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  1. Welcome to the new-look Business Live page
  2. The morning's main business programmes are available on the Live Coverage tab
  3. UK inflation figures down to 1.2%
  4. Government sets out greater pensions freedoms

Live Reporting

By Matthew West and Edwin Lane

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    Matthew West

    Business reporter

    That is that for another day folks. Tomorrow we have the latest unemployment and average earnings figures from the Office for National Statistics and it's the first anniversary of the launch of Royal Mail onto the London Stock Exchange.


    It's all gone a bit red across Europe's financial markets since the release of those European production output figures at 10:00. The FTSE 100 is down 0.39% at 6341. The German Dax is lower by 0.66% at 8754 and France's Cac-40 is 0.88% lower at 4042.


    Lego with tyres

    Which company is the worlds largest tyre manufacturer? Pirelli? Michelin? Bridgestone? Nope. It is, we kid you not, Lego. In 2012, Lego celebrated its 50th anniversary by being awarded the Guinness World Record for "largest tyre manufacturer per annum" for producing 315 million tyres a year. Hat tip to Dan Raywood, editor of website IT Security Guru for sharing that.


    Tesco shopping trolleys

    Tesco have confirmed that another three non-executive directors have been suspended. That takes the total number of senior Tesco directors that have left or been suspended to eight. It comes after Tesco revised its half-year profit guidance down by £250m, which has led to an investigation into the supermarket's accounting practices.

  5. Via Twitter


    Pensions industry expert Tom McPhail tweets: "I'd like to take this moment between interviews to tip my hat to the Tory party / Treasury PR lizards of spin. You're doing an excellent job". It's worth pointing out the rise in the state pension doesn't take place until April 2015, so George Osborne can't know if it will be double the rate of inflation then or not.


    Chen Guangbiao singing 'We are the World' at the New York luncheon for the homeless

    Chen Guangbiao - the self-described "Most Influential Person of China", "Most Prominent Philanthropist of China", "China Moral Leader" and "China Earthquake Rescue Hero". The BBC's John Sudworth meets the controversial Chinese philanthropist and gets sung at - check out the Key Video section for the evidence.

  7. Via Twitter


    Ben Thompson

    Business correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: "Lots to discuss with @dannyalexander at 1145 on @BBCNews. Inflation falls to lowest in 5 years but what impact on pensions?"


    George Osborne

    Chancellor George Osborne says the fall in the inflation rate this morning is "a double-dose of good economic news" for families and pensioners. "It means prices are much lower for families and it also means, thanks to the government's 'triple lock', that the state pension is going to go up by more than double the rate of inflation."

  9. Via Twitter


    Simon Jack

    Business correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: "Is falling oil a Saudi conspiracy against US fracking or a US-Saudi plot to crush Russia? Any other theories welcome."


    Sentiment has turned gloomy in Germany - the supposed powerhouse of the eurozone economy. The ZEW economic institute's latest survey shows investor confidence turned negative in October for the first time in nearly two years. The assessment of the current situation in Germany has "deteriorated significantly", not helped by weak factory orders and falling exports.


    It looks like US investment bank JPMorgan Chase's third quarter profits have been leaked online. In what Reuters is reporting as an "apparently authentic" document on the website JP Morgan posted net income of $5.6bn (£3.5bn) compared with a loss of $380m last year. The bank had no immediate comment. Perhaps "Oops" might be appropriate?


    Graph showing industrial output since 2005

    There's more gloomy economic data from the eurozone. This time it's industrial output, which slumped 1.8% in August compared with July, according to official figures. Year-on-year industrial production fell by 1.9%. The largest monthly falls were recorded in Hungary (-5.8%) and Germany (-4.3%). There was a big fall in the creation of heavy duty machinery of 4.8%.

  13. Via Email


    Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight says "CPI inflation of just 1.2% in September advances the mounting case for the Bank of England to hold off from raising interest rates until well into 2015, rather than in the first quarter." That's quite a big call given most analysts still think that interest rates will rise in February 2015 at the moment.



    The pound has dropped sharply against the dollar in response to the inflation figures. It's currently down 0.7% as investors see the prospect of an interest rates rise recede.


    The ONS data for August comes after both Nationwide and Halifax published house price indices that suggested a slowdown in growth in the property market for September. The latest official figures may be a month behind but they do add weight to the suggestion that growth may be slowing.


    If the London house price market were excluded average property values nationwide would have risen by a more modest 7.8% in the year to August. Every region of the UK has seen property values rise. The North East of England saw the smallest rise in average house prices of 3.8% in the year.


    Graph showing house price growth since 2004

    The average house price in the UK is now £274,000. Once again London continued to outpace the rest of the UK - house prices in the capital were up just a touch under 20% in August compared with a year earlier.



    Falls in transport costs - notably sea fares and air fares - and prices for a range of recreational goods provided the largest contributions to the slowdown in the rate of inflation between August and September, the ONS said.


    RPI inflation, which includes housing costs, fell to 2.3% in September from 2.4% in August, the ONS says.


    Average property values rose 11.7% in August compared with the same month a year earlier, official data shows. That's unchanged from the previous month, the Office for National Statistics says.

  21. BreakingBreaking News


    CPI inflation rate slowed to 1.2% in September from 1.5% a month earlier, the Office for National Statistics says.


    India inflation

    Inflation in India has dipped to a five-year low of 2.38%. That will come as welcome relief to many in India, where the cost of living is a sensitive topic, and people are plagued by the problem of rising prices. Watch Simon Atkinson's report from Mumbai.


    BBC Radio 4

    Treasury minister Priti Patel tells Today - about three or four times - that the new pensions reforms are about choice and freedom and people making decisions for themselves based on professional advice. Sarah Montague tells the minster she has "got that".


    BBC News Channel

    Tom McPhail, pensions expert at Hargreaves Lansdown is on the News Channel talking about the latest pension reforms. "This is being driven by a political agenda," he says. "The government is very keen to sell the message that you can treat your pension like a bank account, that you can dip in when you like."

  25. Via Blog


    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    blogs: "Is the world's top regulator, the Financial Stability Board, pumping up a bubble in government bonds in the way it is attempting to curb the dangers of so-called shadow banking?"


    Radio 5 live

    Ireland is set to close the so-called "double Irish" tax loophole later. Fergal O'Brien, head of policy IBEC - which represents large employers in Ireland - plays down the significance of the favourable tax regime in Ireland, which has attracted the likes of Google and Apple. "We are a small economy and we need these advantages. Tax is one of them, but its not everything," he tells Radio 5 live.


    Michael Page share graph

    Shares in recruitment firm Michael Page are also taking a bit of a beating this morning, down nearly 12% after the open, after it said it expects operating profit to be modestly lower than market expectations of £82m, It's operating profit for 2013 was £68.2m.


    Mulberry share graph

    ....have plummeted by 25% at the open following the firm's profit warning an hour or so ago. Ouch.

  29. Via Blog


    Linda Yueh

    Chief business correspondent

    blogs: "Like most Nobel Laureates, [economics prize winner Jean Tirole's] publications span a large number of other areas. But his work on how to regulate big firms to promote competition and limit harm to consumers is why he has won the most prestigious prize in Economics. And it is timely."


    European markets have opened lower this morning ahead of expected data from Germany and the wider eurozone that may give some indication as to whether economic growth in Europe slowing further.

    • The FTSE 100 is 0.34% lower at 6344.34.
    • Germany's Dax is 0.40% lower at 8776.9
    • France's Cac-40 is 0.44% lower at 4060.89.

    Radio 5 live

    "We'd rather sell a cup of Costa coffee than a litre of petrol," Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association, tells Radio 5 live. He says fuel taxes mean petrol stations are fast becoming convenience stores that sell petrol on the side, in order to make a good profit. The recent falls in the oil price, he says, will have only a limited impact at the pumps.


    The bosses of engineering and construction firm Balfour Beatty have warned shareholders the failure to sell its US arm could see it defaulting on its debts, according to the Daily Telegraph. It comes after the discovery of a further £75m blackhole in Balfour's domestic finances and the rejection of a takeover bid from rival Carillion this summer.


    Models Suki Waterhouse and Cara Delevingne wearing Burberry trenchcoats

    Burberry has reported a 15% rise in first-half sales to £748m. That's in line with analysts forecasts. There's still a slightly cautious tone to its outlook. "Looking ahead, while mindful of the more difficult external environment, we have never been better prepared internally for the all-important festive periods," said chief executive Christopher Bailey.

  34. Via Twitter


    Retail analyst Nick Bubb tweets: "Shock horror: no profit warning from Carpetright today, despite the calamitous drop in their share price recently"


    Troubled carpet retailer Carpetright has released a trading update. It says like-for-like sales are up 7%, and its full-year profit guidance remains unchanged. "In the UK our continued focus on effective promotional activity has delivered solid sales growth throughout the period," said chief executive Wilf Walsh.


    BBC Breakfast


    The British public's love of caravans hasn't abated in the financial crisis, says Brian Talbot from UK maker Lunar Caravans, taking to Breakfast's Steph McGovern. He says the austerity measures of recent years has drawn new people to caravanning as a cheaper holiday option. "It's a real success story" he says. British manufacturers are now looking at expanding their markets abroad.


    UK Asset Resolution Limited, the holding company charged with the disposal of Bradford & Bingley (B&B) and Northern Rock's bad mortgages, has sold £2.7bn worth of them to Commercial First Group as part of a consortium led by JP Morgan. That includes about £1bn owned by B&B. There is still some £60bn of loans to manage down thought, so some way to go.

  38. Via Twitter


    Adam Parsons

    Business Correspondent

    tweets: "Feels like Mulberry's nightmare: a "significant" profit warning just as Burberry reports healthy figures"

  39. Via Twitter


    Adam Parsons

    Business Correspondent

    tweets: "Burberry: underlying revenue growth of 14%"


    Radio 5 live

    Tom McPhail, head of pensions research at Hargreaves Lansdown tells Radio 5 live that the pace of change in pensions reform is "a little bit reckless". He's responding to the latest changes announced by George Osborne. "We are concerned that for a lot of investors are perhaps not aware of the investment risks, and are going to be faced with the challenge of managing their investment over the course of their retirement," he says.


    Model Cara Delevingne poses at a photocall to launch the Mulberr

    Luxury handbag making Mulberry has issued a profits warning. It says pre-tax profits for the year to March 2015 are expected to be "significantly below current expectations". It has blamed trading conditions which have been more difficult than expected. First half revenues were 17% lower at £64.7bn.


    BBC World News

    World Business Report is covering the falling oil price, now at a four-year low. What does it mean for oil producers? Richard Mallinson from Energy Aspects tells the programme Opec members like Saudi Arabia are able to cope with low prices for a year or two because their financial position is strong, but producers like Venezuela have cash-flow problems making them more vulnerable.


    BBC Breakfast

    Steph McGovern on Breakfast is looking around some caravans in Birmingham, talking about the caravan industry, which she says is worth about £6bn to the UK economy and employs 100,000 people. There's an old 1930s one, and a very luxurious one with all the mod-cons.


    BBC Radio 4

    "Europe is about like a hospital ward," says Mr O'Sullivan. "One patient has had a heart attack, another has the flu, another has got cancer and giving them all the same medicine won't cure them all." He's talking about quantitative easing, which has been resisted by the European Central Bank until now, but used by both the US and UK central banks to support their economies.


    BBC Radio 4

    Michael O'Sullivan, chief financial officer at Credit Suisse, tells the Today programme that a Japanese-style economic stagnation - low inflation and low growth - in the eurozone is the "Halloween story" EU finance ministers don't want to hear when they hold a meeting in Brussels later today.


    Asia markets

    It's been a mixed trading day in Asia, following further falls in the US. Yesterday the S&P 500 fell more than 1%, marking its worst three-day decline since November 2011. Take a look at how Asian markets fared overnight in our report.


    Just when you thought the Chancellor was done freeing up pensions he goes and pulls another rabbit out of the hat. Having said in March's Budget that pensioners would no longer have to buy an annuity, he's now decided the over 55s will be able to take out several lump sums from their pension pot instead of just the one at the start of their pension.


    Radio 5 live


    The new series of The Apprentice starts tonight. Dr Carloyn Downs from the Lancaster University Management School says programmes like it put her students off becoming entrepreneurs. She says the characters are so unlikeable and off-putting, and the programmes are so far removed from reality, that they discourage people from getting involved in business.


    Radio 5 live

    UK Inflation figures are due out later, and analysts are expecting a five-year low in the Consumer Price Index rate, thanks in part to the falling price of oil. The cost of petrol should come down to about 122p per litre over the coming months if the falling price of oil is passed on at the pump, Alan Clarke from Scotiabank tells Wake Up to Money.


    Radio 5 live

    David Buik from Panmure Gordon is on Wake Up to Money warning that there are fears the oil price could go as low as $80 a barrel. "Are the likes of BP going to be able to maintain their dividend if the oil price gets thats low? A dividend that is so important to many pension funds," he says.

  51. Post update

    Edwin Lane

    Business reporter, BBC News

    Morning all, you can contact us throughout the morning on Email us and we'll read them. Or tweet us @BBCBusiness.

  52. Post update

    Matthew West

    Business reporter

    Morning everyone. We have September inflation figures coming up later in the morning but before that there are trading updates from Burberry and SABMiller to digest, as well the the latest proposals on pensions from the government. So it should be a busy morning.