Weekly Digest – 8 November 2023

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

Bank of England interest rates held at 5.25%: reaction from finance experts

In their September meeting, in a split vote, the MPC decided to keep the UK interest rate at 5.25% following a drop in inflation. With the UK economy having managed to avoid going into recession territory so far, the MPC’s task of trying to balance the need to bring inflation back to target with the impact of time lags and the slow down in economic growth, is certainly a tricky one. Finance experts have been sharing their views on the interest rate decision.

UK service sector ‘skirting with recession’ – PMI

The UK service sector had a lacklustre October, a closely-watched survey showed on Friday, as cost of living pressures continued to weigh on demand.

UK firms need policy support to turn decarbonisation plans into action

Almost half of UK firms now have structured decarbonisation plans in place – up from a third from last year – but better policy frameworks are needed to inspire more companies to act on stalled investment plans to actually cut carbon.

Small business apprenticeships plummet

The number of people starting an apprenticeship in small businesses has dropped by almost half since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, according to a report from the CIPD.

The AI Safety Summit talks were a diplomatic feat

The first formal international dialogue on the risks of artificial intelligence has resulted in a welcome consensus. The so-called Bletchley declaration, a document signed on day one by every government represented at this convention, marks a rare point of international consensus. It outlines an agreement for the countries to cooperate on AI research and regulation.

The Bank of England can’t afford to hike interest rates again

With inflation falling, the cost of borrowing rising and the economy heading into an election year, the Bank of England can’t afford to increase interest rates again.

Views of the small business owner…manufacturing and engineering

Close Brothers Asset Finance surveys around 1000 small and medium-sized business owners three times a year across its key sectors, asking them a variety of questions. In this article, Close Brothers Asset Finance takes a close look at the views of those firms in the Manufacturing and Engineering sector – including Woodworkers.

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