Morning papers: IMF puts the pressure on Congress

The International Monetary Fund and the United States Treasury turned up the heat on members of Congress to end the deadlock over America’s public finances yesterday, as it was confirmed that a key economic data release will be postponed because of the federal government shutdown, reports the Independent.

Christine Lagarde, the IMF director general, warned that it was “mission critical” for Congress to vote to increase the federal debt ceiling before October 17, when the Washington government is expected to run out of cash to fund its national debt.

Strong UK services data ‘points to fastest economic growth in 15 years’

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Britain’s economy may have expanded at its fastest pace in 15 years in the past three months, analysts suggested on Thursday, after an upbeat survey of the key services sector suggested it is growing at a healthy clip, reports the Guardian.

The monthly purchasing managers’ index for services declined slightly, to 60.3 in September, from 60.5 in August, but the average score over the quarter suggested the fastest growth in services output since mid-1997.

China to invest in £650m Manchester project

China’s biggest bank will invest in a new £650m business district at Manchester airport in a deal the government believes will mark a fresh wave of investment by Beijing in UK infrastructure, reports the Financial Times.

The state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is to sign the deal when UK chancellor George Osborne visits Beijing with a view to rekindling Sino-British relations after months of diplomatic tension.

Number of UK businesses hits a record high

Britain is now home to more businesses than ever before as the number of firms bounds past its pre-crisis levels, Office for National Statistics data showed yesterday, reports City AM.

Its annual update showed 2.17m firms registered for tax in March, up 0.9 per cent or 18,000 on the year.

Twitter reveals its finances ahead of $1bn stockmarket flotation

Twitter gave potential investors a fuller picture of its business last night, lifting the lid on its finances as it filed detailed paperwork for a $1bn (£0.6bn) debut on the public markets, reports the Independent.

The company first announced its intention to go public last month using a tweet sent out from its official account to confirm plans for what is one of the most hotly anticipated listings of recent times.

UK to seal nuclear power deal within weeks, says energy minister Michael Fallon

The comments are the most confident yet over the prospects for agreement with EDF over the financial terms for building reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset., reports the Daily Telegraph.

Negotiations have dragged on since last year, missing numerous deadlines set by the French energy giant.