UK inflation tumbles to 0.8% amid Covid-19 discounting and cheaper energy – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as UK inflation hits its lowest level since 2016

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9.37am BST

Just in: UK house prices picked up in March, just before the pandemic forced the housing market to freeze.

The ONS says:

9.26am BST

Here are more details of Marks & Spencer’s plan to ride out the pandemic, via the BBC’s Emma Simpson.

Some snippets from @marksandspencer results. Like everyone else, can’t forecast year ahead. Base case scenario is a £2.1bn hit to sales over the year. Already able to mitigate that by £1bn through cost savings, no dividend pay out and biz rates holiday.

And company stresses it’s got plenty liquidity/headroom to weather the storm. Early days, but says it’s already £150m ahead. Being prudent.

It’s going to introduce “guest brands” on the website. Not going down route of rival Next, though. And boss, Steve Rowe, says “we don’t intend to be an online department store. That’s not what we want to do.”

And when it launches its grocery home delivery service with Ocado in September, you can buy clothing as well. 1600 clothing and homeware lines over the year. Kicks off with 850 lines from new Autumn collection. Makes perfect sense if they can pull it off!

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