Weekly roundup: 11 Sept 2020
More details continued to emerge this week to illustrate the economic pressure, that is underway and growing across the economy.
- Many consumers appear to have gone into money-saving mode over lockdown – 3.6m are worried about how they are going to pay bills… more hard data on the stress some households are under.
- Two-thirds of businesses are reportedly been suffering from cash flow problems, with 1 in 10 expected to cease trading, due to COVID.
- Cash usage is down, card usage is up as consumers seem to have shunned physical money. Credit card spending has also bounced back in June/July… hopefully, better news for the retail sector too.
- FinTechs, which have had their dash for growth business models challenged recently, are starting to introduce more fees, or changing their business model… a sector under focus as mentioned before
- Looking at other markets, many of whom have different government support models that the UK, delinquencies are starting to rise… is this potentially a view into the future for the UK? (it is expected, unfortunately)
- Controls were in the news again with a story on Bank signature forgeries… it seemed to disappear as soon as it was reported… but obviously important for the industry that everything is done to ensure this sort of thing does not happen
There were also some interesting statistics from ONS on the impact of COVID on the economy. They really show the polarised impact of lockdown on different sectors in society.
Food and Accommodation, the impact has been dramatic, hard and sustained, but other sectors seem to have been only lightly impacted…. Public sector hardly at all, with minimal impact in financial services.
All of this points to a lopsided impact and recovery. This is against a background of rising cases again remember too.
Of course, economic doom and gloom is not the only news going on and the topic of Brexit was back in the news this week… with the UK government seemingly appearing to want to tear up its previous agreement with the EU… all of which does not bode well for the future relationships, both with the EU and internationally, which are largely built on trust… one to watch closely through the end of the year.
The return to the office discussion also continued with some companies proudly announcing they are permanently office free. However I have also been hearing stories of businesses asking people to return, it will rumble on I suspect.
Lastly a few other stories of interest
- Self cooling microchips – could lead to smaller, lighter phones
- Detailed data analysis on COVID virus, with a model study of its impact – could lead towards new avenues for treatment… an interesting read
- and… will the heavy use of hand sanitizer, lead to resistance in bacteria and virus’s as they evolve to survive… like anti-biotic resistance….scary stuff
- An exploration of the use of public webcams to analyze society’s adherence to social distancing… my ‘lean out of the window and have a look method’ says not very well…I am afraid 🙂
- Lastly, there was n interesting video of an Airbus flying wing model demo – it could lead to more efficient planes… with the cheap seats will be at the end of the wings I suspect!
Have a good weekend everyone… @chris_w_tweet