Inflation falls for second month | Galliford Try ‘well-placed’
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Cost of living pressures eased further last month with inflation falling for a second month in a row, although it remains close to a 40-year high.
Price rises fell to 10.5% in the year to December, compared to 10.7% in November.
The drop was due to fuel prices falling along with clothing and footwear prices, however, this was offset by rising costs in restaurants and hotels.
British Chambers of Commerce head of research, David Bharier, said: “A second consecutive easing in the rate of inflation to 10.5%, while minimal, suggests the peak has now passed.”
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, said: “High inflation is a nightmare for family budgets, destroys business investment and leads to strike action, so however tough, we need to stick to our plan to bring it down.
“While any fall in inflation is welcome, we have a plan to go further and halve inflation this year, reduce debt, and grow the economy – but it is vital that we take the difficult decisions needed and see the plan through.”
4.30pm: London market lower, oil price surges
The FTSE 100 dipped at the close to end the session 20.33 points lower at 7,830.70.
Oil prices have surged to their highest level since late November amid optimism that China will recover rapidly following its economic reopening.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, is nearing $87 a barrel for the first time in eight weeks after a rise of 1.2%today.
Venture capital investment falls
Venture capital investment into UK businesses fell by almost a third (30%) in 2022, as global economic turmoil forced investors to take a more cautious approach, according to KPMG’s latest Venture Pulse report.
Construction group Galliford Try said it is performing well with trading in line with the board’s expectations.
“We are well placed for the financial year to 30 June 2023,” it said in a trading statement for the half year to the end of December.
It said the group’s order book of £3.5bn provides good visibility of future workload.
“We continue to see a robust pipeline of new opportunities across our chosen sectors, supported by our strong track record and focus on the public and regulated sectors alongside high-quality private clients.”
Luxury fashion retailer Burberry showed lacklustre sales growth last quarter as demand from Chinese customers slowed.
Sales in China plunged 23%, the British fashion brand said in a statement today.
Comparable group store sales rose 1% in the final three months of 2022, below the 1.4% gain analysts anticipated.
Group underlying sales for the full year were up 5% and adjusted operating profit came in at c.£455m, up c.11% on an underlying basis compared to 2021, ahead of expectations.
Andy Bird, chief executive, said:” Pearson has completed the year ahead of our original expectations. This performance demonstrates focused execution and the ongoing momentum in the business as we continue to implement our new strategy that underpins our future growth.
“Pearson is well positioned to make further progress reflecting the structural growth in our markets, the continued need for upskilling and reskilling, and the strength of our offering.”
In Asia, stocks were lacking direction after the Bank of Japan unanimously decided to keep its yield curve controls in place. Japan’s Nikkei 225 share index closed 2.5% higher, while the Shanghai Composite was flat and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was up 0.1%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed up 0.1%.
Wall Street ended mostly lower as trading resumed following a public holiday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.1% and the S&P 500 by 0.2%, but the Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.1%.