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Summary

  1. Consumer price inflation rises to 0.5% in March
  2. House prices up 7.6% in the UK in February
  3. MPs to hold emergency Commons debate on steel
  4. EU to make big firms come clean on tax
  5. Asos sales soar as profits jump

Live Reporting

By Matthew West

All times stated are UK

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  1. That's all folks!

    BBC test card

    We're bringing the livepage to an end slightly earlier than usual today. Thank's for staying with us this afternoon. But never fear Chris and Karen will be back at 06:00 tomorrow. to bring you the latest developments. 

  2. Can new technologies deter and detect sharks?

    Business Daily reports ...

    Video content

    Video caption: Navy diver Paul de Gelder tells the BBC's Phil Mercer how he lost a hand and a leg.
  3. AB InBev woes EU over SABMiller deal

    Bottle of Peroni

    AB InBev has formally told the European Union of its plan to sell SABMiller's premium European brands to try to secure approval for its $100bn-plus takeover of the London-based brewer. 

    It has already struck a deal to sell the assets to Japan's Asahi Group Holdings, a tactic aimed at staving off a possible lengthy investigation of the biggest ever deal in the consumer goods industry. 

    "This proposal concerns the European premium brand families of Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime and their associated businesses in Italy, the Netherlands, UK and internationally, excluding certain US rights," an AB Inbev spokeswoman said. 

    The European Commission has said it will decide by 24 May whether to clear the deal, a filing on its website showed without giving further details. 

  4. Wall Street shares mixed

    Wall Street traders

    Wall Street markets haven't really moved much so far in early trading, as investors waited for earnings results, including those from large US banks that start reporting later in the week.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.3% at 17,608.39.

    The S&P 500 is 0.17% higher at 2,045 02 while the Nasdaq has fallen 0.11% at 4,828.36.

  5. British public 'in no mood for lectures' on Europe

    Priti Patel

    Pro-Brexit employment minister Priti Patel has attacked David Miliband's comments on the IMF warning saying the British public is in no mood for lectures.

    "As foreign secretary, he signed us up to the Lisbon Treaty that sacrificed important EU vetoes and misled the public about the power of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Voters will be in no mood for lectures from someone who was wrong then on the EU and is wrong now." 

  6. IMF provides clear evidence on dangers of leaving EU

    Britain Stronger In Europe, which is campaigning for the UK to remain within the EU, says businesses and families should heed the IMF's warning.

    "This is the clearest evidence yet about the danger of Britain leaving Europe from the word's most respected financial body," says its chief executive, former Labour foreign secretary David Miliband.

  7. Vote Leave: IMF 'wrong then, wrong now'

    The two camps on either side of the EU referendum debate have weighed in with their views on the IMF's Brexit warning. Vote Leave chief executive Matthew Elliott. says

    "The IMF has talked down the British economy in the past and now it is doing it again at the request of our own Chancellor. It was wrong then and it is wrong now." 

  8. Osborne: IMF has given a clear warning of impact of 'Brexit'

    The chancellor of the exchequer has responded to the IMF warning on Brexit:

    Quote Message: While Britain remains one of the fastest growing advanced economies in the world, the IMF’s warnings about our exit from the EU are stark. For the first time, we’re seeing the direct impact on our economy of the risks of leaving the EU. The IMF says that these risks are a reason why they have reduced Britain’s growth forecast this year. If Britain leaves the EU, the IMF says there would be a short-term impact on stability and long-term costs to the economy. If the British economy is hit by the mere risk of leaving the EU, can you imagine the hit to people’s income and jobs if we did actually leave? The IMF has given us the clearest independent warning of the taste of bad things to come if Britain leaves the EU. from Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne
    Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne
  9. 'Brexit' could cause severe damage warns IMF

    The UK's exit from the European Union could cause "severe regional and global damage", the International Monetary Fund has warned in its latest outlook.

    A so-called "Brexit" would disrupt established trading relationships and cause "major challenges" for both the UK and the rest of Europe, it said.

    The IMF said the planned 23 June referendum had already created uncertainty for investors and a vote to exit would only heighten this.

    It also cut its UK growth forecast.

  10. On Brexit, IMF is speaking Osborne’s language

    BBC economics editor blogs

    Kamal Ahmed

    Economics editor

    In economics - once called the "dismal science" - there are very few definites.

    Predictions are couched in conditionals - could, might. Facts in a world driven by unpredictable human behaviour are hard to nail down.

    Particularly when many of those humans, in the case of the European Union referendum, are politicians with all sorts of competing interests to juggle.

    But the strength of the warnings in this case is nevertheless clear.

    Maurice Obstfeld, economic counsellor to the International Monetary Fund and the organisation's chief economist, says there could be "severe regional and global damage" if Britain were to vote to leave the European Union.

    An exit would present "major challenges" and a prolonged period of uncertainty which would "weigh" - that is have a negative effect - on confidence and investment.

    Read more from Kamal's blog

  11. EC tax plans an 'important step forward'

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    More on those European Commission tax proposals, and a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs speaks out in support.

    Quote Message: This is an important step forward in terms of transparency of corporations because this is the first time, beyond the banking sector, that we're seeing the Commission propose laws so that we can find out how much companies are actually earning in different countries and that sort of transparency is essential so we can find out how much tax they should be paying in those countries. So that's important, but we're still a bit concerned that we're only seeing this for the largest companies now and we're only seeing it for their activity in the EU. We think we need to know what all their activity is because otherwise there could be a temptation for them to begin that process again of offshoring their profits. from Molly Scott Cato Green MEP,, south-west England and Gibraltar
    Molly Scott CatoGreen MEP,, south-west England and Gibraltar
  12. European Commission's tax proposals hit a 'raw nerve'

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    The European Commission reckons its plans to force multinationals - such as Google, Apple and Amazon - to be more transparent about their tax affairs are "ambitious". 

    Draft legislation, which we're expecting this afternoon, would require businesses with an annual turnover of more than £600m to open their accounts to greater public scrutiny as part of efforts to discourage tax avoidance.

    Quote Message: The issue at hand here is whether it should be the European Commission itself making further intrusion into areas such as taxation. On the face of it the proposal is sensible because there's the case for increased openness and transparency. Now there are challenges with this. Already we see regulatory intrusion from Brussels into areas of national policy and maybe one of the key areas of national policy that should be kept back at a distance from Brussels is the whole fiscal and tax area. So while on the face of it the proposals seem to be sensible, I do think it hits a very raw nerve because it shows a further sign of intrusion. Having previously seen it in terms of regulation, we're now seeing it more in terms of tax as well. from Gerard Lyons Chief economic adviser to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson
    Gerard LyonsChief economic adviser to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson
  13. Oil output freeze 'on the cards'

    Oil well

    Both Opec and non-Opec countries are set to agree an oil production freeze in Doha later this week, claims Falah Alamri, the head of Iraq's state oil firm Somo. He says Iraq will participate in any measures that would help stabilise oil prices.

    Brent crude rose 34 cents to $43.17 a barrel today, while US oil gained 23 cents to $40.59. 

  14. Music industry milestone

    Rihanna

    Bit of a moment for the music industry: digital revenues have overtaken those from sales of physical recordings such as CDs physical for the first time, according to the IFPI Global Music Report 2016. Digital sales account for 45% of industry revenues, compared 39% for physical, with the total for digital up 10.2% to $6.7bn.

    Total industry revenues rose 3.2% to $15bn, leading to the industry's first significant year-on-year growth in nearly two decades. Digital revenues now account for more than half the recorded music market in 19 markets.

    Read more from the IFPI here.

  15. Watch out Freya...

    The claws are out in Whitehall - but this time it's nothing to do with Brexit or tax.

    Chancellor George Osborne's first feline, Freya, and David Cameron's puss Larry are facing competition from Palmerston - the new cat on the block at the Foreign Office.

    The department apparently needs help dealing with an infestation of mice (a bit like the BBC business and economics unit, by the way) and has recruited Palmerston from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, which was also Larry's alma mater.

    The new recruit will be based in Sir Simon McDonald's office. The Permanent Under Secretary is known as - you've guessed it - the PUS.

    The news has driven home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford to Twitter:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter