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This is Business Live from BBC News with Sally Bundock and Ben Thompson.
The UK Finance Minister gets set to announce billions
of pounds of new government spending amid forecasts
Live from London, that's our top story on Wednesday,
Increased funds will go to infrastructure,
research and those who are just managing, but will the national
Also in the programme - rumours Facebook is working
on censorship software to accommodate China's data requests
- the company has neither confirmed nor denied the reports -
Markets in Europe are mixed today, but everybody is celebrating on Wall
Street as the Dow goes above 19,000 for the first time.
The oil giant Shell serves 20 million customers a day
in its retail outlets that are attached to petrol stations.
So are they really a one-stop shop and what will the forecourt
It's Black Friday soon but some brands are scrapping big reductions.
We want to know, do you still wait for the sales?
Let us know - use the hashtag BBCBizLive.
The UK's Autumn Statement, which is just the Budget,
will be announced in a few hours' time.
It's especially important this time around because it's the first
fiscal plan that's been unveiled since Brexit.
And the UK leaving the EU means specific challenges
that the Government will have to face head-on.
Phillip Hammond is likely to pledge increased
?5 billion or $6.2 billion is the number being mentioned.
That's modest compared to say Donald Trump's one trillion dollars
Another area likely to get a cash infusion is research
and development in the science and tech sectors.
?2 billion - nearly two and half billion dollars -
will go to the industry, which is being touted
by the Government as a long term investment strategy
But the money to pay for this has to come from somewhere.
The government is likely to borrow ?100 billion over
With me in the studio is Kate Andrews, the news editor
at Institute of Economic Affairs, a conservative leaning think-tank
and in our Business newsroom our business editor Simon Jack.
Kate, if we look at what the Chancellor has to give away, there
is not much money in the pot? There is not a lot of wiggle room, is
there? Growth forecasts are down according to the Office for Budget
Responsibility and he is looking at higher inflation figures which is
why I think we are seeing stranger things in this Budget that have been
released. For example the big headlines are the fact that he is
going to try to ban letting fees this. Is something where the
Chancellor can come in and not have to commit any of his spending to
doing something that seems like he's trying to help those who are just
managing, but this is him basically skirting around the issue of the
housing crisis. He is not really in a position at the moment where he
can be flexible or bold in a lot of his statements. He has a looming
deficit and a debt that he's going to have to tackle. Simon Jack, Kate
outlining that there is not a lot of money really in the pot to be
distributed and also coming in that era of slowing economic growth.
That's what everyone will be keeping a really close eye on, won't they,
the forecasts? The news from today's Autumn Statement will be just
exactly how bad the public finances look over the coming years. Now
remember the original plan as early as just as soon as March of this
year, was that the Government wouldn't have to borrow any machine
at all by 2020. In fact, it would be getting more in in taxes than it was
spending. That's been ditched that as unrealistic. What we are going to
be looking at out for is how much money they will be borrowing per
year by the end of the Parliament. Some of the number crunchers reckon
it will be ?25 billion per year, that's adding ?25 billion every year
to a debt pile that the Chancellor has already called eye watering. So
what will be interesting is his language about about when he wants
to balance the books and over what time frame? It will not be some
date, it will be an aspiration, expect a lot of aspirations today
because aspirations are free and spend something not! Kate, do you
think he would hold back today, Philip Hammond, in terms of what he
may or may not announce, because he wants to wait for a Budget before an
election in 2020 and also a Budget that's during or after Brexit
negotiations? Certainly, well Brexit is that huge question mark, the UK
a net ?10 billion back. That it a net ?10 billion back. That it
would be normally paying to the EU, but it is not obvious that he will
have that money yet to play with depending on the relationship with
the EU going forward, some of that money might be going to the EU to
buy into the single market, perhaps. There is a big question mark for him
around what figures he is going to have to play with going forward, but
we should be concerned about the fact that the da debt is estimated
to be around 90% of the UK's annual GDP. It is staggering and it is not
money that can be put off forever. At some point future generations
will be taxed and borrowing will impact us and with Brexit looming
and everything, it is a gamble to be borrowing this much at this time.
Simon, the question is how much this is going to cost us as a result of
the vote to leave the EU? The very wildly ranging forecasts of what
that could mean? Yes, I think it will be tempting to look at the
March Budget and the way the OBR set out its plans there and look at this
one and compare the two and say the difference is the cost of Brexit and
over the next five years some will say that's ?100 billion. Economies
are dynamic things. It is difficult to ascribe one things. Are
businesses investing bes because of Brexit? Probably. Is inflation going
to be higher because of breaks snit Yes, because of the fall in the
pound. In today's forecast we will show that growth for this year looks
like it will come in exactly on target and yet we already know he's
going to miss his borrowing targets this year. Even when growth is on
target you can still miss your borrowing forecasts. So that Iing
that it is to do with Brexit, we have to be careful about how much we
definite ascribe to one phenomenon. Simon, thank you very much indeed.
Kate Andrews, news editor at the Institute of Economic Affairs,
really good to talk to you, thank you very much.
There is more on the website from the Autumn Statement. Special
coverage from our team who will stay across the announcements as they are
made. Special details there on the BBC News website. Just look for the
Autumn Statement 2016 section. Lufthansa has cancelled almost 900
flights after it lost a last-ditch The two-day strike began
at midnight local time. Lufthansa says about 100,000
passengers will be affected. The industrial action is part
of a long-running dispute involving 14 strikes in the past
two and a half years. Three Australian employees
of gambling group Crown Resorts, who were detained in China last
month, have been formally arrested. The three were among 18 Crown staff
held after a police operation, believed to target Crown's
marketing activities. Casino gambling and promoting
gambling abroad are The Japanese car maker Toyota
is recalling more than 800,000 minivans in North America over
concerns the sliding doors could open while
the vehicle is moving. The recall affects Sienna
minivans from 2011 to 2016. Toyota says it is still developing
a fix for the problem. Sally, you came up with a good fix?
I thought a lock might work well! The New York Times is reporting
Facebook has been working on a tool that could pave the way
for censoring certain content if the network
was ever to launch in China. Facebook has not confirmed or denied
the software's existence, It is learning more
about the country. Robin, tell us more about what
Facebook is supposedly thinking through? Well, the big question for
Facebook, it has one billion users, where does it get the next one
billion from? Facebook looks like that. You can't get it because it
hasn't been in this country since 2009. Mark Zuckerberg has a possible
solution. The potential here is vast. He met the president, we have
seen him running through the smog during visits in Beijing and we have
evidence, some might say in reports in the New York Times that Facebook
is trying to develop software which will allow it to exist in China and
exist by new rules and new laws that China insists on having if social
media giants are allowed to be here. That software will allow, according
to the New York Times certain content to be blocked from specific
geographic areas. Facebook and other social media giants do take down
some content, but this would allow third party actors, other companies,
to remove content at the behest of the Chinese Government. Very
interesting. Robin, thank you for filling us in.
Tell us what you think about that. Use the hashtag BBC Biz Live.
Most of the markets in Asia were higher. You can see hong don'ting
down at the close. The big story is the Dow. Going above 19,000 for the
first time, closing above that. You can see behind me there and all
markets in the US were at record levels at the close on Wall Street.
Let's look at Europe right now. Just to give you a sense of how the day
is progressing. All higher at the moment. It is a really interesting
time we're in. Is it a bubble we're experiencing in share markets? We
will talk about why we had a good session on Wall Street.
Here is Samira. Trading volumes will be light, but before carving the
turkey, there are a few bits of economic news to chew on the durable
goods orders for the month of October are expected to increase
1.5%. But non defence related capital goods orders are expecting
up 0.2%. Now, this is actually a closely watched number as it gives
us an idea of how businesses maybe planning on spending money going
forward. And new home sales, increase 0.3% in October.
Agriculture and construction equipment maker Deer are are
expected to report lower earnings due to a fall in products.
Mike Amey, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at PIMCO is here
People were reluctant to commit their money before the election
because of the uncertainty created over previous, you know, political
events, Brexit for example. So I think there was money on the side
and the two things that happened really has been the focus from the
Trump campaign about Government spending and that's obviously helped
US stock markets. A bit of money on the side. But the two together and
there you go. Above 19,000. That's right. The challenge at this point
is do we keep going up or do we take a pause for breath as you mentioned?
The pause for breath could be the Fed move next month, do you think or
not? What will be the reaction when from interest rates go up next month
which most people believe they will? So we and most other people expect
the Fed to raise rates next month which will be the second time
they've done it. We get minutes today, don't we? We do. I think
really what investors think about is on the one hand with Trump you have
this positive, you know, Government spending story. On the other, you
have this kind of withdrawing from global trade and all those aspects
of the Trump policy. The markets are focussed on fiscal spending. If we
get more focus on the trade then things could become a bit more
challenging. Mike, for now, thank you.
The oil giant has more shops around the world
than Starbucks or MacDonald's and with low oil prices
squeezing petrol income, it's looking elsewhere
You're with Business Live from BBC News.
Thomas Cook has reported a ?41 million fall in profits
after what it called a difficult year for tourism after terror
Theo Leggett has been looking at the figures,
We saw it with easyJet, and this time Thomas Cook. That is true, but
look at my graph, see what has happened to Thomas Cook's share
price, up 9%. That is a strong reaction, because investors believe
that things could have been a long worse. If you look at their
underlying profits today, ?308 million earned in the year against
310 million last year, which flatters things a little, because of
the effects of the fall in sterling, which massaged the figure is a bit.
If you strip that out, there is a fall of ?41 million. They had to
deal with a number of outside factors, especially a fall in demand
in travel to Turkey, one of its major destinations, especially for
its German business, and it saw a drop in numbers to Egypt and
Tunisia, but they have been working hard to move their destinations away
from the eastern Mediterranean and more towards the western
Mediterranean, the Spanish islands, for example. It was prepared for a
drop-off in passenger numbers to areas like Turkey. Therefore it has
done better than expected, and as you can see, investors are quite
happy about that. The latest results ad. As the owner pointed out, shares
going up and up, at a time expected. They could look at our page,
dominated by events today, it is all about the Autumn Statement in the
UK. And not from our colleagues at BBC Radio 4. The Chancellor to
gloomy about the economy, apparently, but infrastructure
projects are on the cards. What that could mean in terms of jobs and
economic growth. We are right across this for you,
you can follow Simon Jack, and others, on Twitter. The live page
will be updating throughout the speech. I have been told it will be
a short one. Due to kick off at 12:30pm, full
coverage on the BBC. The UK's Finance Minister is poised
to announce billions of pounds' worth of new Government spending,
but is Britain's national-debt We will have the forecasts for
economic growth as well. We will stay across that for you.
In a world of falling oil prices and squeezed profit margins,
the companies selling it are increasingly looking for other
And that's clear on the petrol-station forecourt.
Shell runs the biggest single chain of petrol stations,
it's got around 43,000 around the world.
Close behind are China's state-owned Sinopec, Exxon Mobil and BP.
Shell is increasingly using those sites to sell
It got through 250 million cups of coffee last year
In fact, in the US it's come full circle, and the stores now dominate.
Around 80% of all motor fuel bought in the US is sold in
Istvan Kapitany is the executive vice president at Shell Retail.
Good morning. Good start, I got your name right! You were smiling when we
talked about how much coffee and drinks you sell, but it is an
important point, an important source of revenue. How has that changed? It
is rapid change in the last ten years. 35% of the customers who are
coming to the 44,000 service coming to the 44,000 service
stations around the world are buying fuel only, and 50% of them are
buying convenience retail items, like offing. In the UK we have the
biggest Costa Coffee chain, almost every Shell service station has won.
That is really growing, we are introducing it in more countries,
with global partners. I can see how drinks and food are ages for fit,
because people wanted on the go. But you can also pick up strange things,
flowers, call for your fire, although anybody buying flowers from
a petrol station will get it for -- in the neck! But they are not
convenient things. It is growing, it is interesting how habits are
changing. In many countries, we are starting to sell what we should have
been selling for a long time. Steak and kidney pie in the UK! We are
still working on the fish and chips programme! We need to become more of
a convenience outlet around the world. That is what the Gucci must
tell us, the reason why be do this is not just because of the oil price
being low, because it is what the Gucci must would like. You have had
a challenging recent couple of years, the cost of lower oil prices,
and many of the kickabout Lolo oil forever now, so that is a world you
have to get used to. But also, how we are moving around this changing,
the driverless vehicles conversation, electric vehicles, all
of that kind of thing. How will you change? What will you do to
accommodate those changes in the future? These changes are not
entirely new, some of the elements are, but if you look around the
world, we are selling biofuel, we are the number one in the world. We
are the only company which produces second-generation biofuel, it is
very environmentally friendly. We are selling petrol and diesel, more
and more, with all of the changes, we need to adapt, so we are at the
forefront of building hydrogen service station networks in Germany
and the US, and we are starting in the UK next year. Hydrogen -- one
fella is three minutes, so it is a good proposition. As you move into
that realm, hydrogen, biofuel or a battery change, cost is important.
From that point of view, I assume you are in a position of strength,
it is a brand we all know, wherever we are. It is more than 100 years,
it is a trusted brand, we have a strong brand preference, almost a
quarter of the world's motorists say, we prefer Shell. Where ever we
go and start with electric charging, there is a trust, because they know
we put research and technology behind it, we are spending $1.1
billion on research and development in the company, this is their sense
of the company technically. We are well prepared, and we are trying to
participate in shaping this. In hydrogen, electric charging we have
in Norway and Russia and Spain, and we are starting in the UK. What is
the one thing I can buy at one of your forecourt that I cannot buy
now? It will be the fish and chips, hopefully avoid you! It is a global
programme, we have that everywhere in the world! I will hold you to
that! If you are wondering, Hungary. Hence
the name. In a moment, we'll take a look
through the business pages. But first, here's a quick reminder
of how to get in touch with us. The business life pages where you
can stay ahead, with all of the breaking business news. We can keep
you up-to-date with the latest details, with insight and analysis
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well. Get involved in the BBC web page. We are on Twitter and you can
find us on Facebook. On TV and online, whenever you need to know.
This is a story we asked if he was about, big sales are getting smaller
at department stores, Black Friday is traditionally the time when they
sell things cheaper, it is ready for Christmas and Thanksgiving, but
maybe not so much any more? Classically, we think sales on Black
Friday, but some of the core brands are resisting. In the department
stores, they say, I don't want to go on discount, I want to maintain my
price premium, and I will take the lower volume. A tug-of-war between
the department store and the brands in the store. For years, we have
been told it is relentless pressure and competition, so maybe there is a
bit of... Chris is challenging my attitude, he says, sales are of no
interest at all, nasty, cheap, unwanted stock and hideous queues.
Utter madness. Happy Wednesday morning! But it is all of those
images that we see. That's talk about Eurostar, operating between
Continental Europe and the UK, is axing 20 trains a week between
London and Brussels. Sadly, some of this is related to a fall in tourism
for that particular route. The number of daily trains will go down
from nine to seven. There will be more flights from London to
Brussels. That is interesting. Not super environmentally friendly. If
you read the comments, it is not lost on many people, talking about
the gravy train to Brussels. Maybe that is finally drying up. Not my
view, just the view of some of those comments underneath.
Thank you for your company, have a good day. Children for the Autumn
Statement. See you later. Goodbye.
The last few days have seen some extreme weather around the country.
Over four inches of rain in the south-west of England. Scenes of
flooding in the south-west. More recently further north as well, into
parts of northern