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  • Daily business and finance update 16th January 2023

Daily business and finance update 16th January 2023

UK economy surprises

Good morning. A Canadian woman has been ordered to pay her former employer $2,757 (£1,691) for “time theft” after tracking software identified 50 hours worth of missing work. In fairness, the information only surfaced after the woman pursued legal action after her firing.

Big Stories

UK economy surprises

Data released on Friday showed that the economy unexpectedly grew 0.1% between October and November - a 0.2% contraction had been expected - implying the UK probably avoided a recession in 2022.

The modest growth was driven by the leisure and hospitality sectors which were boosted by World Cup revellers.

The news suggests that the UK is weathering the cost-of-living crisis better than expected, potentially owing to the strong job market, government support and high consumer savings built during lockdown.

However most economists still expect the country to fall into a recession in 2023 as it faces a series of headwinds including: disruption caused by strikes, high inflation, rising interest rates and decreasing government energy bill support.

Hopes of Brexit breakthrough

This week the UK and EU will enter the final stretch of negotiations over post-Brexit trading arrangements for Northern Ireland. After years of distrust and tension both sides are optimistic that a settlement is within reach. The goal would be a solution to change the Brexit Northern Ireland Protocols – the trade controls agreed in 2019 that effectively put a border down the Irish Sea – that the EU, the UK and all Northern Ireland’s political parties can all agree to. There is pressure for a deal to be reached by April, in time for the 25th anniversary commemorations of the Good Friday peace agreement, which the US president, Joe Biden, hopes to attend.

Tesla drops prices

The electric vehicle maker announced it would reduce prices for its car models sold in the US and Europe in a bid to boost sales. The largest decrease in the UK has been applied to the Model Y Performance, which is now priced at £59,990 - £8,000 less than previously. The new raft of discounts comes a week after similar reductions were announced for China and other Asian countries.

Tesla’s share price lost 65% in 2022 as the company missed delivery goals, had supply chain issues and faced stiffer competition with investors also concerned about CEO’s Elon Musk’s chaotic Twitter takeover.

Lenders takeover Matalan

The high street chain is about to be bought by a group of its lenders after it was put up for sale last September. The deal, due to be announced later today, will safeguard 11,000 jobs across 250 stores but end founder John Hargreaves’ control of the business he founded in Liverpool in 1985. In recent years the discount clothing and homeware retailer has struggled to transition to an online model and its debt burden soared.


Accurate predictions: Scientists working at oil giant Exxon Mobil in the 1970s predicted global warming with "astonishing" accuracy while the company publicly contradicted the research, a study has found.

Mounting losses: Goldman Sachs lost $3.bn in nearly three years on its platform solutions business that houses transaction banking, credit card and financial technology businesses.

Dialling down: Vodafone is planning to shed several hundred jobs, most of which are located at its London headquarters in a bid to save costs.

3 stripes and out: Adidas has lost a court case against New York fashion designer Thom Browne after suing over a stripe design.

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Fact Of The Day

£150.5m was spent on vinyl records in 2022 – outselling CDs for the first time since 1987.

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