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Live Reporting

Ian Pollock

All times stated are UK

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  1. Close down

    BBC test card

    That's it for today. Back at 06:00 tomorrow. Have a nice evening.

  2. Greek political corruption

    Mr Papaconstantinou

    Mr Papaconstantinou has been sent to jail for one year, but the term has been suspended for three years. Just to remind you, the Lagarde list was handed to the Greek government by the then French finance minister, Christine Lagarde, in 2010. The nearly 2,000 names were of Greeks who had bank accounts at HSBC's branch in Geneva. So far no one on the list seems to have been prosecuted - except the Greek journalist Kostas Vaxevanis who published the list in 2012.

  3. Pension guidance

    Pension "freedom" starts in April - supposedly. You can spend an accumulated pension pot as you see fit, all in one go, even to buy a Lamborghini if you can afford it. If you don't like that idea, here is some more sensible advice, courtesy of my colleague Brian Milligan.

  4. Greek political corruption

    George Papaconstantinou in court.

    News from Athens. The former Greek finance minister, George Papaconstantinou, has been found guilty of tampering with a list of potential tax evaders. He removed the names of three relatives from the so-called "Lagarde list" of about 2,000 Greeks who had stashed money in bank accounts overseas.

  5. O2

    O2 website

    Reuters in Spain reports that Telefonica has reached a "definitive" agreement to sell its the UK mobile phone service O2 to Hutchison Whampoa. The price is £10.25 bn. The planned sale was first announced in January. The deal still depends on approval from regulators, as Hutchison Whampoa already owns the Three mobile network.

  6. Market report

    FTSE 100 graph

    In London, the 100 share index closed 18 points lower at 7,020. In Frankfurt the DAX rose 110 to 12,006. And in Paris the CaC 40 ended the day 34 points up at 5,088.

    On the currency markets the pound weakened slightly against the US dollar and it now buys $1.487. The pound also fell slightly against the euro to 1 euro 36.3. And sterling was also down nearly one yen against the Japanese currency to 178.19 yen.

  7. Lufthansa strikes off?

    Flight board showing Lufthansa cancellations

    Lufthansa pilots will not stage any more strikes for the time being, following the crash in France of a plane belonging to a Lufthansa subsidiary, Germanwings. The German newspaper Tagesspiegel cites Joerg Handwerg, a leading member of the pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), as saying "industrial action is not on the agenda anymore right now." Lufthansa pilots were on strike for four days last week in a long running dispute over pensions.

  8. Inflation

    ONS chart of RPI inflation rates

    The official inflation rate falling to 0% sounds astounding, doesn't it? Hasn't happened for decades? Let's remember that when the retail prices index (RPI) was the main measure of inflation, it stayed below 0% for most of 2009. Don't remember? Check the facts here. Figure E is where the facts are at.

  9. Pension guidance


    A phone line has opened to help people in advance of April's pension changes. The number is 030 0330 1001 and is opening just two weeks before the pension changes come into effect. Anyone over the age of 55 can call the line, run by the government's Pension Wise service.

  10. Financial crime

    FCA headquarters

    Financial crime has joined the official worry-list of the UK's financial regulators. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has identified the seven biggest risks it thinks may cause it - and us - problems. Financial crime is now one of them. Rapidly rising house prices are no longer an official concern as prices are cooling off.

  11. HSBC

    More on the bank's plan to move 1,000 jobs from Canary Wharf to Birmingham by 2019. It's all part of the requirement that banks must separate their High Street activities from their investment banks. HSBC's UK chief executive Antonio Simoes said: "Creating our ring-fenced bank head office in Birmingham gets us a step closer to that ambition for our 16 million personal and business customers." A new building in Birmingham city centre will be the headquarters of the bank's UK operations.

  12. Osborne

    Greek flag on parade.

    The Chancellor George Osborne is answering questions from the Parliamentary Treasury Committee about last week's Budget. That is supposed to be the topic. But he has repeated his concern about Greece, saying there was a "growing risk" that Greece will have to leave the euro-zone. He told the MPs that the "ill will round the table is palpable between the euro-zone and Greece".

  13. Inflation and savings

    Kent Reliance website

    So, who is offering the best instant access savings account right now? If the interest rate is all that matters, then Moneyfacts says it is the Kent Reliance. Its easy access account offers you the truly splendid return of 1.5%. Yes, a whole 1.5% interest a year!

  14. Germanwings airliner crash

    The airline officials say that the accident crash will be very difficult to get to. The passenger list will not be published until all close relatives have been informed. More information may be available in a few hours time. There were 150 passengers and crew on board.

  15. HSBC jobs on the move

    HSBC logo

    The troubled banking group HSBC is moving 1,000 jobs from Canary Wharf in London to Birmingham. The Express & Star says the migration will start in 2017, and that Birmingham will become the bank's UK headquarters.

  16. Inflation and savings

    Purse and money

    The pioneer of price comparison websites - Moneyfacts - has some interesting facts about the inflation rate, which is now officially at 0%. Apparently there are now 662 accounts (ones without some restriction or other) offering interest that will match or beat that rate. A year ago, when inflation was higher, there were just 116 inflation-beating accounts. I'm not sure that merely matching a 0% inflation rate is much to shout about.

  17. Germanwings airliner crash

    The media briefing by officials of the Lufthansa group says that information about an apparent distress call is contradictory - in fact they don't yet know if one was sent at all.

  18. Germanwings airliner crash

    A media briefing by the plane operator Germanwings, being carried on the BBC news channel, says technicians are on their way to help the French and German aviation authorities at the crash site, to find out what happened. But they do not yet know why it crashed.

  19. House prices

    For Sale signs

    Another look at the governments' house price index, published this morning, makes interesting reading. Table A makes it clear that since last July, prices have been on a plateau round about £272,000 and have hardly changed at all in the past six months.

  20. Germanwings airliner crash


    Lufthansa shares fell 4.7% and Airbus shares were down 2.1% after an Airbus, which was operated by Lufthansa's Germanwings budget airline, crashed in France. All 148 on board are thought to have died. The plane, flight 4U 9525, had been en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf .

  21. Good afternoon

    Ian Pollock

    Business reporter, BBC News

    Thanks to Ben and Howard for their efforts this morning. I am here holding your hand until 18:00.

  22. Mercedes lights


    Mercedes-Benz is recalling about 30,000 CLS model cars in the US because the LED tail lights may not work properly on the sides, reports the AP newswire. A quality check at a factory last December uncovered the problem.

  23. Morgan Stanley moves

    Morgan Stanley logo

    Morgan Stanley chief financial officer Ruth Porat is leaving for a job at Google, according to Bloomberg. Jonathan Pruzan from Morgan Stanley's investment bank will take over as CFO. We're trying to think of other bankers that defected to the tech sector. Any ideas?

  24. Via Twitter

    Michelle Fleury

    BBC business correspondent, New York

    Euro dollar rate

    Look at what happens to the dollar after the US #CPI report comes out

  25. Via Twitter

    Michelle Fleury

    BBC business correspondent, New York

    If you think rent, clothing and used car prices went up in Feb, you're right: core #CPI rose 0.2%. But with $USD moving higher, will it last?

  26. Game finance officer

    Game Digital also said Chief Financial Officer Benedict Smith will step down later this year. He left private equity to join Game, and the firm said he'll be returning to a private equity-backed business. Game Digital said Mr Smith will remain with the company until July and it had started the search for a new CFO.

  27. US inflation

    US consumer prices rose 0.2% in February. It follows a 0.7% decrease in January, the biggest monthly decline in a six years. Year-on-year CPI was 0% (like the UK). Core prices, which exclude energy and food, also 0.2%. Year-on-year core consumer prices were up 1.7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  28. Zimbabwe debt

    Zimbabwe is planning talks with Germany on how to settle a $739m debt it owes, Reuters reports. President Robert Mugabe's government owes foreign creditors, including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, $9bn and it wants to have the debt cancelled or rescheduled to allow it to access new loans.

  29. Morrisons culls managers

    David Potts, Morrisons chief executive

    I think we need a macho nickname for David Potts, the new boss of Morrisons. He has moved on five senior managers including the directors of marketing and digital, retail, property and strategy, logistics and convenience. "I will now be constructing a leaner management board, with the aim of simplifying and speeding up the business," Mr Potts said.

  30. Germanwings airliner crash

    BBC News Channel


    The BBC's transport correspondent Richard Westcott has been on the news channel talking about the Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner which has crashed in the French Alps. "Last year was the safest year on record," comparing death to miles flown. "Aviation is very safe... it's very very rare. The A320 is the Ford Focus of aeroplanes. They are everywhere, they are incredibly reliable and pilots like flying them."

  31. Via Twitter

    Duncan Weldon

    BBC Newsnight

    The last time UK CPI was this low, Lonnie Donegan was number 1 with "My Old Man's a Dustman". March 1960.

  32. Via Email


    Adam Chester

    Head of Economic Research & Market Strategy at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking

    "Notably, the drop has not been driven by weakness in the economy but by aggressive supermarket discounting, and the feed-through from lower oil prices to forecourt fuel prices. With sterling's exchange rate pressing down on import costs and retail energy prices set to fall further, inflation looks set to dip briefly into negative territory over the coming months."

  33. Via Blog

    Interest rates

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    The big test of whether this is good or worrying deflation will come in the next few weeks, when a disproportionate number of employers decide what they are going to pay their people over the coming year. Any signs that a slight weakening in wage growth, seen in the last official figures, is becoming a trend would mean there is slim chance of an interest rate rise till the autumn of 2016 or later.

  34. Via Twitter

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    A bit like the charts moving to Friday, zero inflation is EXTRAORDINARY - for anyone who remembers the 1970s

  35. Data privacy challenge

    David Lorimer, Hill Hofstetter

    Today the European Court of Justice considers a case that directly challenges the agreement between Europe and America dubbed Safe Harbour, which allows US companies like Facebook, Google and Apple to send personal data from Europe to the USA. "It's really prompted by the recent revelations by [Edward] Snowden about the kind of things that US organisations were allowing - or having to allow - done to the data they store," said David Lorimer from law firm Hill Hofstetter on BBC World TV.

  36. Soros: Greece in 'lose-lose' situation

    George Soros

    Greece is in a "lose-lose" game, billionaire investor George Soros has told Bloomberg in a TV interview. He thinks there is a 50-50 chance of the country leaving the euro. Talks between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday had a conciliatory tone.

  37. Destination 'no-flation'

    UK inflation over 10 years

    UK Consumer Price Inflation over the last 10 years.

  38. Via Email

    Next stop deflation

    Vicky Redwood

    Chief UK Economist, Capital Economics

    It looks odds on that inflation will turn negative in March, when the cut in gas prices by British Gas (the utility company with the biggest market share) will show up in the inflation figures for the first time. And inflation is then likely to remain around zero/slightly negative for the rest of the year. But we doubt that this will turn into more serious and engrained deflation, given that inflation expectations seem well anchored.

  39. House prices


    UK house prices increased by 8.4% in the year to January 2015, according to the Office for National Statistics. That's a slower gain than the 9.8% in the year to December 2014. "Annual house price increases in England were driven by an annual increase in London of 13.0% and to a lesser extent increases in the East (9.9%) and the South East (7.6%)," it said.

  40. Via Twitter

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    Main contributions to inflation fall from recreational goods (data processing kit, books, games, toys, hobbies), food, furniture,furnishings

  41. Inflation

    Core inflation, which strips out food and energy, was running at 1.2% in February.

  42. BreakingBreaking News

    Inflation at 0%

    Consumer price inflation was at 0% in February, according to the Office for National Statistics. That is a new low since estimates of the measure began in 1988.

  43. Market update

    Wolseley shares are leading the FTSE 100 lower with a 2.7% loss. Investors were uninspired by the company's half-year results. Investors may also be taking a breather as Wolseley shares hit an eight-year high on Friday.

    • Overall the FTSE 100 is up a touch at 7,047
    • Frankfurt's Dax rises 0.38% to 11,941.24
    • Paris's Cac 40 index edges forward 0.18% to 5,063.39
  44. Game digital shares down

    Game digital

    Shares in Game Digital have slumped more than 6% this morning. As we mentioned earlier, the video games seller said that 2015 had got off to a slow start.

  45. Floating cash machine

    USS Theodore Roosevelt

    The 5,000 crew from the US Theodore Roosevelt, which is anchored off Portsmouth, will help give the city's economy a bit of a boost. According to The Times, the city expects a £1.5m worth of spending. Many crew members have signed up for trips further afield including London, Bath and Stonehenge.

  46. Newspaper review

    Apple devices Paris

    More from the newspapers. Both the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph pick up on a report by analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald which projected that Apple could be worth more than 1 trillion dollars. Apple's shares are currently trading at $127 each and would need to reach $180 per share to hit that $1tn level.

  47. Newspaper review

    Newspaper review

    A technology investment bubble is about to burst, a respected tech investor tells the Times today. A "considerable number" of private tech start ups are likely to fail in the coming months says Sir Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital in the article. The Financial Times and the Business section of the Daily Telegraph both use the same picture of the Greek Prime Minister giving the German chancellor a somewhat quizzical look. Greece is likely to run out of cash in April, says the Financial Times.

  48. Tesco shareholders sue

    Tesco logo

    Tesco Shareholder Claims Limited (TSC) has announced a lawsuit against Tesco over last year's overstatement of profits. It says the accounting irregularities caused "the destruction of value to shareholders". TSC says it is in discussions with "leading" institutional investors in the UK, Europe and the US about joining the claim.

  49. Via Email

    More money for London?

    Pete Sheterline


    What we really need is investment in the real economy everywhere EXCEPT London. It is not a beauty contest. It is providing sustainable modern industries and growing centres of excellence throughout the UK. National investment bank? Regionally devolved spending for infrastructure and development?

  50. H&M strong dollar concern

    H&M poster

    The world's second biggest fashion retailer, Hennes & Mauritz had a strong first quarter. It made 3.6bn swedish krona (£284m) between 1 December and 28 February. That's up by 36% on the same period in the previous year. But movements in the currency markets are causing problems. "The increasingly strong US dollar will result in gradually increased purchasing costs when sourcing for the coming quarters of 2015," H&M said.

  51. HSBC Co-Cos

    HSBC is offering $2.25bn of so-called co-co bonds, yielding 6.375% interest. They aren't for the faint-hearted, though. If the bank's core capital ratio (its ability to withstand a reduction in the value of its assets) dips below 7% they turn into shares.

  52. Game Digital: 'Slow' 2015 so far

    Game digital store

    The UK video games market has started 2015 "more slowly than we anticipated", says the retailer Game Digital. But the company expects activity to pick-up in the coming weeks. It also reported half-year pre-tax profit of £33.2m, down 1.8% on the previous year.

  53. Greek talks

    BBC Radio 4

    Kerry Craig of JPMorgan Asset Management is on Today talking about the benign market reaction to the fractious talks over Greek debt. "The eurozone has moved on a long way since 2012 when this problem last cropped up," which explains the calm in the markets as these talks go on.

  54. Greece: 'choke chain'

    BBC Radio 4


    "Whether Greece can get through its short-term cash flow problems will depend on the actions of the European Central Bank. It's Mario Draghi who actually holds the choke chain," professor James Galbraith of the University of Texas says on Today. He is talking about yesterday's meeting between German chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The European Central Bank was "much more elastic" in its allowances for Greece raising money during the last crisis in 2012, he says.

  55. Deflation debate

    BBC Radio 4

    "In the UK it's very much the good type of inflation," says Neil Blake of CBRE, an American commercial property company. He says consumers are benefiting from cheaper food and energy. "It's not driven by weakness in the economy." When we get inflation figures later today, watch out for the so-called core figure, as it is more closely watched by those that set interest rates at the Bank of England, he says.

  56. China slowdown

    BBC Radio 4

    Kerry Craig of JPMorgan Asset Management is on Today, talking about Chinese growth. "They have a credit problem but also a means of dealing with it" because of their vast reserves, he says. The HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index dipped to 49.2 in March, below the 50-point level which separates growth and contraction.

  57. More money for London?

    London aerial view

    A business group called London First is calling for £750bn pounds of investment in London's infrastructure. Chris Grigg, the chief executive of British Land told Wake Up to Money: "If we don't invest in London there won't be greater investment in the rest of the UK. It will result in London declining on a relative basis." And that would benefit other global cities, he said.

  58. Deflation debate: Part 2

    Radio 5 live

    Steve Davies, director and senior economist at Institute Economic Affairs (a free market think tank) is much less concerned about deflation than Peter Elston (see previous post). Mr Davies says that for anyone with a wage income at the moment deflation is actually good news. On Wake Up to Money he said that in the late 19th century there were several decades of falling prices, which were actually good for living standards.

  59. Deflation debate: Part 1

    Radio 5 live

    pound coins

    Inflation figures out this morning could show UK consumer price inflation heading closer towards zero. Should we be worried about falling prices? "It depends on what wages are doing," says Peter Elston from Seneca Investment Managers on Wake Up to Money. Wage growth at the moment is only just matching inflation, so we are not quite in the clear, he says.

  60. Chinese factories slowdown

    Chinese welder

    Chinese factory activity fell to an 11-month low in March according to the HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers Index (PMI). The data showed a "slight deterioration" in Chinese manufacturing the report said. "Today's PMI reading adds to evidence of a sharp slowdown in Q1. We expect policymakers to respond by stepping up measures to support growth," said Julian Evans-Pritchard, the China Economist at Capital Economics.

  61. Post update

    Ben Morris

    Business Reporter

    Good morning! A big economic event comes up at 09:30 today, when the latest inflation figures are released. The consumer price index could fall again from January's figure of 0.3%. If you want to get in touch, email or tweet @bbcbusiness.