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FTSE 100 LIVE: BofE's optimism for UK economy growth slashed as HSBC gives dire forecast

HSBC is now expecting the economy to shrink by 10.3 percent in 2020.

It had previously warned of a contraction of 7.8 percent this year, by forecasting a return to growth of 6.2 percent in 2021.

Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 is expected to drop one percent today when markets open.


6.30am update: North Korea to set new five-year plan in January as economy struggles

North Korea’s ruling party will hold a congress next year to decide a new five-year plan, state media reported on Thursday, after a party meeting noted serious delays in improving the national economy and living standards.

The plenary meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party on Wednesday convened a congress for January to set forth “a correct line of struggle and strategic and tactical policies” after reviewing lessons from the past five years, the official KCNA news agency said.

The meeting comes as the isolated country deals with international sanctions, struggles to cope with damage from recent flooding and faces significant economic damage from strict border closures and other measures aimed at preventing a coronavirus outbreak.

North Korea had faced “unexpected and inevitable challenges in various aspects,” Leader Kim Jong Un noted in a speech at the meeting, KCNA reported.

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Goals for improving the economy had been “seriously delayed and the people’s living standard not been improved remarkably,” KCNA quoted the plenary as saying.

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