We’ve summarised the top stories of the last week into an easily digestible briefing, so that you can stay up to date on what’s happening around the world. You can subscribe to receive the briefing in your inbox each week.

UK Business & Economics

  1. The boost to the UK economy due to the Platinum Jubilee has been quantified at £6.37 billion, with pubs and restaurants alone generating over £3bn in sales. According to the March 2021 budget, Rishi Sunak set aside £28 million to fund the four day event.
  2. Recent pay rises in the financial sector have been outstripping inflation whilst most workers have witnessed a cut to their real wages, which will likely lead to “higher inequality in household incomes” according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. British fish exports to Canada grew nearly fivefold in Q1 compared to pre-pandemic figures, with total exports to the country rising by over 25%. However, Q1 has also seen declining demand from the EU, due both to Brexit trade rules and supply-chain issues.

International Business & Economics

  1. The US Labor Department announced a payroll rise of 390,000 this May, beating economists forecasts of a 325,000 rise in new jobs. This arises after many warnings that job growth was set to slow due to employers cutting back on hiring in anticipation of a reduction in consumer spending. The unemployment rate has remained at 3.6% for the third month in a row.
  2. Ukraine has more than doubled its interest rate to 25%, making it the highest of any European country. This follows from new data that the inflation rate has risen to 17%, with expectations that it will continue to rise up to 20%. The World Bank has estimated a 45% shrink in Ukraine’s economy this year.
  3. Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis in 70 years as inflation rises to 39.1%. On Tuesday, the government announced a rise of 4% in VAT to 12% which is expected to raise £142.7 Million for the government. An expected $4 Billion dollars is needed to pay for imports of daily essentials over the next eight months.
  4. The Marriot hotel chain has announced its withdrawal from Russia after 25 years of operation, claiming Western sanctions have made it “impossible” to continue managing its 22 hotels in the country. Marriot joins McDonald’s and Starbucks who have left the Russian market since the start of the conflict.
  5. Australia’s central bank is expected to raise interest rates again for the first back to back increases in 12 years. The new rate is predicted to be at 0.75% in response to rising inflation rates and higher labour costs.

UK Politics

  1. Boris Johnson has won a vote of confidence this Monday, with Conservative MPs voting 211 to 148 in favour of Johnson remaining as PM.  There cannot be another challenge in leadership for 12 months, despite rising anger at the PM’s failure to successfully manage the government.
  2. Labour has accused Rishi Sunak of using “haphazard, last minute” plans to impose a 25% windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas companies. An estimated £3 billion was wiped off energy companies’ share prices from the announcement last month.
  3. The Chief of Best for Britain, a notable campaign group, has announced to “unleash the most powerful tactical voting campaign this country has ever seen” in order to defeat Johnson’s government at the next election. 

International Politics

  1. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has come under heavy scrutiny in the past few months for her history of friendly relations with Putin, finally condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine as ‘barbaric’ in her first speech since December.
  2. Israel signed a multi-billion free trade agreement with UAE last Tuesday, the latest deal in the two countries’ ‘Abraham Accords’. The deal aims to increase annual bilateral trade to more than $10 billion over the next 5 years, and covers 96% of all trade between the two nations.
  3. Kajas Kallas, the Prime Minister of Estonia, has called for talks to settle a new government after the ruling coalition has fallen apart. 7 ministers from a 15 member cabinet were dismissed with the authorisation of President Alar Karis , following a deadlock vote on an education bill. Kallas has announced “It’s honest to say that this agreement is over and we’re going to form a new coalition”
  4. Two US Senators have proposed a new bill to Congress for the FDA to issue further cybersecurity guidelines for medical devices “in light of increased cyber threats”, according to Senator Jacky Rosen.
  5. Turkey has been ramping up its fight against Sweden and Finland’s bid to join NATO, with Turkish President Recep Erdogan writing in The Economist that their entrance “entails risks for [NATO’s] own security and the organization’s future”.

Written by Philip Weaver and Rob Webb