Daily business and finance update 31st July 2023
Bank calls on Nobel winner
Good morning. Today we're talking about the Bank of England’s call on the US for help, Meta’s Twitter rival slows down and the latest on the housing market.
Bank calls on Nobel winner
Under fire from politicians and economists for failing to predict the pace of inflation, the Bank of England is calling in a big name to pronounce a verdict. The central bank announced that former US Federal Reserve Chairman and Nobel Prize winner Ben Bernanke would lead a review into its economic forecasting. Bernanke’s surprise appointment comes as the UK continues to grapple with the worst inflation among Group of Seven nations and government advisers voice concerns the country’s central bank risks raising interest rates too high in the coming months thereby causing a recession.
Pulling at Threads
Within a week of launch Threads, Meta’s answer to Twitter, signed up 100m users, but weeks later there’s been a drop, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. At a Meta town hall he acknowledged that the new app has lost more than half of the people who signed up. Still, he told employees the drop-off was actually less than expected, and that retention will likely improve as the company adds new features to the app. Zuckerberg and Meta hope to seize on the feelings of dismay among some of Twitter’s user base and promised that Threads would be a digital town square filled with positivity and connection.
Housing market woes
Home sellers are increasingly offering price cuts to tempt cash-strapped Britons into deals, raising the likelihood of a further drop in house prices this year. Sellers’ willingness to compromise comes as the number of would-be buyers contacting agents about purchasing a home tumbled by almost a fifth in the past two months, according to a report from property portal Zoopla. That prompted almost 7% of sellers to reduce their asking price in July — more than half above the five-year average — firming Zoopla’s forecast of a 5% decline in house prices this year as mortgage rates hover close to 15-year highs.
Banking row continues: The City minister has said it would not be “helpful” for the NatWest chairman to quit as a result of the furore over Nigel Farage’s Coutts bank account.
Stamp deadline: Non-barcoded stamps, which typically feature just the late Queen Elizabeth II’s profile, will no longer be accepted from tomorrow.
Paying up: The cosmetics chain Lush paid its managers £5m in bonuses last year while taking £5.1m in government support and recording a 90% drop in profits.
7.1 million square feet
The size of Surat Diamond Bourse, a diamond trade centre located in Surat, India, which has surpassed The Pentagon as the world’s biggest office block.
Not a subscriber? Sign up for free
Want to reach an audience of UK business leaders, young professionals and 1,200+ other smart, ambitious people? Reply to this email and we'll be in touch.