Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as UK GDP falls for the first time in six months
- Latest: Victory for small firms in Covid-19 insurance case
- Introduction: UK economy contracted in November – first time since April
- Smaller fall than economists feared
- Services sector shrank 3.4%, but construction grew
- Sunak: Things will get harder before they get better
Just in: US retail sales were much weaker than expected in December, in another signal that America’s economy is suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Retail sakes fell by 0.7% last month, the third monthly fall in a row – sharply below forecasts that they’d be unchanged.
*U.S. RETAIL SALES FALL -0.7% IN DECEMBER, EST. -0.2% pic.twitter.com/r48qEqeTTI
BREAKING! US retail sales down for three months in a row. pic.twitter.com/uc3rvnR6Ve
Yikes (part II after initial jobless claims)! US retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.7% in December. 0.0% was expected. pic.twitter.com/Omm7wT4OcY
ECONOMY WATCH: U.S. retail sales fall 0.7% in December. November also worse than previously reported. Third straight decline. Coronavirus whacks economy again, and it’s not going to get much better until the vaccines are more widespread and the pandemic fades.
Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has also hailed the Supreme Court ruling on business interruption insurance – calling it a ‘lifeline’ for tens of thousands of small firms:
A very welcome decision by the Supreme Court
This will be a lifeline for tens of thousands of hairdressers, bars, restaurants and other small businesses that did the right thing and closed their doors to protect the health of the nation https://t.co/kWPtjeEZcp
The FCA test case, coined as “probably the most important insurance decision of the last decade”, reached a culmination today as the Supreme Court handed down its judgment. This case has served to be a lengthy and significant battle, directly affecting 370,000 policyholders with wider implications for 700 types of polices across over 60 insurers.
Representing a landmark victory for many small businesses across the country, the Supreme Court found in favour of the FCA and the Hiscox Action Group and ultimately removed many of the hindrances that policyholders might have faced when claiming for cover.