• Date: 20 July 2017
  • Posted By: admin

Welcome to this week’s News Snippets. The stories we’ve selected are: We carried on spending in June; Inflation DOWN not up; How do you feel about pay at the BBC?; and Take your dog to work.

We carried on spending in June: The last few months have seen nothing but bad news on the economic front – inflation climbing; wages falling; sterling nosediving. But surprisingly, the stats for June were better than any of the experts expected: sales rose by 1.5% in the quarter – which is a big jump because in the previous quarter they were down by 1.4%. When comparing annually, sales were up 3% on the previous year, with online sales seeing a strong 15.9% jump. And apparently, most of it was due to our spending on clothes, with the heat wave driving us into the shops – and of course the sales were starting too, so there were bargains to be had. Does this improvement in consumer spending signal better times ahead? Well, the next item might suggest so.

Retail sales boost drives “renewed sense of optimism” in June

Inflation DOWN not up: Given the steep rises in inflation over recent months, yesterday’s news from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that inflation had dropped from 2.9% to 2.6% was a very welcome surprise. You’ll know from our previous blogs that experts were expecting it to break through the 3% barrier this year. This article isn’t exactly saying that’s now unlikely, but it’s certainly giving a more positive outlook. And it makes the point that, if inflation is now under control, consumer spending will stay strong because our pay packets won’t be under so much pressure, and importantly the the Bank of England won’t put up interest rates. Next months stats though will be very telling. Here’s hoping that the economic outlook has taken a turn for the better at last.

How do you feel about pay at the BBC? There’s quite a few layers to this one: firstly there’s the eye watering pay some people are getting – you might feel Chris Evans is worth £2.2m for a 3 hour radio show 5 times a week, or you might not; then there’s the gender pay gap – which isn’t looking great when the best paid female presenter, Claudia Winkelman, is earning in the region of £450-499,000 – so around 25% of Mr Evans’ pay. And then there’s the money the national broadcaster is spending on hiring talent – £193.6m!!! But apparently we shouldn’t worry because all these figures are coming down, according to Tony Hall, Director General of the BBC. Mr Hall also uses the line that if we want the best people working at the BBC, they have to be paid  well because of competitors such as ITV. But we also understand that there’s a very valuable premium for the entertainers who work at the BBC – it sets them up for life. And therefore is it really necessary to pay these sorts of salaries? The BBC’s gender pay gap reporting is going to make very interesting reading when its released next year. Mr Hall does make some very good points in this article, so do have a read.

Take your dog to work: You know that The Hub Retail Recruitment is a great advocate of dogs at work – we have our very own office dog, Jack, and know only too well the difference he makes – his calm presence, taking proper breaks so he gets his exercise, and we get ours, and giving him lot’s of hugs which really reduces the stress levels. And more and more companies are finding out about these advantages. Take Nestle for instance. Yes, it has a vested interest as it produces Purina PetCare. In this article, the HR Director sets out very well the advantages the company has found over the 14 years it has allowed dogs at work and makes the point that increasingly we are looking to blend our work and home lives – and having your dog at work certainly does that.

Well that’s it for this week. We hope you manage to dodge the storms, and enjoy the sunshine when it does appear. See you here again next week, when it’ll be our Monthly Newsround.