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Monday newspaper round-up: UK business output, electric cars, inflation

A green sustainable earth

British businesses’ output has fallen for the sixth month in a row amid a supply chain crisis, energy price rises and a shortages of workers, according to a closely watched survey of big employers. UK business output hit its lowest level since March during the last national coronavirus lockdown, according to the accountancy firm BDO. Its measure fell from 105.23 points in September to 103.35 points in October. – Guardian
The UK’s long-haul airlines will put the worst of the pandemic – as well as old rivalries – behind them on Monday morning, when British Airways and Virgin Atlantic take off simultaneously at Heathrow for the first transatlantic flights carrying leisure travellers to the US since Covid-19 closed borders in March 2020. The bosses of Virgin and BA said it was a “pivotal moment” for the battered industry, with both airlines having registered enormous losses and shed thousands of staff during 20 months of restricted travel. – Guardian

Drivers making the switch to electric vehicles risk being forced to spend even more amid rising battery costs, experts have warned, in a blow to Britain’s green ambitions. The cost of lithium battery cells is rising for the first time after years of decline, with strained lithium supplies adding to rising prices of other cell materials. – Telegraph

A British biotech start-up that has created rapid PCR tests to stop coronavirus outbreaks on film sets has raised £15m to develop tests that can diagnose whether people have Covid-19, the flu or a cold at the same time. Newcastle-based QuantuMDx said it had secured the latest cash from Hong Kong venture capital firm Vita Spring, coming just eight months after it raised £11m in a round that included the Government’s Future Fund. – Telegraph

Royal London, Britain’s biggest mutual insurer, is considering plans to resurrect its offer to buy LV= if members at its smaller rival rebel over the terms of its controversial demutualisation. Bosses at Royal London have been monitoring the situation and believe LV= members might balk at the small rewards being offered and prefer a deal that preserves its mutual ethos. – The Times

The UK will soon see the most accurate and detailed measure of inflation in its history as the nation’s official statistics body begins to collect price and transaction data directly from supermarket checkout scanners. In a significant move to modernise the way that prices are collected to measure inflation, the Office for National Statistics is to start incorporating data taken from scanners in grocery stores across the UK. – The Times

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