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UK productivity estimates to be ‘significantly’ lowered

The Office for Budget Responsibility admits it will need to “significantly” lower its estimates for the productivity of UK workers after a decade of stagnant growth. The government forecaster said the average rate of productivity growth of 0.2% over the past five years was a better guide for 2017 than its forecast of 1.6% in March, causing a headache for Philip Hammond as he prepares for his autumn budget.

Farmers claim profits ‘could be halved by Brexit’

UK farm profits could fall by as much as half after Brexit, according to new research from the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board. Its report claims the “worst-case scenario” would cut average farm profits from £38,000 a year to just £15,000. However, the report added that dairy and pig farmers may benefit from rising prices and the government said the report was based on highly unlikely scenarios.

Spielberg series to kickstart Apple’s broadcast arm

Apple will broadcast a big-budget television series produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment. As it continues its bid to push into entertainment, its first big commission is set to be a 10-episode series of Amazing Stories, a science-fiction fantasy show created by Spielberg that originally aired on NBC in the 1980s, says the Wall Street Journal.

Tesco’s pizza supplier to float on the LSE

Bakkavor, which supplies fresh meals, pizzas and desserts to Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, will float on the London Stock Market. The deal is expected to raise around £100m to pay down debt and fund investment in the company. Bakkavor, which could be worth up to £1bn when it floats, will offer around 25% of its capital on the LSE. 

Britain enjoying record number of tourists

The UK is attracting a record number of tourists, with nearly 40m people expected to have visited the country during 2017. VisitBritain, a tourist agency, predicts that overseas trips to the UK will increase 6% to 39.7m with spending up 14% to £25.7bn this year. With Brits holidaying at home in record numbers, in the form of ‘staycations’, tourism is worth £127bn annually to the economy.

Quote of the day… May must offer more than fluffy words

“The government needs to go beyond fluffy words about everyone uniting and telephone calls from Theresa May to Donald Trump.” Ross Murdoch, a national officer of the GMB union, says the government must do more to help the 4,000+ staff of aircraft maker Bombardier who face losing their jobs in an international trade dispute.

THE NUMBERS… AT 0734 GMT

FTSE 100: up +0.40 to 7538.27
Dow Jones: up +0.31 to 22830.68
Dax: down -0.21 to 12949.25
Cac 40: down -0.04 to 5363.65
Nikkei: up +0.64 to 20823.51
Hang Seng: up +0.04 to 28501.56
US dollar: buys €0.84610 and £0.75780
Sterling: buys $ 1.32050 and €1.11650
Oil: $ 56.53 up +1.4

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