Weekly Digest – 12 April 2023
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.
Consumers turn to TV subscriptions as they cut back on spending
UK households are cutting back on spending on groceries, clothes and eating out as they try to balance their budgets. Instead, they are turning to TV subscriptions, with a 4.1% increase in spending on digital content and subscriptions in March, according to Barclays’ snapshot of consumer credit and debit card use.
Tesla announces new Megapack factory in China to stabilize energy grids
Tesla is building a new factory in Shanghai, China, to produce 10,000 “Megapack” energy storage units per year, which are large batteries used to stabilize energy grids and prevent power outages. This plant is in addition to Tesla’s current Megapack factory in California. CEO Elon Musk announced the expansion on Twitter.
IMF predicts interest rates will return to rock-bottom levels post-inflation surge
The International Monetary Fund predicts that interest rates will fall to rock-bottom levels after high inflation passes, following a recent spike. This could provide relief to homeowners and businesses who have seen their monthly repayments surge due to increased interest rates in the past year and a half.
Sales of home accessories and furniture surge as people eat out less to save money
According to the British Retail Consortium, home accessories and furniture sales have surged as people choose to entertain at home instead of going out amid the rising cost of living. Figures show that total retail sales increased by 5.1% YoY in March, but wet weather led to a dip in demand for fashion items, gardening, and DIY products.
Virgin Orbit goes the way of Virgin Brides and Virgin Cola
Virgin Orbit, Sir Richard Branson’s satellite launch company, has filed for bankruptcy due to a lack of long-term funding after a rocket launch failure in January prevented a satellite from reaching orbit. The company was aiming to make history with the first satellite launched into orbit from British soil.
Tupperware has “substantial doubt” over its ability to continue operating
Tupperware, the iconic brand known for its food storage containers, is facing potential extinction as shares fell almost 50%. The 77-year-old company has struggled in recent years due to increased competition and declining demand for home products.
New tax year brings changes to pensions, benefits, and taxes
The new tax year has begun, prompting calls for people to be “diligent” with their finances due to changes in tax, pension, and benefit rules. While state pensions and benefits will rise by 10.1%, income tax thresholds have been frozen, potentially pulling millions of people into a higher tax band.
Cost of Easter rises as inflation hits chocolate eggs and hot cross buns
The cost of Easter in the UK has risen by nearly a quarter compared to last year, with popular items such as chocolate eggs and hot cross buns affected by inflation. The average bill for supermarket staples is 23% higher than last year, and a traditional lamb roast is up 9.4%.
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