible'

Paul Ryan has just said: "This does make tax reform more difficult but it does not make it impossible." 

Ryan: we came up short

Paul Ryan
Getty Images

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Paul Ryan is now talking about having to pull a bill on healthcare reform.

He talks about "growing pains" and "doing big things are hard". 

He says: "We came really close but we came up short." 

US markets close door on volatile day

US trader
Getty Images

After a roller coaster day, ending in a serious blow for Donald Trump when he pulled the bill to repeal Obamacare , the Dow Jones industrial average ended 59.17 points lower at 20,597.41.

The S&P 500 closed down 1.97 points at 2,343.99.

The Nasdaq finished 11.04 points ahead at 5,828.74.

Prepare for a 'quick pivot'

Donald Trump
Getty Images

Michael Scanlon, a portfolio manager for Manulife Asset Management, said investors want Donald Trump's administration to move onto other issues.

He said: "You're going to see a very quick pivot to corporate tax reform and that's regardless of whether this passes or fails.'' 

Mr Scanlan told the Associated Press that it is important that the US Government reforms tax.

"Something needs to be done with a permanent solution, not just one of these holiday things,'' he said, because ``the goal is to be a stimulus for domestic investment.'' 

BreakingUS healthcare reform vote postponed again

A Congressional vote to repeal and reform the Affordable Care Act has been postponed for a second time.

The Dow Jones industrial average clawed back some losses to fall 86.63 points to 20,569.95.

The S&P 500 is trading 4.36 points lower at 2,341.60. 

The Nasdaq rose 5.14 points to 5,822.83.

'Litmus test' for Trump

The vote to repeal the Affordable Car Act "is being seen as a good litmus test of the rest of Trump's agenda," said Gennadiy Goldberg, an interest rate strategist at TD Securities.

Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management, said: "If this goes on the back burner and they start addressing corporate tax rates or infrastructure, that would be a positive for the market."

BreakingDow Jones index tumbles

The Dow Jones industrial average is now down 100 points at 20,555.81.

The Congressional vote on repealing the US Affordable Care Act is due within the next half an hour.

New £1 coin makes debut on Tuesday

Pound coin

Just a reminder, this is the new pound coin that comes into circulation on Tuesday and the reason some Tesco stores will leave their trolleys unlocked.

The introduction of " the most secure coin in the world " means that everyone will have to use their old pounds by 15 October. 

So, it is time to shake-out those piggy banks.

US shares fall as healthcare vote nears

The Dow Jones industrial average has fallen further. It is now down 69.72 points at 20,586.86. 

The S&P 500 is also lower, falling 4.05 points at 2,341.91.

The Nasdaq remains ahead but that has narrowed to a rise of 1.62 points to 5,819.31.

Wall Street looks ahead

Donald Trump
Getty Images

US stock market traders appear to be looking ahead to the Trump administration's other policy promises as a plan to reform the Affordable Care Act faces difficulties. 

Alan Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz & Associates, says: "Investors are coming to the conclusion that either way the vote goes or if they delay it further, that they will start working on the rest of the Trump agenda, and that's what investors are interested in."

While Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer for multi-asset strategies and solutions at Voya Investment Management, says: "The economy and earnings were doing better since before the election. 

"If people want to drop the S&P by 300 points because this doesn't pass, I and others will be down there to buy it."

US stock markets hang fire

Stock market
Getty Images

Stock markets are again back in wait-and-see mode as US Congress prepares to vote on healthcare reforms.

The Dow Jones industrial average is trading 29.96 points at 20,626.62.

The S&P 500 was ahead 1.12 points at 2,347.08 while the Nasdaq rose 17.89 points to 5,835.59.

Twitter considers paid-for premium service

Getty Images

The micro-blogging site Twitter is mulling offering a paid membership option to its business in an effort to boost revenue.

BBC North America technology reporter Dave Lee has the full story here.

Countdown to trolley-geddon?

Shopping trolley
Getty Images

Britain may soon be heading for a trolley free-for-all after it has emerged that scores of Tesco stores will have to leave them unlocked because of the new £1 coin.

A 12-sided £1 coin will come into circulation on Tuesday. 

However, existing trolleys will only accept the old currency, which ceases to become legal tender on 15 October. 

A Tesco spokesman said: "We're replacing the locks on our trolleys to accept old and new pound coins as well as existing trolley tokens. 

"As an interim measure we will unlock trolleys while this process is completed and we will continue to have colleagues on hand to attend trolleys in our stores, so our customers aren't affected by the changes."

BreakingUS announces time of healthcare vote

The Congressional vote on repealing the US Affordable Care Act will take place at 3.30pm BST or 7.30pm GMT, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

The Dow Jones industrial average is currently trading 10.51 lower at 20,646.07. 

The S&P 500 is 3.85 points ahead at 2,349.81 and the Nasdaq is up 26.50 points at 5,844.20.

Mine's a pint in a strange new world

PPG leaves the Netherlands empty-handed

Akzo Nobel
Akzo Nobel

Executives from the US paint and coatings-maker PPG have left the Netherlands without meeting with Akzo Nobel, the owner of Dulux.

PPG has made two offers for Akzo, both of which have been rejected by the company much to the consternation of many of its shareholders.

However, there are fears at a local level that a takeover by PPG would result in job cuts at the Dutch business which employs 46,000 people.

A representative of Akzo's main labour union, FNV, told Reuters: "To be honest, we don't want a deal with the Americans. We have major concerns about their plans for job cuts."

Pearson's pay deal highlights disparity

FTSE closes lower

The FTSE 100 closed down 3.89 points at 7,336.82 on Friday.

The blue chip stock index also ended the week lower, down 1.2% or a loss of 89.32 points.

The FTSE 250 finished down 21.83 points at 18,980.44 and 0.6% lower on the week.

Vedanta shares fall on investment plan

Vedanta Resources
Vedanta Resource's share price today

Shares in Vedanta Resources fell 2.71% to 808p after the Indian miner, which is listed in London, said it will invest $1bn in the Konkola Copper Mines in Zambia.

Vedanta says the site has the potential to produce copper for the next 50 years and the investment is expected to create 7,000 jobs.

Reasons to be cheerful

BBC economics editor Kamal Ahmed tweets

US healthcare vote will miss markets close

It looks like the vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act will take place after the US stock markets have closed.

Reuters is reporting that Congress will vote by 4.45pm, or 8.45pm GMT.

US stock markets currently close at 4.30pm, or 8.30pm GMT.

Start your engines

Petrol station
Getty Images

It will be a little cheaper to take the car out this weekend.

Some supermarkets are cutting petrol and diesel prices by up to 2p a litre.

Read the full story here .

US policy could boost GDP by 3.5%

US dollars
Getty Images

More from US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. 

He told Axios that President Donald Trump's economic policies could produce growth of between 3%-3.5%.

Mr Mnuchin "We're in an environment where the US assets are the most attractive assets to invest in on a global basis."

He also stuck to forecasts that he will get comprehensive tax reform through Congress before August recess.

YouTube is on the way to save the day

Mnuchin: stocks could rise higher

Steve Mnuchin
Getty Images

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reckons stock markets could fly even higher on US President Donald Trump's economic plans.

In an interview with news site Axios, where he praised Mr Trump's stamina and "perfect genes", Mr Mnuchin said economic growth from policies such as tax cuts and regulatory reform were "definitely not all baked in" to stock market valuations.

Mr Mnuchin said: "I think there is some good news that's baked in, but yet, I think there is further room for significant growth in the economy that would be reflected in the markets.

"The consequence would be that the market could go up significantly."

Germany split over more cash for Greece

Wolfgang Schaeuble
Getty Images

Greece's debt crisis is creating cracks in Germany's government.

The finance minister and the foreign minister of the eurozone biggest economy have clashed over the prospect of granting more funds to the indebted Greece.

Foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel, who is a member of the Social Democrats, which is the junior partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition, said on Twitter: "In the next debate on Europe's finances we could do something 'outrageous' - namely signal willingness to pay more." 

However, veteran Christian Democrat Wolfgang Schaeuble, told Deutschlandfunk radio: "I was annoyed that while in Greece Mr Gabriel gave the Greeks a message that doesn't help the Greeks but rather makes it more difficult for them to make the right decisions."

Trump hails oil pipeline a 'great day for US jobs'

Donald Trump
Getty Images
One of Donald Trump's first decisions as President was to revive the construction of Keystone.

US President Donald Trump has hailed the go-ahead of the Keystone XL oil pipeline as a "historic day for North America" and "a great day for American jobs". 

TransCanada is the construction company behind the enormous pipeline which runs from Canada to the US and despite gaining a presidential permit, it still has to get the go-ahead from Nebraska before the project can begin. 

The pipeline has been hugely controversial and it had been rejected under the previous US administration 

Pearson boss pay package rises by 20%

In a climate where executive pay is front and centre in most investor's minds, awarding a chief executive a 20% pay bump when his company's share price has done this...


...might be seen as a little controversial. 

That big share price drop in January is when Pearson, the former owner of the Financial Times, issued its fifth profit warning in four years. 

Despite this, Pearson's chief excutive John Fallon was paid a total £1.5m for last year compared to a previous £1.2m.

The rise was a £343,000 annual incentive payout and the company has frozen management pay. However, Pearson may face a challenging reception at this year's annual shareholder meeting.

HS2 civil contracts 'pushed back'

Richard Westcott

Transport correspondent

Markets positive ahead of US healthcare vote

US stock market traders
Getty Images

Wall Street opened up on Friday ahead of a key Congressional vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act. 

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 38.05 points to 20,694.63 with chip-maker Intel the biggest gainer and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer the largest loser on only marginal movement.

The S&P 500 was also up, adding 5.04 points to 2,351 while the Nasdaq climbed 25.79 points to 5,843.49.

What might F1's new owners do to rev up the sport?

Theo Leggett

BBC Business News Reporter

F1 drivers

Much has changed in Formula 1 since Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag at last year's season finale in Abu Dhabi.

The reigning world champion, Nico Rosberg, has  walked off into the sunset . The cars have evolved, with new rules allowing them to become bigger, faster and more aggressive-looking.

But the most significant transformation has taken place behind the scenes.

Formula 1 is  under new ownership . Control has passed from private equity firm CVC Capital Partners to the US group  Liberty Media .

Read more here .

Courier firms 'must get their act together'

An employment tribunal has ruled that a self-employed courier for the firm Excel was actually "a worker".

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), which brought the case, said it had "won its second major legal victory against companies that bogusly classify their workers as independent contractors."

Jason Moyer-Lee, the IWGB general secretary, said: "As the tribunal dominoes continue to fall we would recommend that courier companies which are not yet subject to litigation by the IWGB urgently get their act together."

US durable goods orders rise in February

Boeing 737 Max 9
Getty Images

Greater demand for commercial aircraft helped US businesses increase their orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in February.

Orders for commercial aircraft saw a 47.6% jump in February.  

The Commerce Department said that orders for durable goods rose 1.7% in February and an upwardly revised 2.3% in January.

The growth indicates that manufacturers are steadily recovering from a rough patch that began in 2015 when lower energy prices and slower economic growth worldwide cut into demand for US factory goods.

BT shares slip after Ofcom compensation announcement

BT logo

BT shares are down about 1.3% after Ofcom said broadband customers who get poor service should automatically get money back.

Nicholas Hyett, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said:

"Initial proposals for a voluntary code of practice, put forward by BT, Sky and Virgin Media, have been rejected by the regulator, which estimates the proposed fines could generate new compensation payments of up to £185m a year.

"As the UK’s largest broadband provider, and caretaker of the telecoms infrastructure through Openreach, BT would... [probably] face the largest share of that cost."

Portugal cuts budget deficit to below EU target

Sao Bento palace
Getty Images

Portugal sharply cut its budget deficit sharply last year to 2.1% of gross domestic product, beating a 2.5% target agreed with Brussels.

Under EU rules, member states are not supposed to run annual deficits greater than 3% of their total economic output, or they can be fined.  

Laptop restrictions 'clumsy' says Aviation Week

Laptop user in an airport

Aviation Week says the bans on laptops on certain routes imposed by the UK and US have been "poorly thought through and clumsily rolled out".

Both nations have banned larger electronic devices from aircraft cabins on flights departing from certain North African and Middle Eastern nations.

But Aviation Week points out that a determined terrorist could just fly to European city and then take a flight to the US or UK.

It also makes the point that flights will now operate with hundreds of of devices powered by lithium ion batteries in the hold. Such batteries have been known to catch fire, if that happens in a cabin, then at least it could be put out, the report says .

Broadband compensation won't apply to internet speed

Simon Gompertz

BBC personal finance correspondent

Court rules courier was not self-employed

John Moylan

BBC industry & employment correspondent

An employment tribunal has ruled that a self-employed courier for the firm Excel was actually a worker and entitled to holiday pay.

The claimant, cycle courier Andrew Boxer, had argued that he was entitled to one week of holiday pay based upon his work for Excel. The tribunal agreed, finding that Mr Boxer's claim for holiday pay was "well founded", that he "was a worker" and that the firm "unlawfully failed to pay the claimant".

The ruling adds more legal weight to claims that some firms operating in the so-called gig economy are engaged in "bogus self-employment". 

In January an employment tribunal found that a courier with CitySprint, should also be classed as a worker rather than self-employed.

The Taxi hailing firm Uber is appealing against a similar ruling against the firm last year.   

Brexit could have 'big impact' on UK movie industry

BBC business reporter Rob Young tweets:

View more on twitter