Weekly Digest – 31 January 2024

Getting caught up on a week that got away? Here’s your weekly digest of some stories relevant to business and the economy.

UK economy off to ‘promising start’ in 2024 but firms reveal impact of Red Sea crisis

Activity in the UK economy’s private sector accelerated for the third straight month, but the impact of the crisis in the Red Sea is starting to hit firms, a new survey suggests.

Want to know if the UK economy will bounce back? Watch these figures

Hamish McRae discusses the factors that could trigger a fall in interest rates in the UK in May.

Could a new policy institution help solve the UK’s productivity problem?

Comparatively sluggish productivity growth is one of the UK’s biggest policy challenges. Past strategies to solve the problem have lacked commitment and proper evaluation. One solution could be to establish a growth and productivity institution to coordinate policies over the long term.

UK Government unveils new cyber threat guidelines as 32% of firms suffer attacks in past year

Cyber threats should be prioritised as a key business risk like financial and legal challenges, the UK government has urged as it releases new guidelines to help directors and business leaders boost their cyber resilience.

Thousands of high-growth UK companies in ‘financial ill health’

Tens of thousands of UK companies are showing “distinct early signs of financial ill health” despite being predicted to grow by 20 per cent over the next year, according to a new report.

Never mind the weather – Begbies waves red flag over perfect economic storm

As the whole of Britain is hit by Storm Isha, the latest Begbies Traynor “Red Flag Alert” report, which has provided a snapshot of British corporate health for over 15 years, has highlighted the speed at which critical financial distress is growing in the UK after the second consecutive quarter of less than quarter a per cent of growth.

UK government launches AI Opportunity Forum to boost adoption

A new AI Opportunity Forum has been introduced by the UK Government aimed at accelerating the integration of AI within the private sector.

Bank of England undecided on digital pound amid privacy concerns

The Bank of England has said it is too early to decide whether to introduce a digital pound currency dubbed Britcoin with 2025 being the earliest for a decision.

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