Daily business and finance update 14th August 2023
Good morning. Today we're talking about the UK’s better than expected economic data, Gen Z’s search for low stress jobs and a multi-billion dollar fashion merger.
The UK economy recorded an unexpectedly strong performance in the three months to June, driven by rises in manufacturing and consumer and government spending. GDP rose 0.2% during the period, the biggest increase since the start of 2022 and a slight improvement on the 0.1% growth in the first quarter. The government said the data was evidence of the resilience of the economy despite the cost of living crisis, rising interest rates and strikes by NHS workers. The performance was in part due to a 'catch-up' effect after the coronation in May and the accompanying bank holiday. However, economists expect the wet weather in July and August is likely to weigh on household spending in the third quarter.
Seeking low stress jobs
British Gen Z workers - people born between 1996 and 2010 - are increasingly searching for less stressful jobs that still pay a reasonable salary as they prioritise their work-life balance over a hustle culture that previous generations embraced. Job site Adzuna has seen a surge in clicks on postings for positions such as office administrators, account managers and marketing associates, which it associates with more flexibility and less stress. The appetite for these kinds of jobs follows the anti-work movement that has also seen Gen Z lead the “quiet quitting” trend, which involves doing no more than what their role description states.
Coach parent company Tapestry has agreed to buy rival US luxury house Capri for $8.5bn. Capri owns luxury names like Jimmy Choo, Versace and Michael Kors. Tapestry’s collection includes designers like Stuart Weitzman, Kate Spade and Coach. The six brands generated a combined $12bn in revenue last year and, according to Tapestry CEO Joanne Crevoiserat, will merge to create “a new powerful global luxury house”. Analysts say that Michael Kors can join Coach in drawing younger, more diverse shoppers, while Versace and Jimmy Choo can help Capri attract wealthier international customers. The deal is the latest in a series of fashion industry consolidations. Last month Gucci parent Kering bought a 30% stake in Valentino and Estée Lauder bought fashion house Tom Ford last year for $3bn.
Peaking premiums: Motor insurance premiums have jumped 21% to £511, their highest levels since records began.
Not last orders: Pubs in England and Wales will be able to continue selling takeaway drinks after the government decided to keep Covid licensing rules.
Mortgage merger: The Co-operative Bank has agreed a £464m deal to buy Sainsbury's Bank's mortgage portfolio.
Everything must go: High street retailer Wilko has launched an administration sale with huge price reductions as 400 stores face closure.
The record number of people in England on the NHS waiting list. It means nearly one in seven of the population is waiting for routine treatment, including hip and knee operations.
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