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  • Daily business and finance update 19th April 2023

Daily business and finance update 19th April 2023

Jobs market continues to cool

Good morning. Last night Netflix announced that it would end its mail order DVD-rental service this September after 25 years in business. At one point the service had more than 20m subscribers.

Big Stories

Jobs market continues to cool

Job vacancies in the UK declined for the ninth month in a row in February, although they are still well above 1m, a number never seen before the pandemic. The three-month average of unemployment edged higher, from 3.7% in the quarter through January to 3.8% for the quarter through February. Inactivity due to long-term illness rose to a fresh record of over 2.5m. Average private sector wages increased by a better-than-expected 6.9% and adds further evidence that pay is rising too fast to claim inflation is under control. It places more pressure on the Bank of England to consider an additional interest rate hike at its next meeting in May.

Easyjet raises expectations

The budget airline said the strong rebound in travel demand and higher ticket prices means that it will make a full year profit for the first time since Covid. Despite the cost of living squeeze the airline industry has seen a jump in passenger numbers over Easter and expects high demand for summer holidays. Easyjet said that customers appear to be prioritising travel spend, whilst favouring low cost airlines for value and destination mix. Last year travellers were hit by disruption at airports due to staff shortages but Easyjet said it’s much better prepared this time round after completing its largest ever crew recruitment drive.

Insolvencies on the rise

More companies in England and Wales entered insolvency during March than at any point since monthly records began in 2019, according to official data that showed a 16% increase on a year ago. The news is further signs that businesses are struggling with the rising cost of living and sluggish economy. During the pandemic government support schemes kept many businesses afloat but as these measures wind down the number of company failures is expected to return and surpass pre-Covid levels.

Savings with Apple

Apple has launched a 4.15% savings account for US Apple Card users in partnership with Goldman Sachs for balances of up to $250,000. The interest rate is more than 10 times the national average. The tech giant is hoping to leverage its strong brand and the convenience of setting up an account on your iPhone into a market leading product. As interest rates keep rising, companies are offering high savings rates to lure cash from current accounts.


Rising losses: The online retail tech company THG said its annual losses widened last year to £550m amid higher costs and as home shopping waned with the end of pandemic lockdowns.

Banking woes: Goldman Sachs' profit fell 19% as dealmaking and bond trading slumped in the first quarter and it lost money on the sale of some assets in its consumer business.

AI concerns: Google's CEO had admitted the potential dangers of AI development "keep me up at night".

Entering India: Apple CEO Tim Cook has launched the company's first retail store in India in the financial capital Mumbai.

Mega payout: Fox News has agreed a $787.5m settlement with voting machine firm Dominion, averting a high-profile defamation trial.

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Number Of The Day

3.014 million

The number of days work the UK has lost to strike action since June last year (up until the end of February). It's the worst run of strikes in the UK since 1990.

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