There’s some disappointing economic data to start the day – the latest ONS figures show economic growth failed to deliver in August even as Covid restrictions eased.
Gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.4pc in August, short of the 0.5pc that had been expected by economists. The ONS issued a series of revisions showing an unexpected drop in output in July. The figures mean the economy is now 0.8pc smaller than its level before Covid-19 struck in February 2020.
The miss was driven by disappointing growth for the services industry as bars, restaurants and festivals were able to resume restriction-free trading.
They numbers will cast doubts over whether the economy can return to pre-pandemic levels this year.
5 things to start your day
1) Toys, clothes and electronics may not arrive for Christmas as cargo vessels turned away from UK The lorry driver shortage means there is no space to offload goods at key port.
2) Hut Group’s shares plunged by a third after crunch meeting with investors Around £1.8bn was wiped off the e-commerce firm’s market value on Tuesday after a shareholder event failed to win the City over.
3) Ben Marlow: Alan Rusbridger and Facebook’s oversight board have been taken for fools The social network’s ‘Supreme Court’ has been utterly useless at addressing alarming whistleblower claims – but effective as a PR shield.
4) Coal makes a comeback as green energy fails to meet post-pandemic demand Countries are turning to coal-fired power after renewables failed to keep pace with a post-pandemic jump in demand for energy.
5) Shipping snaps under weight of supply chain problems Crews onboard say it is the worst disruption they have ever seen.
What happened overnight
Asian markets were mixed on Wednesday as investors awaited key US inflation data. Tokyo, Sydney and Taipei edged down, though there were gains in Seoul, Singapore, Manila, Jakarta and Wellington. Shanghai was also in the red before Thursday’s release of China’s own inflation readings.
Coming up today
Interim results: PageGroup
Trading update: Barratt Developments, Just Eat Takeaway, Man Group
Economics: Trade balance (UK, China), industrial production (UK, EU), manufacturing production (UK), GDP (UK), inflation (US), FOMC minutes (US)