Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Business Comment

Ben Chu: The weather is kind when it's raining excuses

Outlook Isn't the British weather wonderful? It saved England from defeat against the resurgent Australians and it's also been putting a rocket under retail sales.

But the weather's usefulness doesn't end there. Greggs the baker yesterday blamed the recent fine weather for a decline in sales in the first half of the year. Too hot for sausage rolls, apparently. That followed a profit warning in April which Greggs blamed on the cold winter. Must have been too cold for sausage rolls back then.

Anyone can play this game. Recall that George Osborne blamed snow for the economy's slump in late 2011.

In the City they say the trend is your friend. But for those looking for excuses for weak performance, the weather is even friendlier.