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  • Today's business and finance round up 9th September 2021

Today's business and finance round up 9th September 2021

🏡Rents outside London rise at fastest rate in 13 years

9th September 2021

Good morning McDonald’s could soon be under federal investigation in the US because of…McFlurrys? Yep apparently there’s an epidemic of broken ice cream machines across America so much so that the Federal Trade Commission wants to know why. One fan of the fast-food giant was so frustrated that they created a website to track all the dysfunctional machines, aptly named McBroken.

Today's stories

  • Rents outside London rise at fastest rate in 13 years

  • Aluminium prices hit decade high

PROPERTYRents outside London rise at fastest rate in 13 years

What’s going on?Zoopla has reported that rents outside London are rising at the fastest rate since 2008. The race to flee the capital has led to rising demand for properties in other parts of the UK.

Why is this important?

The pandemic led many people to re-evaluate where they wanted to live as millions of us worked from home. This meant cities like London became less popular with workers choosing to move to the suburbs and more rural areas in search of more space and less bound by commuting.The typical price of renting a home in the UK, excluding the capital, now stands at £790 a month, a 5% increase over the 12 months to July, costing tenants an additional £456 a year.Growth in some areas rose even further. Wigan, Greater Manchester and Nottinghamshire have risen by over 10%. And Hastings, Blackburn, Barnsley, and Norwich are registering growth of 9.4% or more.A combination of soaring demand and a shrinking supply of available properties is one of the main factors putting upwards pressure on rents. In the wake of booming house prices, some landlords have sold up, while others who previously let their properties to traditional tenants have turned them into holiday lets. Rental declines in London have bottomed out, Zoopla said, as demand rebuilds amid the ending of lockdown and the reopening of offices and amenities.TakeawayAs the economy continues to reopen and people gradually return to offices, overall demand for rental property is likely to remain higher than usual.

COMMODITIESAluminium prices hit decade high

This week aluminium prices hit the highest level in 10 years due to a military coup in Guinea. The West African country of 13m people is a key mineral market and the world’s second-largest bauxite producer.Bauxite is the raw material that’s refined into alumina, which can be smelted into aluminium, the versatile metal used in everything from tin foil to airplanes.On Sunday an elite special forces unit of the military seized power in Guinea, arresting the country’s president, and suspending the constitution. Instability in the country is bad news for the aluminium supply chain. The price of the commodity spiked on the London Metal Exchange and the share price of aluminium makers also rose.There’s been a growing need for the metal this year, due to its use in high-demand products like cars and computers. So aluminium prices were already on the rise before the coup. Car manufacturers, which have increasingly turned to lightweight materials like aluminium to hit emissions targets, are now looking at even higher production costs.

Stat of the day

Social media users in the UK and US are spending more time on TikTok than YouTube

Other stories to keep you in the loop

  • Social care plan threatens thousands of UK jobs, trade body warns

  • UK workers on returning to the office: ‘No point if I end up doing video calls'

  • Morrisons takeover battle to go to auction ahead of October investor vote

  • Amazon pays £492m in UK tax as sales surge to £20.6bn

  • Job openings climb again to 10.9m as US companies struggle to fill vacancies

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