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There are growing signs that the cost of living crisis is taking its toll, with UK consumer confidence falling to its lowest level since the financial crash of 2008.

An index compiled by PwC fell to minus 20 in March, down 30 points from last June. Concerns over falling revenues and soaring bills were cited as the main concerns.

It comes after the energy price cap jumped by more than 50% last week, pushing up bills for the average household by £693. Imminent tax hikes and sustained inflation are also weighing on household budgets.

5 things to start your day

1) Price of a pint of milk will rise by 50%, industry warns Dairy bosses from the UK and Europe traveled to Brussels last week for crisis talks over soaring feed, fertilizer and fuel costs

2) The government is pressuring video game companies to ban children from buying ‘loot boxes’ Ministers understood having told businesses that failure to self-regulate would mean new laws to tackle their use of controversial items

3) German gas plans could cause ‘structural damage’ to its industrial position, warns Deutsche Bank Vladimir Putin has threatened to cut off gas supplies to Germany following Berlin’s refusal to make ruble payments.

4) Government urged to launch skilled refugee visas to address UK tech skills shortage The meeting between Zopa Bank and ministers comes weeks after the lender pledged to hire 50 Ukrainian professionals

5) What’s going on at Barclays? Latest scandal raises new concerns A new man at the top, but the bank’s second major embarrassment in six months

What happened overnight

Equities in Asia were mostly higher this morning, with gains carried over from a strong finish last week on Wall Street.

Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul advanced while Shanghai was closed for vacation. Oil prices rose and US futures were virtually unchanged.

coming today

  • Business : Belvoir Group, Impax Environmental Markets, Provident Financial (full year)
  • Economy: Factory orders (UK)