Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news
- Latest: Travel and hospitality shares rally
- Holiday bookings surge in UK after lockdown exit plans revealed
- UK jobless rate highest in almost five years
- Unemployment rate hit 5.1% in October-December
- ONS: labour market may be stabilising
- CIPD: Chancellor should extend furlough scheme
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.
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 pic.twitter.com/Bz8WsxkCZG
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.