UK growth hits six-month low as Brexit looms – business live

The UK economy grew by 0.3% in the three months to November, the weakest rate in six months, dragged lower by a fall in car production

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11.59am GMT

Away from the UK, Italy could be heading into recession according to economists at the Dutch bank ING.

They say that poor industrial production data for November, combined with soft confidence numbers, significantly increase the chances of Italy entering a technical recession in the fourth quarter.

Industrial production data, just published by Istat, showed that the Italian economy shared the same difficulties as Germany and France in November.

Although a public holiday at the start of the month might have contributed to the worsening picture, we believe the impact is probably only minor.

11.42am GMT

The pound has been boosted this morning by mounting speculation that Brexit could be delayed (or cancelled altogether).

According to a report in the Evening Standard, unnamed “cabinet ministers” said a Brexit date of 29 March was looking increasingly unachievable.

A backlog of at least six essential Bills that must be passed before Britain leaves the European Union has left ministers convinced the timetable will be extended.

They include the much-delayed Immigration Bill.

HEDGE FUND MANAGER CRISPIN ODEY TELLS REUTERS HE IS NOW BETTING ON POUND TO RISE AS HE PREDICTS BREXIT WILL NOT HAPPEN

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