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- Daily business and finance update 15th February 2023
Daily business and finance update 15th February 2023
Ford’s European scale back
Good morning. Here's what you need to know to start your day.
Ford’s European scale back
Yesterday the US car manufacturer announced it would cut 11% of its workforce or 3,800 roles in Europe, with workers in the UK and Germany the hardest hit. Ford blamed rising inflation and interest rates along with its continued push towards full electrification by 2035. The company said it's completely reinventing itself in Europe by focusing on a portfolio of smaller and increasingly electric vehicles. Unions say the redundancies, which will be mostly in product development and admin, highlight the risks to thousands of British car industry jobs working on petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles.
Pay growth jumps
Data released yesterday showed that average earnings excluding bonuses were 6.7% higher in the three months to December than the previous year, accelerating from 6.5% and more than expected. It’s the biggest increase since records began in 2001 (excluding the pandemic) but still behind the rising cost of living. Total pay adjusted for inflation is suffering its largest decline since early 2009. Unemployment stayed steady at 3.7% during the period, a level not seen since the 1970s. Economists believe the strength of the labour market means the Bank of England must raise interest rates further to bring prices under control.
Buy now crack down
The UK is moving ahead with long-awaited plans to regulate “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) lenders. BNPL products allow consumers to pay for goods in instalments, typically interest free. An estimated 12% of online purchases are made using the service and the sector nearly quadrupled in size during the pandemic to £2.7bn. Under proposed plans that will undergo a consultation, the government will give more power to the financial watchdog to clamp down on rogue behaviour in the industry by allowing consumers to take complaints to an ombudsman. The government says up to 10m Brits will be protected under the legislation.
Premier League doubles gaming fees
The Premier League and video game maker Electronic Arts are reportedly nearing an extension doubling the rights fees paid under the current deal to £500m. The contract would extend the relationship, first started in 1998, for another six years. It would come just months after EA cut ties with the football governing body FIFA after 30 years. But despite FIFA’s withdrawal, EA has now made football gaming deals with more than 300 partners spanning more than 700 teams and about 19,000 athletes.
Cooling down: Inflation in the US has cooled for a seventh month in a row, but prices continue to rise far more quickly than is considered healthy.
Working from home: Most workers earning under £30,000 are required to travel to work every day, while only 10% of top earners have to do so, a new survey has found.
Cutting prices: Waitrose has announced it is committing £100m to lower the prices on over 300 of its products in order to help shoppers save money.
Taxing issues: The majority of English top-tier councils are planning to raise council tax by the maximum permitted, with the bill for average properties to increase from April by about £100 a year, according to a survey.
Slap on the wrist: Beleaguered lender Amigo has been spared a £73m fine for a loan mis-selling scandal.
For sale: Subway sandwich chain has confirmed it's up for sale and could be worth up to $10bn.
Flying high: Air India ordered 470 planes from Boeing and Airbus. Totalling an estimated $85bn, it’s the biggest deal in commercial aviation history.
Change of style: French fashion brand Louis Vuitton has named Grammy-winning producer, rapper, singer and songwriter Pharrell Williams as its new menswear creative director.
Number Of The Day
The numbers of working days in the UK lost to strikes in 2022, the highest since 1989.