Daily Business Live

Borrowing falls | National Express in Spanish deal


5pm: London edges higher

The FTSE 100 closed 27.72 points higher at 7,090.01.

11am: Manufacturing grows

UK manufacturing output volumes in the three months to June grew at the fastest pace on record (since 1975), according to the latest monthly CBI Industrial Trends Survey. 

The survey of 304 manufacturing businesses reported output increasing in 15 out of 17 sub-sectors. Growth was driven by the motor vehicles & transport equipment and food, drink & tobacco sub-sectors. 

Manufacturers expect output to grow at a quick pace in the coming quarter, albeit slightly slower than this month’s outturn.

10.15am: New SE CEO

Scottish Enterprise has appointed Strathclyde University’s chief commercial officer Adrian Gillespie as chief executive.

Full story here

8.45am: London edges higher

The FTSE 100 edged higher as forecast to 7,076.37, up 14.08 points (0.20%) following a strong recovery on Wall Street.

8.40am: Public borrowing – glass half full day

Commenting on the bigger than expected fall in public borrowing in May, Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst, says: “How you look at today’s public sector finances depends if you are a glass half-full or empty person.”\

Official figures show £24.3bn was borrowed, which was £19.4bn lower than in May 2020.

“The gap [between receipts and borrowing] is narrowing as the economy heals,” said Ms Hewson. “Furlough costs were down a whopping 75% as the country went back to work and, though it doesn’t help with tax receipts, the fact that income from alcohol duty was down 20% reflects changing fortunes as people are able to reengage with friends and family.

“The pandemic has left big scars on the nation’s finances and reopening is a salve but one that needs careful application.

“Too much, too soon and those inflation worries that have caused so much concern will come to bear. Not enough, too slow, or if variants demand another reverse then there will be difficult conversations about spend vs taxation. But today feel like a glass half full day, more income, less spend and a gentle foot on the accelerator.”

7am: Borrowing falls

Government borrowing was lower in May compared with the same month last year, as the recovery eased pressure on public finances.

Official figures show £24.3bn was borrowed, which was £19.4bn lower than in May 2020.

However, it it was the second-highest for the month since records began.

Central government receipts rose £7.5bn year-on-year to £56.9bn.

The Government also revised down its estimate for April borrowing to £29.1bn from £31.7bn previously.

The amount of Government debt now sits at £2.2 trillion at the end of May, or around 99.2% of GDP, the highest ratio since the 99.5% recorded in March 1962.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak reiterated his pledge to “get the public finances on a sustainable footing”.

“That’s why at the Budget in March I set out the difficult but necessary steps we are taking to keep debt under control in the years to come,” he added.

7am: National Express

Coach operator National Express said current trading was slightly ahead of expectations as it expanded European operations with the €13m acquisition of Spanish urban bus operator Transportes Rober.

In a statement the company said: “Trading performance across the group continues to improve, slightly ahead of management expectations, and we have continued to win new contracts, notably in corporate shuttle both in North America and the UK.”

Global markets

The FTSE 100 was tipped for a strong start after Wall Street bounced back from its worst week since October with solid gains across the board.

The blue chip index recovered yesterday from an early dip to close at 7,062.29, up 44.82 (0.64%).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.76% and the S&P 500 was 1.4% firmer, while the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 0.79% stronger.

The gains reversed losses on Friday after the Federal Reserve raised its inflation expectations and forecast earlier than expected rate hikes in 2023.

In London on Monday, equities were lifted by bid interest in Morrisons which soared 61.55p (34.49%) to 239.9p, just above the price proposed by Clayton Dubilier & Rice on Friday which may return with a firm offer for the supermarket chain.

Analyst comment on Morrisons

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