Focus: Bank of England (BoE) Governor Carney testifies in front of the Treasury Select Committee this morning
This rise in inflation, to a five year high increases the pressure on the Bank of England to restore the base rate to 0.5 per cent next month, and reinforce last year’s folly of cutting interest rates at a time when the pound had already weakened.
If tomorrow’s wages data fails to maintain the current gap between prices and incomes, the squeeze on incomes will increase further, at the worst possible time, just before Christmas.
Interesting to see Carney’s reaction to the inflation numbers out this morning, as well as his MPC colleagues Silvana Tenreyro and Deputy Governor David Ramsden when all three of them testify to MP’s at the Treasury Select Committee.
Online retailer Asos has reported a surge in full-year profits and upgraded its sales forecasts after it was boosted by a strong international performance.
The firm clocked a 33 per cent rise in revenues to £1.9billion in the year to August 31, with pre-tax profits growing 145 per cent to £80million.
Better news for Pearson as the troubled publisher expects full-year operating profit in the top half of its forecast range.
The company, which has issued a string of profit warnings and cut thousands of jobs due to the shift to digital from paper textbooks, said it was seeing the benefit of cost cuts and the move to develop its rental and digital offerings.
Meanwhile Rio Tinto hit a near 5 year high down-under after a solid quarter three production update, with iron ore shipments up, although with lower copper output and guidance.
On the housebuilder front Bellway said outlook was positive and expects full year volumes up at least 5 per cent.
But Merlin has warned on revenues and profits after a difficult summer.
Challenger bank Virgin Money said profitability, earnings and returns were in line with expectations as it clocks up a 10 per cent mortgage market share.
Price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com has reported increased revenue for the third quarter of the year, despite dips in its money and home services operations.
The group reported total revenue of £90.2million for the three months to 30 September, a six per cent increase compared to the same period of last year.
Toymaker Hornby warned that its full-year profitability would be hit by lower revenue and said it would no longer offer large quantities of stock at a discount after a review by its new boss Lyndon Charles Davies.
The maker of Thomas & Friends model train sets said year-to-date trading was below expectations and that a fall in revenue would have a material impact on profitability for the year.
On the health front Mediclinic International said its Middle East business had started the financial year well following the positive operational and regulatory changes in Abu Dhabi.
Finally AstraZeneca has been granted FDA priority review for Imfinzi for advanced unresectable Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.