Welcome to the first ever edition of the AllAboutFinanceCareers weekly blog! This week, we briefly look at the British Chambers of Commerce’s forecast following Brexit uncertainty, as well as various current affairs related to Hong Kong’s extradition law and Boeing’s attempt to build up trust following two catastrophic 737 Max crashes.
Brexit uncertainty is impacting UK business investment, says BCC
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) released its latest economic forecast on Monday June 17, predicting that business investment will contract at a faster rate in 2019 and take longer to recover in 2020. This is primarily due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, including the growing possibility of a no-deal exit from Europe, as well as the high upfront cost of conducting business with the UK and the fear of insufficient stock. However, the forecast has the potential to be worse, given that the BCC’s report assumes that the UK will avoid a messy and disorderly exit from the EU.
The BCC stressed that investing in contingency plans—stockpiling, for example—is not sustainable. Firms have been veering around the prospect of future economic growth in the UK, focusing instead on the immediate future. Consequently, the economy is expected to register zero growth in the second quarter of the year.
This news comes at the same time as the opening of the Paris Air Show, at which prominent voices within the UK aerospace sector have attacked “extreme” politicians endorsing a no-deal departure from the EU. Paul Everitt, the chief executive of ADS—the British trade organisation representing businesses operating in the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors—expressed his concerns about a no-deal Brexit, saying, “there would be significant consequences [for] UK manufacturing”.
“Entrepreneurship is a great leveller. The wonderful thing is that money is not the sole currency when it comes to starting a business; drive, determination, passion and hard work are all free and more valuable than a pot of cash” - Richard Branson, business magnate.
- Fired UBS chief economist Paul Donovan’s “innocently-intended” comment about a “Chinese pig” has escalated even further.
- Rolls-Royce awards $6.5 billion engine-repair deal to Abu-Dhabi-based holding company, Mubadala, to service 75 engines annually over nine years.
- American pharmaceutical company Pfizer expands its cancer portfolio by acquiring Array BioPharma for $10.64 billion.
Boeing seeks to rebuild trust and confidence at the biennial Paris Air Show
Following two deadly accidents in October and March, in which the Boeing 737 Max crashed and killed all on board, the world’s largest aerospace group hopes to convince the world of its commitment to safety once again. However, it’s not been confirmed when the 737 Max is likely to return to the skies. The model was the company’s best-selling commercial jet, having acquired orders worth approximately $600 billion.
Hong Kong’s chief executive unlikely to resign despite protesters’ wishes
Protesters took to the street once again to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the use of unnecessary police force and Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam’s decision to suspend the extradition law. The protesters sought complete withdrawal of the legislation, as well as Lam’s resignation. However, China has expressed its support for Lam, making her resignation unlikely. This upheaval comes at a crucial time for Xi Jinping, general secretary of China’s Communist Party: he faces an escalating US trade war and increasing international concern over human rights.
- Only €80 million of the €850 million pledged has been handed over for the reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Most of the funds handed over are from small donors.
- Lax regulation has made the town of Carpinteria the unlikely capital of California’s legal pot market.
- There are now serious environmental concerns associated with the increasing use of crystals as part of the wellness trend.
- Seven days’ worth of public hearings have begun in relation to US president Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods.