UK jobless rate highest since 2016; reopening hopes lift travel shares – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news

2.10pm GMT

Worryingly, job losses across the UK’s wholesale and retail sectors have hit a record.

The CBI’s latest ‘distributive trades’ survey, released this morning, shows that retail sales kept falling in the year to February. With internet sales growing at record pace, retail groups kept laying off staff.

CBI DTS February – Retail sales fell in the year to February, at a slower pace than the previous month #dts

Internet sales grew at an historic pace (question first asked in Aug 2009), with the pace of growth expected to be broadly similar next month #DTS

Employment for the wider distributive sector fell at the fastest pace in DTS history (starting in August 1983), though broadly comparable with pace seen at the depths of the global financial crisis. #DTS

1.57pm GMT

The oil price has hit a new 13-month high today, lifted by the prospect of lockdown measures easing.

Brent crude traded as high as $66.79 per barrel, its highest since early January 2020, before dipping back.

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