There are more signs that the cost-of-living crisis is taking its toll, with confidence among British consumers slumping to its lowest level since the 2008 financial crash.
An index compiled by PwC fell to minus 20 in March, representing a 30-point drop since last June. Worries over lower incomes and soaring bills were cited as the main concerns.
It comes after the energy price cap jumped by more than 50pc last week, pushing up bills for the average household by £693. Looming tax rises and sustained inflation are also putting a strain on household budgets.
5 things to start your day
1) Price of a pint of milk to surge by 50pc, industry warns Dairy bosses from the UK and Europe flew into Brussels last week for crisis talks over rocketing feed, fertiliser and fuel costs
2) Government pressures video games firms to ban children from buying ‘loot boxes’ Ministers understood to have told companies that failure to self-regulate would mean new laws to tackle their use of the controversial items
3) German gas plans could cause ‘structural damage’ to its industrial position, Deutsche Bank warns Vladimir Putin has threatened to cut gas supplies to Germany following Berlin’s rejection to make payments in roubles.
4) Government urged to launch skilled refugee visas to address UK’s tech skills shortage Meeting between Zopa Bank and ministers comes weeks after the lender pledged to hire 50 professionals from Ukraine
5) What is going on at Barclays? Latest scandal sparks fresh concern A new man at the top, but the bank’s second major embarrassment in six months
What happened overnight
Shares in Asia were mostly higher this morning as gains carried over from a strong finish last week on Wall Street.
Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul advanced while Shanghai was closed for a holiday. Oil prices nudged higher and US futures were nearly unchanged.
Coming up today
- Corporate: Belvoir Group, Impax Environmental Markets, Provident Financial (full-year)
- Economics: Factory orders (UK)
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