3rd November 2022
Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond
- Food prices rise at fastest rate on record
- Uber passengers fly past pre-pandemic levels
Food prices rise at fastest rate on record
Food prices rose a record 11.6% in October from the same month last year, according to the British Retail Consortium, with tea bags, milk and sugar all significantly more expensive.
How did we get here?
Retailers are being hit by higher costs for raw materials, fuel and transport, with the price being passed on to consumers. The war in Ukraine has also disrupted supplies of goods such as grain, oil and fertiliser from the region.
Overall UK consumer prices – which includes a wide range of goods and services including soaring energy bills - are rising at a rate of 10.1% - a 40-year high. The Bank of England is widely expected to raise interest rates by 0.75% to 3% tomorrow, in a bid to bring inflation back to its 2% target.
So what can be done?
While food inflation has been driven by many global factors, the BRC says the UK government can help by freezing business rates to prevent an additional £800m bill landing on the plates of retailers and in turn their customers in 2023.
Zooming out: Rising grocery bills adds to the growing list of burdens for Brits this winter. Households are also facing rising fuel costs, higher mortgage bills and the prospect of increased taxes to help plug a £50bn hole in the public finances.
Other stories to keep you in the loop
- US interest rates see fourth 0.75 percentage point rise to tackle inflation
- Sainsbury's to recruit 18,000 Christmas workers
- UK battery firm staff agree to November pay cut
- Mining giant execs used private jets to fly cash bribes to Africa, court hears
- Shipping giant Maersk warns of looming global recession
- Next posts higher sales despite pressure on shoppers
- Zilch hits profitability as cash-strapped Brits turn to ‘pay later’ products
- Twitter reportedly ready to cut about 3,700 employees
Uber passengers fly past pre-pandemic levels
This week, as other tech heavyweights reported disappointing earnings, Uber announced one of its strongest results ever with passenger numbers surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
How did we get here?
After nearly two years of Covid related restrictions people are spending more time outside the home and using Uber to get there.
Widespread inflation has also pushed consumers to rethink their spending habits, curbing spending on goods to save up for services.
These converging forces pushed revenue up 72% to $8.3bn, comfortably beating analyst expectations. The win puts Uber finally closer to the elusive goal of profitability.
Uber still suffered a net loss in the quarter of $1.2bn, though that’s half of last year’s figure. Gross bookings, which include rideshare as well as food delivery and freight, increased by over a quarter to $29bn — and the company says it expects demand to remain elevated.
Zooming out: Uber is continuing to find new revenue streams. Inside the app, Uber’s started this month selling “journey ads” promoting a single brand for an entire trip. But recently, the company has started testing a feature sending some users push notifications of advertisements at seemingly random times.
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