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 Bank of England has raised its bank rate by 0.5%, bringing the current level to 4%, the highest since 2008.
  2. On Tuesday, nurses in the NHS are set to take strike action over pay disputes. Further strikes with ambulance workers, university staff, teachers, and physios are expected within the next month due to the current cost of living crisis. 
  3. Ashwani Gupta, Chief Operating Officer at Nissan, has warned that the firm is struggling to make ends meet in the UK amidst rising costs due to energy bills and inflation. He has insisted that lower production costs will be necessary to keep the firm based in the UK. 

International Business & Economics

  1. The European Central Bank (ECB) has raised its bank rate by 0.5% to 2.5%. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has, too, lifted its rate by 0.25% to 4.75%, which is the highest it has been since September 2007.
  2. American employers added 517,000 jobs in January, an unexpectedly large increase in an already tight labour market, pushing the unemployment rate down to 3.4%, a 53-year low.
  3. The IMF has raised its forecast of world GDP growth slightly to 2.9% with particular focus on the fact that global inflation is expected to fall from 8.8% to 6.6%. 
  4. The EU agreed to a cap of $100 per barrel for exports of Russia’s refined-oil products such as diesel, whilst fuel oil and other low-value exports were capped at $45.
  5. The euro-area economy grew by 1.9% in the last quarter of 2022, and expanded by 3.5% over the whole year. This had been somewhat accredited to the fact that inflation dropped from 9.2% to 8.5% between December and January.

UK Politics

  1. Liz Truss has ruled out running as PM again in her first interview since her resignation. In said interview, Truss admitted she made mistakes but defended her time in office, vowing to continue as an MP.
  2. On the eve of the biggest week of strike action in NHS history, Unite’s leader Sharon Graham has claimed that Rishi Sunak was missing from the negotiating table.
  3. Magistrate courts in England and Wales are to stop hearing and ruling on applications from energy firms to forcibly install prepayment meters with immediate effect.

International Politics

  1. An American fighter jet shot down a suspected Chinese ‘spy balloon’ flying over parts of the US, which had caused a three-day spectacle that dominated headlines and escalated tensions between the US and China.
  2. All border restrictions between mainland China and Hong Kong were removed today, putting an end to the three years of severe covid-19 restrictions. Mainlanders had previously made up 80% of Hong Kong’s tourists.
  3. A Brazilian senator alleged that Jair Bolsonaro attended a meeting to discuss ways to overturn the presidential election results of 2022. Marcos do Val stated that plan was discussed to secretly record the head of the electoral court in an attempt to obtain an incriminating statement.
  4. Israel’s foreign minister said the country would sign a “historic peace agreement” with Sudan later this year following a meeting with officials in Khartoum.
  5. The US gained access to four military bases in the Philippines, signing a deal that will allow it to better monitor China’s aggression in the region.

Written by Philip Weaver and Rob Webb