Latest: Energy price cap tumbles to £2,074 (2023)

Key points
  • Energy price cap announcement at 7am expected to bring bills down
  • Cost of living crisis is starting to abate - so why are economists not happy and what could happen next? | Ed Conway
  • Another interest rate rise now 'firmly on table'
  • Who's making money from rising food prices?
  • Your dilemmas:I am paying my dad's mortgage, how do I get added on formally?
  • Budgeting Mum: Saving for your children | Do food subscriptions save you money?| Holiday spending money| Best broadband deals


New energy price cap announced

The new energy price cap has been set at £2,074, Ofgem has announced.


The price cap will fall - but don't expect to be paying less this winter, says Martin Lewis

The new energy price cap will be announced imminently and we expect it to fall to around £2,000. But what will happen after that, and will the government provide any more support?

Money saving expert Martin Lewis says further support for lower to middle income households is unlikely.

He also believes that we'll still pay a similar amount next winter to last - as the drop in the rate will not make up for the £66 per month support dished out by the government.

"Lower users will fare worst, as the £66 was proportionately a bigger reduction on their bills. If the predictions are right, it'll still leave people paying around double or more what they did before the energy crisis hit in autumn 2021," he wrote in his latest weekly newsletter.

"The price cap seems unlikely to ever drop close to pre-crisis levels again, unless there's wholescale worldwide economic recession, not something we hope for."

Mr Lewis also predicts that high standing charges are likely to remain at around £300/yr just for the facility of having gas and electricity.

"It's likely it's the unit rate (cost of gas/electricity) not the daily standing charge that will drop. In my view, this leaves a moral hazard that the less you use, the less you save. I have lobbied Ofgem hard on this, sadly to little avail," he said.


Interest rate forecasts rise significantly in just a few days

While we are waiting for the big news of today - the price cap announcement at 7am - it's worth lingering again on something that happened yesterday.

At this time yesterday morning we were waiting for the inflation figures, which ended up coming in higher than expected at 8.7%.

But the "big story" of the day, according to data and economics editor Ed Conway, was what this did to interest rate predictions.

Inflation being stickier than economists had hoped means the Bank of England may be pressured into increasing its rate once again when it next meets in June.

Gilt yields soared to levels not seen since the mini-budget last year - impacting how much it costs for the government to borrow money.

At the same time the forecast for peak interest rates later this year - which was around 4.75% last week - shot up to around 5.5%.

"This is the worry," says Conway. "It is a really big move in a few days and for people... those rates are not to be sniffed at.

"It doesn't sound like that much in comparison to what we saw in the 1980s and 1990s.

"But back then people didn't have quite as big mortgages, quite as much debt as they do now."

In a series of charts in the video below, Conway explains how, while interest rates are not as high these days, the pain people feel is. It's well worth a watch...


Good morning - welcome to our live blog as the energy price cap is due to be reviewed

If you've been following the blog this week, you will have read that the energy price cap is set to be updated this morning - at 7am, to be precise.

At the moment, the cap sits at £3,280 but this is redundant because the government's Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) is in place and that is set at £2,500.

However, the guarantee ends at the end of June and the cap will come back into force.

Thankfully, due to falling wholesale costs, the price cap is coming down just in time for the EPG ending.

So what are we expecting to see at 7am?

The respected research specialist Cornwall Insight predicts the new cap will be £2,053 - bringing the typical bill down by around £450 a year from the start of July.

The announcement will set the cap from July to September, and then another review will take place.

While the anticipated fall will be welcome news for many, it will still mean we are paying around £1,000 more than we were before the pandemic.

The cap does not set the maximum a household will pay for their energy but limits the amount providers can charge them per unit of gas or electricity, so those who use more energy will pay more.

It affects customers in England, Scotland, and Wales.Energy is regulated separately in Northern Ireland, where bills will be held at £1,950 per year for an average household.


Tourist attractions to close tomorrow as 900 workers go on strike

Tourist attractions across London are set to close tomorrow as 900 workers stage a 24-hour walkout over pay.

Tower Bridge, Old Bailey, Barbican, museums, gardens, parks and markets will all be affected.

"These people are working in one of the richest places on the planet," saidAnna Lee, GMB union's London region organiser, said. "All they are asking for is a decent pay rise to help with the cost of living."

The staff, who are all members of GMB, have called for the City of London Corporation to return to the negotiating table to settle the dispute.


Ocado set to fall out of FTSE 100 as shares decline

Ocado has been listed for removal from the top tier of listed firms at the end of the month after its shares fell 34.7% over the last year.

The online supermarket is set to be relegated from the FTSE 100 to the FTSE 250 as part of a reshuffle which takes place every quarter based on the value of stock market companies.

The index changes are indicative and final changes are expected to be announced after markets close next Wednesday.

The company reached its peak during the pandemic as lockdowns forced people into their homes and ordering online became more popular, but as restrictions eased and the cost of living crisis hit, its earnings took a hit.


Ed Conway on what inflation means for economy and mortgages

Want to know what today's higher-than-expected inflation figure means for the UK economy and mortgages (hint, it's not great news)?

If so, you should set aside five minutes to watch data and economics editor Ed Conway explain all at the TV wall...


Marks & Spencer reveals jump in sales but a dip in a profits

Marks & Spencer has revealed a jump in sales, but a dip in annual profits off the back of higher costs.

Profits were nevertheless better than expected and shares in the group shot up by as much as 13% in early trading as a result - the highest for more than a year.

Sales in clothing, homeware and food divisions grew over the year to April, the high street chain said, with bosses hailing the performance as evidence of progress from the retailer's turnaround plan.

The plan has seen dozens of its larger stores close down and better clothing ranges offered to customers.

Total revenues for the business grew by 9.6% to £11.9bn, compared with the previous year.

Clothing and home sales lifted by 11.5% to £3.72bn, after a significant rise in store sales, with shoppers flocking back to the high street after the impact of COVID.



Who's making money from rising food prices?

By Joely Santa Cruz and Ben van der Merwe, data journalists

The Liberal Democrats and the trade union Unite have called on the Competition and Markets Authority to launch an investigation into whether supermarket price rises are a form of profiteering.

This chart certainly raises the question...

But, Kris Hamer, director of insight at the British Retail Consortium, told Sky News: "If you look at the financial results of any of the big food retailers, the margins that they're making are pretty slim. Some of our members are announcing underlying losses, from running their operations.

"So just looking at the numbers, you can see that there's not profiteering going on. I think the question that perhaps politicians ought to be asking is where is the money?

"If you look through the supply chain, who's making money from the point of purchase from the farmer's field through to the [retailers]? The margins are not made in the last mile."

The two biggest supermarket chains, Tesco and Sainsbury's, both reported a decrease in pre-tax profits in the year to March.

Tesco's profits were down by more than half compared to the previous year, while Sainsbury's were down by 5.5%.

By contrast, one of the major suppliers of goods to supermarkets, Unilever, saw its pre-tax profits rise 21% in 2022.

The Competition and Markets Authority said recently that they have "not seen evidence pointing to specific competition concerns in the grocery sector" but are stepping up work in the sector "to be sure that weak competition is not adding to the problems". This includes looking at suppliers and raw material suppliers as well as supermarkets.

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