New figures have cast doubts over London’s post-pandemic recovery, with around half of workers still shunning a return to the office.
By the end of September footfall in the capital was just half its pre-Covid levels, according to the Centre for Cities. That’s the lowest in the country, with airport hubs Luton and Slough also in the bottom five.
Overall, the think tank’s weekday footfall gauge rose from 60pc in late August to 67pc last month across 63 cities and towns, despite hopes for a more widespread return to the office.
5 things to start your day
1) Jim Ratcliffe predicts winter-long energy crisis and blames Government The billionaire industrialist has blamed ministers for Britain’s gas crisis and warned that sky-high prices will last throughout winter.
2) Inside Ethic, Harry and Meghan’s favourite investment start-up The Brit-founded asset manager boasts A-lister endorsements and dogs with job titles, but experts warn its focus on ESG is a big risk.
3) Sir Terry Leahy loses £30m on Hut Group The shares fell further on Wednesday and analysts slashed their forecasts after a meeting with investors went awry this week.
4) Post-Covid rate rise to cost homeowners £800 a year The Bank of England expected to increase interest rates from current record low to a post-financial crisis high of 1pc in 2022.
5) Air fares to soar thanks to Brussels biofuel rules, warns Willie Walsh Ex-BA boss says airlines forced by EU to increase their use of sustainable fuel will pass on cost to passengers
What happened overnight
Asian markets mostly rose on Thursday morning before China said factory-gate inflation had in September hit its highest level in a quarter of a century owing to a spike in commodity costs and rocketing demand as economies reopen. Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul, Wellington, Taipei, Manila and Jakarta all rose, while Shanghai flitted between positive and negative territory. Singapore dipped following the surprise policy tightening by the city’s central bank.
Coming up today
Trading update: Dunelm, Hays, National Express, Rank Group, Domino’s Pizza
Economics: RICS house price balance (UK), inflation (China), producer price index (US), jobless claims (US), Bank of England credit conditions