Weekly Digest – 3 May 2023

Weekly Digest – 3 May 2023

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

UK business confidence increases for fifth month in a row, survey shows

A study conducted by the lobby group Institute of Directors suggests business confidence has increased for the fifth consecutive month, up to -5 in April, following a dip to -64 in November 2022. Although the negative value still suggests an overall pessimistic outlook, it is less pessimistic than previous surveys.

King Charles III’s coronation leads to high prices on memorabilia

With the coronation of King Charles III, businesses are churning out memorabilia and other specialty goods. Some factories say they are running seven days a week to meet the demand. The nation is expected to spend nearly £250m on souvenirs, with the biggest sellers being crockery, coins, flags, books and stationery.

Microsoft executives say they’ve lost confidence in UK

After being blocked from buying US gaming firm Activision, Microsoft’s president says the EU was a better place to start businesses. The UK has responded saying its move was what was best for people rather than merging firms with commercial interests. Because the UK blocked the deal, it cannot go ahead globally.

A Chinese invasion of Taiwan could have severe consequences for the UK’s economy

With Taiwan’s foreign minister saying he was preparing for a possible conflict with China in 2027, concerns are mounting about the impact such a conflict would have on the UK’s economy and global trade. Taiwan is the world’s largest manufacturer of microchips, which would affect global supply chains for everything from defibrillators to cars.

Nurses out on strike in half of England’s NHS

Nurses in England have taken strike action in half of England’s hospitals, mental health, and community services. NHS bosses have warned services would be badly disrupted, but the Royal College of Nursing members agreed to some last minute exemptions so nurses could provide life-preserving care.

UK government to water down fraud proposals for tech groups

The government is set to announce a new national fraud strategy that would include a voluntary agreement where the tech industry takes a more proactive approach to combating online fraud. Officials said they are trying to balance safety with pro-growth policies, ensuring the sector was not financially harmed.

First Republic: JP Morgan snaps up major US bank

JP Morgan Chase has taken over First Republic in a deal brokered by regulators. The failure of First Republic is the second-largest in US history and the third in the US since March. US officials reported approached six banks before JP Morgan agreed to the deal.

UK economy not ‘out of the woods’, says Barclays boss after bank’s record profit

Despite Barclays recording its strongest quarterly profit since 2011, the bank’s chief executive said the British economy was still not out of the woods. CS Venkatakrishnan said inflation is falling, but the bank will continue to be cautious. The Bank of England is expected to raise interest rates again on May 11 to curb surging prices.

Coronation: Public invited to swear allegiance to King Charles

Organisers of the Coronation say people who are watching will be invited to join a “chorus of millions” in swearing allegiance to the King and his heirs. In a number of firsts for a coronation, female clergy will play a prominent role and the King will pray out loud. The Coronation will also incorporate other languages.

Extra UK evacuation flight departs Sudan as rival factions clash

As fighting intensified in Sudan, an additional UK evacuation flight left Port Sudan. British passport holders and doctors with leave to remain in the UK were told to arrive at Port Sudan international airport in preparation for the flight. So far, the UK has evacuated more than 2,100 people.

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