Daily business and finance update 6th June 2023
Mortgage pain deepens
Good morning. Today we're talking about painful mortgages, a universal basic income trial and Apple’s major product reveal.
Mortgage pain deepens
Growing turbulence in the mortgage market could leave 116,000 UK households facing higher payments by the end of the month, according to financial regulator. The figure is above the usual average due to Rishi Sunak’s stamp duty holiday which ended in June 2021. The policy resulted in 140,000 “extra” housing transactions according to a study from the London School of Economics. Three-quarters of the UK’s 20 biggest lenders have hiked their rates in the past two weeks, with TSB withdrawing all 10-year fixed-rate deals over the weekend. Some 640,000 households have deals set to finish in the last six months of this year, according to the Office for National Statistics. Recent market volatility that has prompted the reduction in availability of mortgage products has been sparked by expectations of further interest rate rises. In the space of two years an average two-year fixed deal has gone from under 2% to 5.7%.
Paid not to work
A universal basic income is to be trialled in the UK for the first time to investigate the impact on physical and mental health. A group of 30 people in Jarrow north-east England, and East Finchley in north London will receive £1,600 a month for two years without the need to work. The concept of a universal basic income sees government pays all individuals a set salary regardless of their means. Supporters of the scheme say it will help tackle poverty but critics argue it would be extremely costly and would divert funds away from public services. Would-be participants living in the trial areas are being encourage to come forward and will be chosen at random to take part.
Apple’s new gadget
Overnight at its annual developer conference Apple unveiled its biggest new product release since the Apple Watch in 2014. The new device is a long-awaited headset that will blend virtual and augmented reality. Users will be able to browse the system simply by looking – “app icons come to life when you look at them; simply tap your fingers together to select, and gently flick to scroll.” The headset will cost $3,499, considerably more than other headsets on the market like Meta’s $499 device. It could be one of the riskiest launches in Apple’s history. The device, which resembles high-tech ski goggles and will have its own operating system, is slated to arrive early next year in the US, followed by other regions later.
Hack attack: The BBC, British Airways, Boots and Aer Lingus are among a growing number of organisations affected by a mass hack.
New challenger: A new business lobby group backed by big companies including BP has been launched, a day before a key vote that will determine the future of the embattled CBI.
Podcast pullback: Spotify is axing approximately 200 roles from its podcasting division as part of a “strategic realignment” of the vertical.
Number Of The Day
The number of newborns born in Japan last year, its lowest number on record, as birth rates declined for the seventh straight year. Conversely, the number of deaths rose to a record 1.57 million.
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