Petrol retailers say recovery from fuel crisis is too slow, and demand inquiry – business live – MSN UK

Time to wrap up.

UK petrol retailers have called for an independent inquiry into the UK’s fuel crisis.

The PRA reported that just 71% of forecourts in London and the south east are offering petrol and diesel again, two weeks after panic buying began, and claimed that “failed government intervention and inappropriate prioritisation” are leading to “chaotic delivery schedules”.

The Bank of England’s new chief economist warned that the UK is facing a longer and larger spike in inflation than expected. Huw Pill told MPs that “the current strength of inflation looks set to prove more long lasting than originally anticipated.”

The pound has rallied, up half a cent at $1.3635, as traders anticipate that the Bank could be pushed into raising interest rates in the coming months.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has reiterated that ministers won’t bail out struggling energy suppliers, despite predictions that more could fail this winter, and that bills will surge again next spring.

The founder of green energy supplier Ecotricity accused the government of “killing energy companies right now” by operating a retail price cap but not a wholesale one.

Dale Vince told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

“It’s illogical to hold prices at one end of the supply chain and not the other end, and the natural consequence is companies going out of business.

“The government currently have closed their eyes and ears to this and said they don’t care, they’re not going to help energy companies but that kind of misses the point because they’re killing energy companies right now.”

Gas prices have eased back, after Russia appeared to use the crisis as leverage to get its controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline approved:

But….the National Grid’s electricity system operator, ESO, warned that the risk of winter blackouts has increased after a fire affecting a key subsea cable further eroded Great Britain’s backup electricity supply cushion.

UK industrial groups said the warning highlighted the need for emergency measures to keep factories running this winter.

The supply chain crisis continued….

Nearly one in three UK firms saw the price paid for materials, goods or services jump by more than “normal price fluctuations” in early September, with builders worst hit.

One in 10 firms said they’d hiked prices last month, by more than usual.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, says there are rising concerns that the UK is being caught in an inflationary spiral

‘’The anecdotes from truckers, turkey farmers, builders and bosses about escalating problems in the supply chain are far from isolated cases. Rising costs hitting industries across the board are backed up in the latest large scale survey from the ONS. The Business Insights research shows that almost a third of businesses (29%) questioned reported that the price of materials, goods and services purchased over the last fortnight had increased by more than normal price fluctuations.

The situation is particularly acute in the construction industry, given that more than half of firms surveyed said prices had increased higher than usual levels over the last two weeks. Costs of materials like bricks, timber and steel were already rising before this week’s latest spike in gas prices, with companies like British Steel hiking costs per tonne by £30 last week because of escalating energy and haulage costs.

Over in Germany, industrial production tumbled by 4% as supply chain bottlenecks hit factories.

But there’s a welcome drop in weekly jobless claims in the US….

…where Senate leaders have also hammered out a short-term deal to extend the debt ceiling, giving a couple of months grace.

This has driven markets higher, with the FTSE 100 index closing 82 points higher at 7078, up 1.1% today.

UK house prices continued to surge, up 1.7% in September alone:

Sky is to launch its own range of smart TVs, removing the need for customers to use a satellite dish or set-top box.

The competition regulator has dropped its investigation into whether British Airways and Ryanair broke the law by failing to offer refunds to customers who could not legally take their flights because of coronavirus restrictions – but said the airlines should have given them their money back…

And finally….the maker of Quality Street has said the supply chain crisis may affect deliveries of some of its confectionery in the run-up to Christmas.

Goodnight. GW

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