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Sunak hosts bosses for Business Council gathering

Rishi Sunak hosted bosses from GSK, Barclays and Aviva for the final meeting of his Business Council this year.

The group “agreed that, with inflation now more than halved, there is an opportunity for more economic growth and dynamism in 2024”, a Downing Street spokesperson said.

Thirteen top executives make up the body No 10 has pitched as reporting to the Government “from the business front lines”.

Other companies represented include Google, Sainsbury’s, Vodafone and BAE Systems.

The council, which is intended to meet biannually, first gathered in July.

ECONOMY Inflation
(PA Graphics)

The final meeting of the year came on the day official figures showed inflation dropped back unexpectedly sharply to its lowest level for more than two years last month.

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Falling fuel prices and another drop in food inflation drove the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) down to 3.9% in November from 4.6% in October, and the lowest level since September 2021.

The No 10 spokesperson said the Prime Minister thanked business leaders for their support over the past year.

They said: “He noted progress to stabilise the economy, which has resulted in inflation falling well below half – to 3.9% – delivering one of the Prime Minister’s key priorities.”

Mr Sunak said businesses are continuing to choose the UK as an investment destination, pointing to examples including Tata Group’s £4 billion UK gigafactory and BMW’s £600 million commitment to develop electrical vehicle production in the UK, the spokesperson continued.

Discussing the economic and business outlook, “council members agreed that, with inflation now more than halved, there is an opportunity for more economic growth and dynamism in 2024”.

Mr Sunak asked the business chiefs about barriers to adopting artificial intelligence and its applications and announced that a new AI Opportunity Forum will be launched in January, the spokesperson said.