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Shoppers held off from stocking up in September, according to new retail data, which revealed weak sales of food, footwear and clothing. The amount of goods people bought last month was flat compared to August. However, prices rose by 0.1% between August and September, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Analysts blamed the warmer weather in September for flat sales and cautioned falling sterling and rising inflation may impact future trade.
George Osborne has said he made “mistakes” in the EU referendum campaign and failed to understand the anger felt by many Leave voters. The former chancellor said many voters felt “completely disconnected” and didn’t feel part of a “national economy that works for them”. “I think many used the EU referendum to express that anger,” he said. Mr Osborne, who was sacked as chancellor in July, had campaigned for the UK to remain in the European Union. He faced criticism for warning of a £30bn “black hole” if the UK voted to leave.
Electric carmaker Tesla says all cars it now builds will have hardware needed to drive completely on their own. But despite the cameras, sensors and radars being introduced, it is still expected to be years before the vehicles become fully self-driving. Tesla introduced its Autopilot system last year, allowing some self-drive functions such as auto-braking. But it is now temporarily disabling Autopilot on all new cars to allow “robust” testing with the new systems.
The Financial Times
Theresa May received a polite but cool welcome on her European summit debut on Thursday, with France and Germany warning of a rough ride for Britain as it makes its break from the EU. At her first Brussels gathering of EU leaders, the British prime minister made a confident first intervention on migration, exchanged some sharp words with the chair and turned her hand at drafting a compromise text on Russia policy. Finally, well after midnight, she made a short presentation on Brexit that ran for little more than five minutes and elicited no response.
Volkswagen’s labour leaders said they were still quite a bit away from an agreement with management on cost cuts and strategy for the main autos division. “A collapse of the future pact continues to be possible because we are still lacking essential commitments from the company,” leaders of Volkswagen’s (VW) works council said in a letter distributed to German staff on Thursday. Labour bosses at Europe’s largest carmaker want management to agree to fixed targets and quotas for products, output and investment as the two sides wrestle over a turnaround plan for the core VW brand.
Carlos Ghosn, the car industry boss famed for turning around Renault and Nissan, is to lead three companies after taking up the reins at Mitsubishi, the scandal-hit Japanese carmaker. Mr Ghosn, chairman and chief executive of Nissan and Renault, will also chair Mitsubishi after Nissan paid ¥237 billion (£1.86 billion) for a 34 per cent stake in a deal that closed yesterday. Nissan and Mitsubishi will share self-driving and electric vehicle technology. The acquisition brings Mitsubishi into the 17-year-old Renault-Nissan Alliance, which Mr Ghosn set up and also chairs. The three companies will together make about 10 million vehicles a year, similar to the output of Toyota, the world’s biggest carmaker, and Volkswagen, the second largest.
Oil prices were stable on Friday, weighed by a stronger dollar, but supported by signs that physical fuel markets were tightening after two years of ballooning oversupply. The dollar rose to its highest level since March against a basket of other leading currencies .DXY on Friday, potentially crimping demand as fuel becomes more expensive for countries using other currencies.