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Live Reporting

Chris Johnston

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    That's all from Business Live today - thanks for reading. We're back on Monday at 06:00 - do join us then.

  2. Funny you should ask...


    Google is expected to unveil its next smartphone - designed to rival Apple's iPhone X - on 4 October.

    A teaser video has been posted to its Twitter feed shows a series of questions about phone performance being typed into a Google search bar, including queries about poor battery life, before a message appears reading "funny you should ask. Oct 4".

    The date marks exactly one year since the original Pixel was announced - marketed as Google's first own-built phone - which featured virtual helper Google Assistant.

    The Pixel was well received by critics last year. Rumours suggest notable upgrades to this year's device will include the addition of optical image stabilisation (OIS) to the rear camera for the first time, reducing the number of blurry photos taken.

    Google's event will complete a busy period of smartphone announcements, with Apple, Samsung, LG and Sony having all introduced new smartphones in September.

  3. Wall Street ends higher

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average has had a reasonable end to the week, rising about 0.3%, with a similar rise for the Nasdaq, while the S&P 500 posted more modest gains, up about 0.15%.

  4. Pump it up


    Budget fitness chain The Gym Group has pumped £20.5m into acquiring 18 gyms from rival Lifestyle Fitness as it presses ahead with expansion plans.

    The gyms collectively made £11.1m in revenue last year and profits of £3.45mn. The outlets are located predominantly in the Midlands and north of England, with 10 of the sites to be rebranded immediately.

    The additions come after The Gym Group posted an 18.8% rise in revenue to £42.8m in the six months to 30 June, while pre-tax profit jumped 75% to £5.9m.

  5. Is London Fashion Week on trend?

    BBC World Service

    The world's top designers are showcasing their latest portfolios at London Fashion Week, with clothing retailers watching runway models hoping to spot the next trend in fashions.

    Video content

    Video caption: Clothing retailers are watching runway models to spot the next designer trend
  6. Equifax told to stop charging

    Connecticut's attorney-general and others investigating Equifax's data breach, which affected some 143 million people, asked it to stop charging fees for credit monitoring.

    George Jepsen acknowledged that Equifax has said it would give free credit monitoring to hacking victims, but asked it to stop collecting money for other credit monitoring.

    "Selling a fee-based product that competes with Equifax's own free offer of credit monitoring services to victims of Equifax's own data breach is unfair, particularly if consumers are not sure if their information was compromised," he said.

  7. JD jogs on


    JD Sports has splashed out £5.5m for a 15% stake in South Korean shoe retailer Hot-T as part of a joint venture that will see the firm expand in the region.

    The British retailer has an option to acquire a further 35% of Hot-T following the release of its accounts for the 2017 financial year.

    JD Sports said it intends to exercise the option and to rebrand the 23 Hot-T stores with its own fascias.

    Executive chairman Peter Cowgill said the joint venture gives access to a new market of more than 50 million people with a "proven operator".

  8. Harvey hits US growth

    US flag

    Goldman Sachs economists have cut their estimate for US economic growth in the third quarter from 2% to to 1.6% on signs of Hurricane Harvey dampening business activities in August.

    They said they expect some of the weakness would reverse in the fourth quarter as businesses rebound in Texas, where Harvey inflicted the heaviest damage.

  9. UK identity theft 'unlikely': Equifax


    More on Equifax. It says the information held on UK customers included names, dates of birth, email addresses and telephone numbers, but no addresses, passwords or financial data. As a result it was "unlikely" that those affected would suffer identity theft, the company added.

    Equifax said it is co-operating with the Financial Conduct Authority and the Information Commissioner's Office on their investigations.

    Equifax has set up a website - - to provide updates and advice.

    Read more here.

  10. Drilling recovery stalls

    Oil rig

    US energy firms cut the most oil rigs in a week since January as a 14-month drilling recovery stalled due to weak crude prices.

    Drillers cut seven oil rigs in the week to 15 September, bringing the total count down to 749 - the lowest number since June, Baker Hughes said in its weekly report. Drillers have not added any rigs since the week of 11 August.

    The rig count, an early indicator of future output, is still higher than the 416 active oil rigs a year ago as energy companies had mapped out ambitious spending programs for 2017 when they expected US crude to be higher than the current $50 a barrel.

  11. 'A blight on society'

    Mobile phone

    More on that fine for PPI firm Your Money Rights:

    Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the ICO, said it was cracking down on illegal automated calls "on behalf of the British public".

    "They are a blight on society that disregards people's right to have their wish for peace and quiet in their own home respected," he said.

    "We know people find calls playing recorded messages particularly intrusive because they are unable to speak to a call agent.

    "Your Money Rights should have known that the law around automated calls is stricter than for other marketing calls."

  12. BreakingEquifax: 400,000 UK consumers affected


    Equifax has finally broken its silence about the data breach that could have affected up to 143 million people.

    The company said on Friday it was "likely to need to contact fewer than 400,000 UK consumers".

    "Due to the nature of the information Equifax believes identity takeover is unlikely for the UK consumers who had their data potentially accessed in this incident. It is however important that Equifax does all that it can to provide reassurance and protection to these people," its statement said.

    Patricio Remon, president at Equifax. said: “We apologise for this failure to protect UK consumer data. Our immediate focus is to support those affected by this incident and to ensure we make all of the necessary improvements and investments to strengthen our security and processes going forward.”

  13. Ominous outlook...

    After rising 14% last year, the FTSE 100 is just 1% higher for 2017. "It's looking a bit ominous for the FTSE," said Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group. "The FTSE can only really go one way - and that's down."

    Financials took the most points off the index, with HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays, Prudential and Standard Chartered down between 1.3% and 2.3%.

    Miners and energy stocks also came under pressure after the price of copper fell and oil prices slid.

    Cruise operator Carnival was the biggest faller, dropping 6.2% following a downgrade from Credit Suisse to "neutral".

    On the FTSE 250, pub operator JD Wetherspoon jumped 13.9% to a record high after reporting a near-28 percent jump in profit.

  14. £350,000 fine for PPI calls

    A company behind a record 146 million illegal calls about PPI has been fined £350,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

    People were left feeling harassed and threatened by the automated calls initiated by Carmarthenshire-based Your Money Rights Ltd.

    The company was responsible for a record number of automated calls that resulted in a fine by the ICO.

    Firms can only make automated marketing calls to people if they have their specific consent. As Your Money Rights did not have consent, it broke the law.

    The calls, made over a four month period, also broke the rules by not including the company’s name and contact details in the recorded message.

  15. FTSE slumps

    Carnival cruise ship

    London's FTSE 100 has closed almost 80 points lower - a fall of 1.1% - at 7,212 points - following the big jump in sterling today.

    Cruise operator Carnival shed 6.2%, while Pearson fell 3.7%.

  16. Blades of glory

    Frank Giaccio and Trump

    An 11-year-old boy earned a "great job" and a high five from US President Donald Trump for mowing the White House lawn on Friday. Frank Giaccio, from Falls Church, Virginia, wrote to the president earlier this year saying that he owned his own lawn-mowing business and it would an "honour" to mow the White House lawn.

    The White House invited Frank to mow the grass in the Rose Garden on Friday under the watchful eye of uniformed park service workers.

    Wearing goggles, a red shirt, khaki shorts, black sneakers and work gloves, he went to work at about 930am, with Mr Trump appearing about 10 minutes later.

    Interviewed on the Fox Business network before heading to the White House, Frank said the day was shaping up to be "pretty much the best day of my life".

    No word on whether Trump paid Frank, though. We're guessing no.