31 January 2014 Last updated at 05:49

Business Live: Living standards warning plus headlines

    0600: Ben Morris Business Reporter

    Good morning. We'll see if BT's investment in football is paying off when it reports results later. Also the discussion over wages goes on. Stay with the Business Live page.

    0600: Edwin Lane Business reporter, BBC News

    Good morning everyone. The IFS has weighed in on the debate over the cost of living, saying living standards will not reach pre-crisis levels before the next election. We'll have plenty on that plus the rest of the headlines. Get in touch with us on bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or @BBCBusiness on Twitter.

    LIVING STANDARDS 06:05: Radio 5 live

    Household incomes are still 6% lower that they were in 2008 according to Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). On Wake Up to Money he says it's "unprecedented" for incomes to recover so slowly after a downturn. His research shows top earners have lost 9%, those at the bottom have lost 2%, but those falls have now eased.

    US FED 06:10: BBC World News
    US Federal Reserve

    Discussion of the US Federal Reserve's winding down of economic stimulus measures continues this morning. Simon Derrick from Bank of New York Mellon tells World Business Report that the gradual reduction of QE is "pretty much set in stone" but US interest rates are unlikely to rise until at least 2015.

    Google HQ

    Google has reported fourth quarter profits of $3.38bn (£2.05bn), up 17% from a year earlier and helped by stronger advertising revenue. The company reported a widening loss of $384m in its Motorola Mobility unit, compared to $152m in 2012. Two days ago it surprised most people by agreeing to sell that business to China's Lenovo.

    BT 06:17: Radio 5 live

    BT releases third quarter results at 07:00. On Wake Up to Money Douglas McNeil, investment manager at Charles Stanley, reminds us that 45% of BT's revenue comes from UK households. He says BT is hoping that its new football offerings will help it sell broadband services to those customers and attract new ones.

    JAPAN 06:24: BBC World News

    After years of deflation, rising prices count as good news in Japan and in December inflation rose to 1.3%. The BBC's Rico Hizon in Singapore says this could be further evidence the economic recovery in Japan is gaining momentum. But a closer look at the numbers suggest much of that inflation is due to the higher cost of imported food and fuel.

    US FED 06:30:
    Raghuram Rajan

    A report says that India's central bank governor Raghuram Rajan has criticised the way the US Federal Reserve is winding down stimulus measures because of the impact that is having on emerging markets. He says "international monetary co-operation has broken down" according to the Financial Times.

    TUNGSTEN 06:48: Radio 4

    An Australian company called Wolf Minerals is opening a Tungsten mine outside Plymouth - the first metals mine to open in the UK in 40 years. Chief executive Russell Clark tells Simon Jack rising prices have made it economical to mine the metal again. "It's 10km from Plymouth, the local pub is called the Miner's Arms, so mining is part of the landscape in that area," he says.

    MICROSOFT BOSS 06:50: Radio 4
    Satya Nadella

    Who's going to be the new boss of Microsoft? There is growing speculation it is Satya Nadella, the current head of the company's cloud and enterprise division. Technology analyst Larry Magid tells Today the biggest challenge for the new boss will be "figuring out who they are and where they are going - they have tried to be all things for all people".

    SEASIDE TOWNS 06:51: Radio 5 live
    Rhyl, Wales

    There is a special report on the problems facing UK seaside towns on 5 live this morning. Last year the right-leaning think-tank the Centre for Social Justice said some seaside towns around the UK are trapped in a "cycle of poverty". In 2012 the government set up the Coastal Communities Fund, which has been handing out between £20m and £30m a year to affected towns.

    TAX RETURNS 06:59: BBC Breakfast

    1.6 million people still hadn't filled in their tax return by last night. Midnight tonight is the deadline for online submissions, but Ruth Owen from the HMRC says in some limited cases you can get an extension.

    BT RESULTS 07:06:

    BT has reported third quarter pre-tax profits of £617m, up 6% on the same period last year. In November BT agreed to pay £897m for an exclusive three-year deal to broadcast live Champions League and Europa League football.

    HONDA 07:12:
    Honda factory

    Honda has reported that third quarter profits doubled to 160.7bn yen (£951m) - helped by the weaker yen. Sales were up 25% compared to the same quarter in 2013. Honda is forecasting record sales in the United States this year, but falling sales in Thailand due to the political trouble there.

    POST OFFICE 07:23: Radio 4

    The chief executive of the Post Office is in the Today studio. Paula Vennells says there will be no more Post Office closures, and there will be investment in branches and particularly in small villages where the post office is often the last remaining shop.

    BT RESULTS 07:26:

    BT has reported a 22% jump in sales of broadband and TV services in the third quarter, which its says reflects the "benefit of BT Sport". It added 150,000 retail broadband customers during the third quarter. It also added 228,000 customers for its high-speed fibre broadband services.


    Asian markets have fallen again this morning, despite positive news from Japan on consumer prices. The Nikkei in Tokyo has closed down another 0.6%, while the Hang Seng is currently 0.5% lower.

    ALLEZ LONDON 07:49: Radio 4
    Canary Wharf

    London's status as the financial capital of Europe is attracting thousands of French people across the channel, according to Today. A reporter goes meets the wives of French bankers who have been transferred to work in the City, as well as French waiters who say it's much easier to get a job in the UK capital, where their is more of an entrepreneurial spirit than in Paris.


    It would be "folly" for the rest of the UK to enter into a currency union with an independent Scotland, writes Martin Wolf in the FT this morning. He said Bank of England governor Mark Carney failed to mention in his Edinburgh speech this week that the rest of the UK generates 90 per cent of UK GDP, making any currency union desperately unequal.

    UK TOURISM 08:11: Radio 5 live

    Dermot King, managing director of Butlins, is on 5 live He is one of several bosses from the travel industry calling for a cut in the VAT on hotels and tourist attractions. He says our relatively high VAT is making holidays in the UK less attractive to British people. Mr King also says a cut in VAT would generate jobs, particularly for young people.


    Here's a measure of the concern investors have over emerging markets. According to data compiled by Bloomberg in January $7bn flowed from exchange traded funds that invested in developing nation assets. That is the most since the investment products were created.


    It's a mixed start to the markets in Europe this morning. The FTSE 100 is up 0.1%, as is the Cac 40 in Paris. Frankfurt's Dax is down 0.3%. Earlier the Nikkei in Tokyo closed down 0.6%.

    TAX Dominic Laurie Reporter for Five Live

    tweets: "Are you still one of the 100,000 or so people who get child benefit and still need to do a self assessment tax return by the end of today?"

    LVMH 08:59:
    Louis Vuitton fashion show

    Shares in the world's biggest luxury goods group, LVMH, have jumped more than 6% this morning. Is said sales growth at its leather and fashion unit accelerated to 7% in the three months to the end of December. It also forecast that cognac sales in China should improve.

    DENMARK GOLDMAN SACHS 09:04: Radio 4

    Ministers in Denmark have staged a walkout over plans to sell state-owned energy firm Dong to investors including Goldman Sachs. Niels Lunde, editor of Danish financial daily Borsen, tells Simon Jack that Goldman Sachs has been "the symbol of the financial crisis and greedy American capitalism" so people aren't happy.

    INDIA CARS 09:18:
    Suzuki-Maruti Alto

    A car safety watchdog has found that several of India's most popular small cars crumpled badly in crash tests. In its report Global NCAP said the cars "have shown a high-risk of life threatening injuries in road crashes". The models tested included India's best-selling car, the Suzuki-Maruti Alto 800.

    BERNANKE 09:32:
    Bernanke Yellen

    "My teenage crush was Ben Bernanke". It's the outgoing US Fed chairman's last day on the job before he hands over to Janet Yellen. The BBC's Kim Gittleson in New York pays tribute with a personal goodbye to the man who tried to make central banking "kind of interesting".

    NEW HOMES Ben Thompson Business correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: "Boss of @NHBC tells me the 134k new homes registered last year - highest since '97 - is half what's needed each year to meet demand @BBCNews"

    BT SHARES 09:42:

    Investors like what they have seen in BT Group's third quarter results. Shares are up more almost 3% this morning. The company says its BT Sport offering is helping boost sales of broadband services. It added 150,000 broadband customers during the quarter.

    COMING UP 09:46:

    We're expecting unemployment figures for Europe in about 10 minutes' time. The analysts are expecting the unemployment rate across the continent to stay at about 12.1% - that's just below the 12.2% record.

    TOYOTA 09:55:
    toyota logo

    Toyota has told dealers in the US to stop sales of some of its cars that are equipped with seat heaters. The world's biggest car maker said that a portion of the seat fabric in the affected models could burn at a rate faster than allowed by US regulations. Toyota said no fires or injuries had been reported due to the issue.


    Eurozone unemployment fell by 129,000 in December, official figures just released show. That's the biggest fall since April 2007. But the rate of unemployment in the currency bloc is unchanged at 12%.


    Eurostat has also released figures suggesting inflation across the eurozone fell to 0.7% in January. That's further below the European Central Bank's target inflation rate of just below 2%.


    The fall in the eurozone inflation rate to 0.7% is a surprise to analysts, who were widely expecting a rise. It has prompted concerns over deflation and the possibility that the European Central Bank may look to cut its benchmark interest rate again.

    LIVING STANDARDS Ben Thompson Business correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: "Director of IFS tells me 'to have incomes still lower 6 yrs after recession is historically unprecedented & has hit people IN work @BBCNews"

    LIVING STANDARDS 10:34: Via Email

    We're are getting a lot of correspondence on the issue of living standards. Angela from Hampshire emails: "I find it hard to understand how the cut is felt equally across all income groups. People on benefits or low incomes will already have been doing without holidays, haircuts, clothes, heating and even food. I refuse to believe that everyone is experiencing the same magnitude of suffering. "

    FCA FINE 10:43:

    Financial Services company State Street UK has been fined £22.9m by the Financial Conduct Authority. The FCA said the firm deliberately overcharged six clients a total of $20,169,603 between 2010 and 2011. State Street UK's clients include large investment management firms and pension funds.

    LISTEN AGAIN 10:52: World Service

    Today's Business Daily looks at the continuing role slavery plays in the world's economy. Aidan MacQuade, director of the campaign group Anti-Slavery International, explains what form slavery takes in today's world. Mende Nazer from Sudan and Marissa from the Philippines recount their experience as slaves. Download the podcast now.


    Markets have followed a downward trend this morning. The FTSE 100 is down 0.75%, while Frankfurt's Dax is down 1.4% and the Cac 40 in Paris is 1% lower. Earlier the Nikkei in Tokyo closed down 0.6%.

    Via Twitter Rory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent

    tweets: "What a week for tech news - Google buying & selling, Facebook minting it from mobile. All that plus Israel's cyber ambitions in @BBCTechTent"

    Via Twitter Rory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent

    tweets: "The other story we may look at on @BBCTechTent is the rumour of a new Microsoft CEO - but will Satya Nadella be unveiled by 3pm?"

    BINGO 11:27:
    Mecca Bingo in Burnt Oak, London

    The owner of Mecca bingo, Rank Group, has announced a pre-tax loss of £6.2m for the six months to the end of December. That includes a one-off charge off £35m, much of which results from a court decision against Rank over VAT paid on amusement machines. But operations also suffered - revenue at bingo halls dropped by 7% on a like-for-like basis.

    DAIRY CREST 11:46:

    Employees at Dairy Crest will share out a bonus pool of £2.5m after the company made £15m on the sale of its Nine Elms milk depot in London. More than 1,200 managers and office staff will receive payouts in the summer. Milkmen and factory workers have separate bonus schemes, but are expected to benefit from the company's better-than-expected profits.

    Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai

    Indian officials say that the US Federal Aviation Administration has downgraded India's aviation safety ranking. The move means that Indian carriers will not be allowed to add extra services to the United States. The downgrade was partly because some pilots lacked sufficient training, according to a spokesman from the Indian civil aviation ministry, quoted by the AP news agency.

    NEXT Via Twitter Ben Thompson Business correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: "Retailer Next will pay extra £75m in dividends on May 1 - on top of 50p/share already paying on Feb 3. Follows bumper Christmas. @BBCNews"


    The 20 top-flight clubs in the Premier League have spent a total of £725m so far this season - the biggest spend ever. For more read Bill Wilson's report.

    RUSSIA GROWTH 12:32:
    Russian flag

    The Russian rouble fell 1% against the dollar after some disappointing economic news. Deputy economy minister Andrei Klepach said the economy grew 1.3% in 2013 . That's weaker growth than many economists were expecting. It's the fourth year in a row that the Russian economy has slowed.

    POST OFFICE 12:39:
    Paula Vennells

    This weekend, Paula Vennells has two church sermons to write and deliver to her parishioners, a family to look after and a 350-year-old British institution to save. The BBC's Brian Milligan profiles the boss of the Post Office who says there will be no more closures.

    LIVING STANDARDS 12:46: Via Email

    Dougie from Havant emails: "Of course many people feel worse off. Living standards prior to the crash were illusory, borrowed from the future and we have had to pay that back. But anyone with a mortgage is thousands of pounds better off than they would have been under a Labour government."


    That's it from us on the Business Live page for this week. We will be back with more business news on Monday from 06:00.


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