Hello again, and happy Sunday. Here’s what we have our eye on for the next few days.
The big rift: Rishi Sunak knows you can’t please all the people, all the time. But how about some of the people, some of the time? As Alex Wickham reports, the new prime minister is under fire from at least two factions in his own party, pushing — respectively — radical pro-growth measures and protections for bucolic England. And then there’s the Labour opposition, sitting on a 21-point lead. New policies aimed at pulling the UK out of recession are a long, dreary winter away.
The big game: It’s now or never for England on Tuesday after their disappointing scoreless draw against a young US team in the World Cup. They’ll take on Wales in a home-nation bout on Tuesday in a bid to make the knockout stages, and are the betting favourite, again. Either way, some people are going to be upset but at least they can go down the pub to drown their sorrows. Americans tuned into Friday’s match in droves, a win of a kind for the Beautiful Game so often overshadowed by “other” football.
The big deal: No timeframe’s been given, but Manchester United may soon be put up for sale by the billionaire American Glazer family. Is £5 billion too much for one of the most world’s prized sports franchises? Perhaps not, given word that the Saudi government would support private sector bids for the team, as well as for Liverpool FC. Given the schism that Saudi money has created in pro golf, it would be an interesting twist. Superstar Christiano Ronaldo, recently separated from ManU, has reportedly been offered £62 million a year to play in Saudi Arabia.
The big stats: BOE mortgage approvals data on Tuesday will be of more interest than usual. The UK housing market is showing signs of cracks caused by soaring interest rates, and approvals are a reliable guide to activity in the months ahead. They're likely to drop again in October after slipping by 10% in September. The BOE will also monitor the Decision Maker Panel Survey of businesses on Thursday to gauge whether inflation is becoming more entrenched. All in all, a protracted recession seems unavoidable.
The big shop: The US “Black Friday” shopping phenomenon is increasingly global and could be more important for UK retailers this year as they try to get cash-strapped Brits to part with their cash. Almost 70% of British shoppers planned to participate in the discount event, up from 57% a year ago, Bloomberg’s Katie Linsell reported, and online searches for “Black Friday” were way up. Some in the UK are using their limited funds for travel, though. The leisure carrier Jet2 says demand for discounted flights and package deals to locations like Turkey and the Canary Islands is holding up nicely.
The big strikes: Julian Harris and Eamon Akil Farhat report on how the first post-Covid holiday season could be hampered in yet another blow to the hospitality industry. UK transport has been blighted by strikes for months, and walkouts will continue in the runup to Christmas on some lines. The key RMT union has already announced an overtime ban between Dec. 18 and Jan 2. Meanwhile, a Royal Mail stoppage looks set to cause chaos on the home front, and fed-up UK nurses are planning their first ever nationwide strike on two days in December.
ICYM our Big Take: The US has taken a stand on China’s Xinjiang, attempting to ban cotton produced in the province because of what the State Department has called “horrific abuses” of the Muslim Uyghur minority. But laboratory testing done for Bloomberg News shows that the online retail giant Shein, a fast-fashion and social media phenomenon, is selling at least some garments made with cotton from Xinjiang, Sheridan Prasso reports. And finally, our Big Take podcast “Inside Apple’s Culture Clash” looks at trouble brewing within the famously low-key Apple Stores. Senior labor reporter Josh Eidelson delves into the emerging union drive at Apple and other big-name companies — and how bosses are pushing back.
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