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 UK energy regulator, Ofgem, has lowered the energy price cap by close to £1,000 for the average home. The cap previously was set at £4,279 and has now been reduced to £3,280. 
  2. Consensus Economics have predicted a fall in the amount which the UK economy is expected to shrink this year. In December, there was an estimated 1% drop in the UK’s gross domestic product, which has now been altered to an 0.6% decline in GDP throughout 2023. This has been attributed to falling energy prices and improved ‘business and consumer sentiment’. 
  3. Andrew Griffith, City of London Minister, has criticised regulatory reform in the city, especially the consumer duty burden enacted by the Financial Conduct Authority. Bosses of financial service businesses have warned that these regulations could cause a wave of lawsuits from ‘opportunistic claims management companies’. 

International Business & Economics

  1. The price of EU carbon trading permits hit $107 (€100) a tonne for the first time on record. These permits, which allow companies to emit pollutants, has risen consecutively for the fifth time this year. 
  2. The Bank of Israel has lifted its main bank rate by 0.5% to a total of 4.25%, making this the 8th consecutive raise. Israel’s foreign minister has called for a halt to be put to these rate rises. 
  3. Consumer spending and inflation in the US rose this January, with inflation rising by 0.6% month-on-month (three times the December rate) while personal spending rose by 1.8%.
  4. In Europe, the benchmark price for natural gas futures stooped below €50 a megawatt hour for the first time in 18 months. 
  5. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P500 both suffered their worst day so far this year, each dropping by 2%.

UK Politics

  1. Rishi Sunak and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, met to arrange a deal that would reform the Northern Ireland Protocol which regulates trade over the hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Sunak announced today that they have ‘made a decisive breakthrough’ on the progress of reaching an agreement. 
  2. The UK government confirmed it will establish an independent regulator to oversee English football, with tasks including a fairer distribution of revenue between clubs. More details will be released in the government’s white paper set to be released on Thursday.
  3. Rules banning some transgender women from female prisons in England and Wales come into force on Monday, with the bill designed to “improve safety” for prisoners.

International Politics

  1. Palestinian militants fired six rockets towards Israel according to the Israeli army, with five shot down. The rockets follow an earlier raid on the West Bank which killed 11 and left several more wounded.
  2. The US warned China it would face “real costs” if it provided arms to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  3. China pushed for a ceasefire on the Russian war in Ukraine as part of a 12-point plan released by the government. Earlier, however, China abstained in a vote at the UN that backed a resolution demanding Russia’s withdrawal from Ukraine.
  4. Janet Yellen, the US treasury secretary, accused Russian officials of being “complicit” in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during a meeting of G20 finance ministers in India.
  5. Opposition parties in Nigeria have walked out on the ongoing elections over claims that there is a lack of transparency in the election process. 

Written by Philip Weaver and Rob Webb