Monday newspaper round-up: Recession, Saga, National Grid

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Monday 23 Jan 2023

Monday newspaper round-up: Recession, Saga, National Grid

(Sharecast News) - The UK's impending recession could be twice as bad as previously thought, according to leading economic forecasters at the business consultancy EY. Reduced government support, higher taxes and an overall worsening outlook have all led the firm's analysts to conclude that the next three years could be worse than they anticipated three months ago. In October, EY's Item Club had predicted a 0.3% contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) this year, followed by 2.4% growth next year and a 2.3% rise in 2025. But in an updated forecast released on Monday, it said GDP would drop 0.7% this year, followed by growth of 1.9% and 2.2% over the next two years. - Guardian
Saga is expected to confirm the sale of its underwriting business today as it seeks to raise between £80 million and £90 million to bring down its debt. The cruise and insurance company is exploring a sale of Acromas Insurance Company Limited, its in-house underwriter, to reduce its £721 million debt. Euan Sutherland, 53, Saga's chief executive, is trying to offload the business as he pushes ahead with turnaround efforts that were launched in 2019. - The Times

Households will be paid to cut their electricity use for the first time on Monday between 5pm and 6pm, under plans being drawn up by the National Grid. As temperatures plummet to -2C today ramping up pressure on Britain's supplies, the power network operator is planning to call on consumers to use less electricity to help it manage the system. Around a million people have signed up to the scheme which will see them paid as much as £10 a day to cut the amount of electricity they use at certain times as part of efforts to tackle the energy crisis. - Daily Telegraph

Royal Mail boss Simon Thompson faces being hauled back in front of MPs on allegations of misleading Parliament. The business select committee is due to meet tomorrow to set its agenda, which could include calling the chief executive back for further questioning following a bruising appearance last week that saw him quizzed about strikes, his £140,000 bonus and plans to stop delivering letters on Saturdays. - Daily Mail

The number of people available for work in the City of London hit a five-year high in 2022. There was a 36 per cent rise in jobseekers for the City's financial services sector year-on-year - the highest level since 2017. Vacancies were 16 per cent up on 2021, according to recruitment consultants Morgan McKinley. - Daily Mail

A mass market in affordable electric cars will not happen soon because of the difficulty of producing them on a commercially viable basis, one of the largest makers of zero-emission vehicles for British drivers has warned. Paul Philpott, UK chief executive of Kia, the fast-growing South Korean car company, said it had no immediate plans for a mass-market electric product. Some fear there is a prospect of a society of haves and have-nots in the electric car revolution because of the sheer cost of buying or financing a zero-emission vehicle. - The Times


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