The latest UK GDP figures shown a slight improvement in the fourth quarter but overall growth has softened to 1.8 percent. But will growth slow as Brexit negotiations kick off this year? And Lloyds Bank posts strong results. Chris Justham, Relationship Manager at Seven Investment Management, joined Share Radio's Ed Bowsher for analysis of the day's key economic news.
Greece's debt burden is back on the agenda as European finance ministers met today at Eurogroup meeting. The ministers are at loggerheads with the International Monetary Fund over the Greek bailout terms. To preview the meeting, Share Radio's Ed Bowsher spoke with Pieter Cleppe, Head of Open Europe's Brussels Office.
Food conglomerate Kraft Heinz's initial £112bn approach for Unilever, behind many consumer brands including Marmite, has been rejected in early stages. But is this the end of the deal? And a slump in UK retail spending figures show consumers are holding back as Brexit uncertainty kicks in. Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC markets, joined Share Radio's Ed Bowsher for more on these and the day's biggest economic stories.
The Greek economy suffered an unexpected contraction at the end of last year, shrinking 0.4% in the last quarter. It means that if the EU and the IMF can't agree on a new debt plan next week, there's a danger that Greece won't be able to pay its next debt repayment in July.
So what does it mean for the troubled Mediterranean country? Ed Bowsher was joined by European affairs analyst Yannis Koutsomitis for more.
A Greek departure from the Eurozone is back on the agenda after a leading German politician said that Greece would be better off without the Euro. Zsolt Darvas, Senior Scholar at Bruegel, joined Share Radio's deputy editor Ed Bowsher to discuss this some more.
UK rents are set to rise faster than property values over the next five years - but what does this mean for the wider economy? Political players say Greece would be better outside the Eurozone, plus how will the EU calculate Britain's final 'exit bill'? Richard Perry, market analyst at Hantec Markets Limited, joined Share Radio's Ed Bowsher for today's big economic stories.
There's some gloomy news on Brexit with 58 percent of larger companies saying it's already having a negative impact on their business - that's according to Ipsos Mori. And the pound's drop is pushing up company costs, according to the British Chambers of Commerce. While in the US, is Trump right on currency policy? For these stories and more, Jeremy Stretch, Head of G10 FX Strategy at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, joined Share Radio's senior analyst Ed Bowsher.
The Bank of England has raised its forecast of economic growth to 2% this year, up from the previous forecast of 1.4%, with an increase from 1.5% to 1.6% for next year.
The base rate is unchanged at 0.25% and the bank's quantitative easing or money-printing programme will also continue as planned. The Bank's announcement has triggered a 0.8% fall in the pound at $1.26.
Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, joined Share Radio's Ed Bowsher to cover the big economic news of the day, including the government White Paper, Reckitt Benckiser's deal and more.
Investors are already feeling Brexit's impact but this hasn't dampened growth prospects. Consultancy EY found more than half of global investors want to grow their presence in Europe despite uncertainty. Andy Baldwin, EY area managing partner for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa, explained more with Share Radio's Peta Fuller.
There was no shortage of European economic data today - but the most important was the overall figure, with the Eurozone growing 0.5 percent in the final quarter of 2016, taking annual growth to 1.8 percent for the year. That's behind UK growth for 2016 at 2.2% but ahead of the US, at only 1.6 percent. For more detail, Share Radio's Ed Bowsher spoke with Jennifer McKeown, Chief European Economist at Capital Economics.