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BUSINESS LIVE: Inflation dives to 0.2%; Redrow profits slump 66%

BUSINESS CLOSE: Inflation rate slows to 0.2%; Housebuilder Redrow reveals earnings slump; Zara owner returns to profit; pound at $1.30

The FTSE 100 closed down 27.06 points at 6078.48 and the pound was at $1.30 against the dollar.

The inflation rate plunged last month as the government’s Eat Out scheme and tumbling air fares suppressed prices. 

The CPI measure dropped from 1 per cent in July to just 0.2 per cent in August, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Homebuilder Redrow saw its annual pre-tax profits plunge 66 per cent to £140million while its annual revenues and completed sales slumped by almost 40 per cent, but it still promised to renew dividend payouts next year. 

Inditex, the parent company of fashion retailer Zara, returned to quarterly profit in the three months from May to July despite a 31 per cent fall in sales as the coronavirus crisis kept consumers away from city centre shopping districts. 

Britain’s biggest union, Unite, has warned that mass redundancies could happen unless the government extends the furlough scheme which ends next month. Millions of furloughed workers are set to learn if they will still have a job after 31 October.

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