44. Weekly Newsletter

UK shop price inflation lowers

Falling prices in items like homegrown food has seen UK shop price inflation fall to its lowest rate in over 12 months. The British Retail Consortium announced this week that annual shop price inflation dropped to 5.2% from 6.2% just last month. This has meant that it is the fifth month in a row in which it has fallen as a result of homegrown produce like fruit falling. This is as a result of a weaker pound which has made imports less attractive.

This data is a huge contrast compared to what has been seen in recent times as around 18 months ago, food prices rose at the fastest pace in almost 50 years. This rise has massively affected poorer households in the UK who spend a large share of their income on essentials such as food and so this will be a huge boost to anyone who relies heavily in favourable retail prices. This data will boost retailer confidence that households will be more likely to spend more over the Christmas period as consumer morale will be boosted.

Newspapers

The UK’s front page news cycle over the last seven days has covered a wide range of topics. UK air traffic controller can raise airline fees by 26% according to regulator, limited access to apprenticeships is increasing the UK’s skills deficit and London Clean air zone expansion drives down polluting vehicle numbers. Some of the newspaper front pages from this week were:

  • Financial Times- EU and UK seek ban on subsidies for foreign fossil fuels projects
  • Financial Times- London mayor says Sunak plan for HS2 Euston leg ‘verging on fantasy’
  • The Guardian- Banks pumped more than $150 billion in to companies running ‘carbon bomb’ projects in 2022
  • The Times – HSBC plans $3 billion share buyback despite missing profit forecasts
  • The Times- Gas industry turns up heat over scrapping pipes
  • Sunday Telegraph- Boris Johnson was urged to take Swedish-style approach to Covid over lockdowns, scientist says

AI Summit

The UK government will be hosting the AI safety summit at Bletchley Park this week which will bring together tech companies, politicians and members of civil society to discuss the risks of putting AI at the forefront of society. This summit comes at a time where an open letter coordinated by trade unions who represent 6 million UK workers was sent to Rishi Sunak as trade unions have accused the UK government of marginalizing millions of workers from this summit and states that the negative effects of AI on workers is already taking place. Analysis by Goldman Sachs has estimated that over 60% of occupations are exposed to AI and has the potential to carry out 50% of their workload.

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