Wages won’t budge

Today's news headlines: 

‘Azzurri warns that “outdated” business rates hold down staff wages’. High street chains are finding the current tax regime unmanageable according to Steve Holmes, CEO of Azzurri. He’s called for a rework of the current business rates model, which calculates tax liabilities based on rent, pointing to a revenue model that would be healthier for the industry. Azzurri paid 4.4% of its turnover in taxes in 2019, while Amazon paid just half of that—giving them the option to pay staff higher wages and put pressure on high street brands. Although wages have been increased by the likes of Costa and Pret, Holmes has emphasised that tight margins will make this unsustainable in the long term. (Financial Times)

‘Job satisfaction in UK remains steady but low earners feel more stress’. New research indicates people are just as happy in their roles compared to 30 years ago, however, those on lower incomes have reported higher stress levels. 54% of respondents said they were happy in their role in 2019 compared to 59% in the 1990s. The 2008 financial crisis was a major labour shock during this time that forced many individuals out of work and into roles they wouldn’t have gone for had things been different. Employees in hospitality and retail were also found to have a lot less autonomy, with a larger percentage of people having little control over their responsibilities. (Financial Times)


Today

Last week, the S&P 500 closed 0.91% lower after a mixed week for the index. Elsewhere, iron ore had its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis, falling 22.00% as China looks to slow Steel production this year. Cable has had a soft start to the trading day, falling 0.35% this morning, below the $1.37 handle.

Events

UK Rightmove House Price Index m/m: 0.3% vs -0.3% last month
Germany Producer Price Index m/m: 1.5% vs 1.9% last month
US National Association of House Builders Housing Market Index: 3:00PM
New Zealand Westpac Consumer Sentiment: 10:00PM
Canada Federal Election: All day


Interbank rates:

GBP/USD – 1.3677
GBP/EUR – 1.1699
EUR/USD – 1.1713
USD/CAD – 1.2804

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