Commercial news round-up: inflation; national pay squeeze; ‘hard’ v ‘soft’ Brexit; British Airways
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The consequences of the general election earlier this month could monumentally change the country’s economic course as set by politicians before the poll, despite the fact that the same government looks set to return to power (albeit only with the help of its friends in the Democratic Unionist Party). However, this week’s headlines also report some gloomy fallout from another national vote – that of last year’s referendum on EU membership.
- The country’s inflation rate is at a four-year high following the vote in favour of leaving the European Union, which caused the pound to fall in value. This means that the costs of exports has risen and the prices of food and clothing products have gone up.
- Meanwhile, wage growth has fallen further behind inflation, meaning that the majority of the British public are now experiencing a rapid decline in living standards.
- And while both of the United Kingdom’s biggest political parties agree that Britain will cease to be a member of the European Union in due course, the loss of the government’s majority in the general election has seriously challenged the dominance of the ‘hard Brexit’ faction – who before the election enjoyed unfettered power over the country’s future direction – and emboldened those who favour closer ties with Europe. It now looks likely that a more consensual approach to Brexit is required.
- Many business owners and trade associations have weighed in on the side of ‘soft Brexit’, warning that a bad deal, or no deal, with the European Union will be disastrous for British jobs, investment and growth.
- And elsewhere, British Airways is close to finalising an outsourcing deal with Capita to run its call centres. The airline is moving to improve its customer relations after an IT problem left 75,000 passengers stranded in airports over the May bank holiday.