Wednesday newspaper round-up: Stagflation, Amazon, Scottish jobs

by | Aug 9, 2023

(Sharecast News) – The UK economy is suffering from a 1970s-style “British disease” that means inflation will not fall back to the Bank of England’s 2 per cent target until after 2027, a think tank has warned. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said the economy had suffered from five years of “lost economic growth”, with stubbornly high inflation and semi-permanent government deficits expected in the foreseeable future. Jagjit Chadha, director of the institute, Britain’s oldest independent economics think tank, said the country’s woes had led to the “re-emergence of the British disease” – a reference to the stagflationary trap of the 1970s, when the term was coined. – The Times

Amazon has been accused of pushing small businesses to the edge of collapse after warning it would hold onto thousands of sellers’ cash temporarily. The US tech giant told small firms using its platform in the UK and continental Europe that it will withhold their sale proceeds for over a week, triggering fears businesses will not have the cash to keep going. – Daily Mail

Scotland’s jobs market is struggling and pay growth is falling behind the rest of the UK as its oil industry declines, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). Figures show that Scotland’s employment rate has suffered a “marked deterioration” since 2014, and is now one percentage point below the national average. At the same time, earnings have grown much more slowly than in the rest of the country. – Guardian

Britain’s taxpayer-funded infrastructure bank has invested £24 million in a mining start-up hoping to produce lithium for electric vehicle batteries in Cornwall. Cornish Lithium said the UK Infrastructure Bank had led a £53.6 million funding round that would “significantly accelerate progress toward the creation of a domestic supply of battery-grade lithium compounds”. The first equity investment by UKIB, which is taking a 13 per cent stake in the company, has been matched by a further £24 million from EMG, an American private equity group, and £5.6 million from TechMet, an existing investor. – The Times

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