18th November 2021
Good morning Good news for iPhone and Mac owners. Apple has announced plans to sell parts to the public so that you can carry out your own repairs from home. This marks a huge change in attitude from the tech giant, which has historically been resistant to any repairs happening outside of its own stores.
- Inflation surges to decade high
- Amazon to stop accepting UK Visa credit cards
Inflation surges to decade high
What’s going on?
Consumer inflation in the UK hit its highest since 2011 in October, rising more than expected to an annual 4.2% from 3.1% the previous month.
Supply chain disruptions, rising energy prices and a tight job market has driven the cost of living sharply higher.
Why is this important?
Last time prices were rising this quickly the final Harry Potter film had just premiered, and Prince William and Kate Middleton were getting married.
A decade on the three main sources of the inflation jump were:
- Fuel – the cap on households gas and electricity prices rose 12% in October. Petrol prices also jumped amid soaring oil prices globally.
- Transport – the cost of second-hand cars has surged driven by the slowdown in new vehicle production as manufacturers struggle to get hold of essential microchips.
- Hospitality – The pandemic-related lowering of VAT for the leisure sector ended last month which increased the cost of dining out and hotels.
Clogged up global supply chains are also adding further pressure on prices. The shortage of workers, especially lorry drivers, are pushing up wages which is passing on to end consumers.
And there’s no sign that inflation will cool anytime soon. The Bank of England, who’s main role is to use interest rates to keep inflation below 2%, predicts it could reach 5% by April as high energy costs and labour shortages are set to continue.
The latest inflation data gives more reasons for the Bank of England to raise rates, even as soon as December. The idea being that increasing the cost of borrowing will cool consumer demand which will take the pressure off prices.
Amazon to stop accepting UK Visa credit cards
The world’s biggest online retailer has gone head-to-head with one of the largest card issuers in the world.
Yesterday Amazon announced that from 19 January 2022 UK issued Visa credit cards will no longer be able to make purchases on their site.
Visa debit cards, as well as MasterCard and Amex credit cards, can still be used on the site, and Visa credit cards issued outside of the UK can also be used as normal.
Amazon is blaming Visa’s high fees for the decision. Since Brexit the cost of cross-border transactions between firms in the UK and the European Union have risen. Visa has increased their fees as a result from 0.3% to 1.5%.
These costs are paid for by Amazon itself or merchants on its platform which either gets passed on to consumers or dents company profits.
But there are some suggestions that Amazon’s announcement could be a negotiation tactic to get Visa to reduce its fees.
Unsurprisingly Visa said it’s disappointed by the decision and so were investors, its shares slid 5% on the day.
Stat of the day
Lidl has become the UK's best paying supermarket with a pay rate of £10.10 an hour
Other stories to keep you in the loop
- JPMorgan is suing Tesla over Elon Musk's tweets
- Stop asking about salary history, employers urged
- UK law firms lose four times as many black lawyers as other ethnicities
- Crypto bid to buy US constitution print raises millions
- Goldman Sachs CEO is worried about excessive market greed
- Assault claims rock David Cameron's tech firm
- EY partner keeps job after lewd comments to trainee
Interesting links from around the web
- Want to sound more confident? Avoid these 11 words and phrases that make you look ‘weak,’ say grammar experts
- ‘It’s the biggest open secret out there’: the double lives of white-collar workers with two jobs
- Sign up to FemWealth, a weekly newsletter that celebrates women's achievements in Business, Technology, Science, Politics, Leadership and the Arts