Daily business and finance update 24th July 2023
Apple’s UK threat
Good morning. Today we're talking about Apple’s UK threat, rising retail sales and Twitter’s logo change.
Apple’s UK threat
Apple has threatened to pull its FaceTime and iMessage services from the UK if the government goes ahead with plans to give law enforcement agencies more power to access encrypted communications. The company says that the proposed changes to the Investigatory Powers Act would force it to weaken the security of its products, which would make them less secure for everyone. "We believe that these proposals would represent a significant erosion of privacy for millions of people in the UK," said Apple in a statement. "We will not compromise on the security of our products.” The government says that the changes are necessary to keep people safe, but privacy advocates have warned that they could be used to target political dissidents and journalists.
Retail sales hot up
The UK’s hottest June on record helped retail sales volumes rise by 0.7%. The Office for National Statistics said that sales of clothing and footwear, furniture and household goods, and department stores all increased last month. The hot weather in June is thought to have encouraged people to spend more on outdoor activities and leisure goods. Sales of sports goods, camping equipment, and garden furniture all increased in the month. The figures suggest the UK economy is weathering strong headwinds on consumer spending from soaring prices and interest rates. Those factors along with expectations that the Bank of England will keep raising interest rates have made economists cautious about the outlook.
Ditching the bird
Elon Musk has said that he plans to change the Twitter logo, as part of his broader plans to overhaul the social media platform he bought last October for $44bn. Musk has said that he wants to make Twitter "more user-friendly" and "more engaging," and he believes that a new logo will help to achieve this goal. The new emblem will feature an “X” and replace the bird silhouette, which has been the company's logo since 2006. The Tesla chief executive changed the company’s official name in April to X Holdings Corp, after his early venture X.com, to reflect his vision of creating “X, the everything app” performing social media and payment functions, similar to China’s WeChat.
Banking row: The Treasury has called a meeting with bank bosses over account closures, following the row between Nigel Farage and NatWest.
Employees to soldiers: The consumer group Unilever has said it will comply with Russian conscription law, meaning its Russian employees could be sent to war in Ukraine if called up.
Big screen boost: The opening weekend of the Barbie and Oppenheimer films have generated the highest revenues since before the pandemic.
The number of days per week that UK workers would like to spend working remotely. That's higher than any other nation in Europe, according to a new study.
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