We’re keeping up appearances, with the government package set out in the Queen’s Speech derided as ‘cosmetic surgery for an economy facing a heart attack’. As Britain joins the space race with its first direct satellite launch and Sadiq Khan wants London to hold the Olympics again by 2050, 1.5 million UK householders are predicted to struggle to pay food and energy bills over the next year, while the Lloyds Bank Foundation says a mechanism allowing universal credit payments cuts of up to 25% is driving people into poverty and debt. As a lucky British ticket-holder scoops the £184m EuroMillions jackpot, German price inflation has hit a record 7.4%. The FTSE All Share is pressing ahead upwards.
PUTTING ON A BRAVE FACE
Corporates are dressing their windows, with ITV’s first-quarter external revenues growing 18%, Compass Group’s sales returning to pre-COVID-19 levels and Tui halving interim losses. Philip Morris International is paying $16bn for Swedish Match, while fund manager Brewin Dolphin has seen inflows of £1.9bn, despite market volatility caused by the Ukraine conflict, and Chevron is leading a $150m funding injection for London cleantech firm Carbon Clean. Virgin Media O2’s investors are on track for a £1.6bn payout. Read this Edison report, which argues that, in a world of dark capital, ‘truth creates light’.
DOING WHAT WE DESIRE
As people increasingly make their pets follow vegan diets, scientists have discovered that some bats buzz like wasps and bees, perhaps to deter hungry owls. But overindulging is apparently okay on National Eat What You Want Day.