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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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