Weekly Digest – 20 September 2023

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

What does record wages growth mean for me and for the UK economy?

Under-pressure households were offered some welcome cheer after official figures showed wage growth finally caught up with price rises after nearly two years of seeing earnings outstripped by inflation.

UK Economy Contracts By Worse Than Expected 0.5% In July

For July 2023, monthly real (GDP) is estimated to have fallen by 0.5%, with falls in all three main sectors, following growth of 0.5% in June 2023. GDP increased by 0.2% in the three months to July 2023, with growth in all three main sectors. Output in services sector fell by 0.5% and was the largest contributor to the fall in monthly GDP.

Train drivers announce eight more strike and travel disruption days

Train drivers have announced two more strikes as part of a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Proportion of price-cut homes for sale ‘highest in over a decade’

More than a third of homes for sale have had at least one price cut – the highest proportion recorded in more than a decade, according to a leading property website. The average size of reductions is also the largest since January 2011, coming on the back of a slump in the housing market as the Bank of England has sought to curb soaring inflation by pushing up borrowing costs, including for mortgages.

Greenwashing cases against airlines in Europe, US

Airlines around the world are facing scrutiny from advertising and consumer agencies, regulators, and courts over allegedly making misleading claims about their sustainability efforts, sometimes dubbed “greenwashing”.

SME lending flat as UK economy displays resilience

Lending to SMEs remained flat in the second quarter of 2023 as the UK economy proved “a little more resilient” than expected, according to a report from UK Finance.

What policy should do to help the clustered new economy thrive

Clustering – that is the co-location of firms – has long captured the imagination of policymakers. And it wouldn’t take long to find countless examples over the years in bids to government and economic development strategies by places claiming to house a neighbourhood with a special attraction to innovation firms. This interest continues today, with Gordon Brown highlighting hotspots in his Commission on the UK’s future for the Labour Party, and the Chancellor championing Investment Zones where Government will support clustering firms in specific sectors.

Calls for chancellor to act on business rates

The average retail premises could face a hike of £11,600 next year if Hunt chooses not to freeze business rates at current levels, nor to extend discounts for smaller enterprises, according to forecasts compiled by commercial real estate intelligence firm Altus Group.

Resilient SME sector looking to overcome economic challenges

Gary Cain, director at Leonard Curtis, talks challenges and opportunities for SMEs in the next 12 months and how a collaborative, multi-skilled approach to funding is solving problems and realising ambitions for businesses in all sectors.

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