Weekly Digest – 28 February 2024

Weekly Digest – 28 February 2024

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

Business activity growth surges for 80% of the UK

In 2024, 80% of the UK experienced a surge in business activity growth, according to a report. The growth was driven by increased consumer spending and investment, and was seen across all sectors, including manufacturing, construction, and services. The report predicts continued strong growth, despite potential challenges such as inflation and supply chain issues.

Only a few days left to claim pension credit and secure £299 cost of living boost

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is urging pensioners to act swiftly and check if they qualify for Pension Credit by March 5, 2024. Eligible claimants could receive an additional £299 boost for Cost of Living.

Update on HMRC double cab pick up guidance

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revised its guidance on the tax treatment of Double Cab Pick Ups (DCPUs) following a 2020 Court of Appeal ruling. Originally slated to be treated as cars from July 1, 2024, due to a payload of one tonne or more, concerns from farmers and the motoring industry prompted a government rethink.

What does Britain being in a recession mean?

The UK economy shrank by 1.5% in Q1 2021, marking a technical recession due to Covid-19 lockdowns. However, March showed a 2.1% growth, hinting at recovery. The services sector, particularly hospitality, was hardest hit, while manufacturing and construction showed resilience. Economists predict a strong bounce back as restrictions ease.

Worst airlines for customer satisfaction revealed

Sky News has revealed the worst airlines for customer satisfaction, with Ryanair and British Airways ranking lowest. The survey, conducted by consumer watchdog Which?, considered factors such as customer service, cleanliness, and value for money. Ryanair scored the lowest, while British Airways was criticised for its food and drink offerings.

Scottish business survey places nation highly in UK league

A recent Scottish business survey ranks Scotland highly in the UK league for business optimism, despite the pandemic. The report, conducted by BDO LLP, shows Scotland’s Optimism Index at 99.85, above the UK average of 99.35. The Manufacturing Optimism Index also increased, indicating a positive outlook for the Scottish economy.

Business confidence ‘cautiously’ returns as service sector continues recovery

Business confidence is gradually returning as the service sector continues to recover, according to a recent Lloyds Bank report. However, companies are still cautious due to inflationary pressures and supply chain disruptions, despite the overall positive outlook.

UK wage growth slows again but BoE likely to remain on alert

UK’s regular wages have surged by 6.6%, the highest growth since 2008, despite a 0.4% rise in unemployment. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) attributes this increase to fewer low-paid jobs and more hours worked. However, inflation-adjusted real wages are still below their pre-pandemic level, indicating a cost-of-living squeeze.

UK middle classes ‘struggling despite incomes of up to £60,000 a year’

Aberdeen’s Financial Fairness Trust report reveals that the UK middle classes are facing a “triple threat” of job insecurity, rising housing costs, and inadequate pensions. This has led to widespread financial insecurity and a growing wealth gap. The report calls for urgent action to address these issues and restore financial fairness.

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