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. Driving groups such as the RAC motoring group are calling for more help from the government as the cost to fill a 55 litre tank hit £100 in what is being called a “truly dark day”. Over £37 billion has been provided to ease the cost of living already, but there are concerns retailers are not passing on the 5p cut in fuel duty to consumers.
  2. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has released its report expecting UK growth to hit 3.6% this year, followed by 0% in 2023. This prediction will turn the UK economy from the second-fastest growing economy in the G7 to the slowest growing in 2023.
  3. A shortage of available rental properties has lead to “tenant bidding wars”, with the number of available rentals nationwide decreasing by almost 50%. Asking rents are already at their highest ever level, up 11% from last year.

International Business & Economics

  1. The ECB has stated it intends to raise rates for the first time in over 11 years, raising rates by 0.25% and planning further increases later in the year. The ECB stated that this hike in rates will “make sure that inflation returns to its 2% target over the medium term”, with the latest eurozone inflation estimate sitting at 8.1%.
  2. The lack of an effective debt relief scheme is forcing some of the world’s poorest countries to cut public spending, with a report by Debt Justice expecting these countries to cut public expenditure by 3% despite the need to counter the impact of spiraling food and energy prices.
  3. The World Bank has warned the global economy faces a protracted period of weak growth and high inflation reminiscent of the 1970s, cutting its growth forecast this year from 4.1% to 2.9%. The Bank also stated that per capita incomes in developing countries in 2022 would be 5% below their pre-pandemic trend.
  4. Former White House reporter Bob Keefe has raised concerns over the effect of climate change on economies worldwide, with climate-related weather disasters costing the US economy more than $145 billion in 2021. According to a 2018 National Climate Assessment, rising temperatures and extreme heat are also expected to decrease worker productivity by $221 billion a year by 2090.
  5. US household wealth has decreased for the first time in two years by over $500 billion, driven by a $3 trillion fall in the value of corporate equities. Household wealth is expected to continue to fall amid 40-year highs in inflation and concerns over contractionary policy from the Fed. 

UK Politics

  1. Aidan Aslin and Shaun Pinner, two Britons captured in Mariupol whilst fighting for Ukraine, have been sentenced to death by a pro-Russian court in Donetsk. Boris Johnson has called for ministers to do “everything in their power” to secure the release of the two Britons. 
  2. The United Kingdom will continue its plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda. This week, around 30 people are scheduled to be put on a plane to Rwanda, despite legal challenges facing their rights to stay in the UK.
  3. Boris Johnson has been accused of “damaging the UK and everything the Conservatives stand for” as he prepares to publish a bill on Monday which will destroy part of the Brexit deal covering EU trade with Northern Ireland. 

International Politics

  1. A group of 20 US senators have reached a bipartisan deal on gun control this Sunday following back-to-back shootings in the USA. President Joe Biden has said it “would be the most significant gun safety legislation to pass congress in decades”.
  2. Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s red-green alliance has a chance of challenging President Emmanuel Macron for control of the National Assembly next weekend, after a strong top two display in the first round of French legislative elections.
  3. Russia has introduced conscription in Ukraine’s pro-Russian breakaways, Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic in Donbas. Despite many not having any military experience, Russian forces are being bolstered with these large amounts of inexperienced conscripts to pursue the conflict in Ukraine.
  4. Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe has said that the annexation of Taiwan must “absolutely be achieved” after US criticism that China was developing new weapons and escalating military tension in Indo-China. However, Wei has maintained that the development of new hyper-sonic weapons are purely for “protecting the national interest of china.” 
  5. Iraq, a nation that has not recognised Israel as a country since the development of the state in 1948, has introduced new legislation banning citizens from communicating with Israeli officials, including via social media. The worst offences, including attending gatherings “tied to” Jewish behaviour, will be met by life in prison or capital punishment.

Written by Philip Weaver and Rob Webb