Weekly Digest – 30 August 2023

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

Energy bills drop slightly for winter but will remain high

An annual energy bill for a household using a typical amount of gas and electricity will fall to £1,923 in October under regulator Ofgem’s new price cap. But many people will see little difference in what they pay despite the fall because some government support has been withdrawn.

Farmers ‘left in the lurch’ as post-Brexit payments delayed

Farmers in England say they have been “left in the lurch” by the government over a post-Brexit sustainable farming scheme which has left them unable to plan which crops to plant.

Almost 60% believe they’ve been denied a promotion due to a lack of digital skills

New research show that 58 per cent of UK employees believe they’ve been denied a promotion due to lack of digital skills.

London becomes home to over 16,000 new businesses – the highest recorded compared to the rest of the UK

The business experts at Forbes Advisor have conducted an analysis of the most recent UK business demography statistics report from the Office for National Statistics.

UK economy shows signs of slowdown as BoE rate hikes mount

Britain’s economy is slowing and might be heading for a recession as it feels the impact of 14 back-to-back interest rate increases by the Bank of England to fight high inflation.

UK businesses expanding internationally could create 1.9 million new jobs

UK businesses expanding internationally could create 1.9 million new jobs, according to a new report.

How vulnerable are UK companies to higher interest rates?

The proportion of businesses that will struggle to pay back debts due to rising interest rates could increase to the highest level since the financial crisis, the Bank of England has warned. Rising interest payments relative to corporate earnings are making it difficult for some medium and large companies to repay debts. Despite this, the share of companies in this position is expected to stay below historical peaks.

UK service sector enters contraction as rate hikes begin to bite

Like the eurozone, there has been a pronounced deterioration in service sector activity in August, according to the latest PMIs. The index for this sector has slipped below the all-important 50 level, reaching 48.7. According to the makers of the PMI, S&P Global, higher Bank of England rates are beginning to do their job.

Rents more affordable compared to rising cost of mortgages

Renting is cheaper than buying a home, on average, for the first time since 2010, according to data from online property portal Zoopla.

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