(Bloomberg) -- Hi, I’m Leo from Bloomberg's UK Breaking News team, catching you up on this morning’s business stories.
Could the labour market finally be slowing down? A survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG certainly implies that.
Hiring at British firms last month dropped at the second-fastest pace since June 2020, the height of the pandemic, while postings for permanent roles dropped for a third straight month and starting salaries only saw a meagre rise.
The findings contrast with unusually high confidence among workers that they’ll keep their jobs in the near-term, which we talked about earlier this week, but they may go some way to easing inflation concerns at the Bank of England, which is due to decide on its key benchmark rate next week.
What’s your take? Ping me on X, LinkedIn or drop me an email at email@example.com.
Key Business News
Berkeley Group extended its profit guidance to three years, noting tentative signs of recovery in the UK housing market. There are some warning signs flashing in the report though, with the value of new home reservations dropping by a third in the six months through October. The homebuilder, which caters to London and the southeast, is also not investing in new development at the moment. My colleague David Goodman gives you his take further down.
Shareholders weren’t impressed with Anglo American’s belt tightening. Its plans to lower production across nearly all commodities next year to cut costs sent the stock tumbling as much as 5.8% at the open. The miner has been hit by declining commodity prices and operations have been hampered by issues from extreme weather to a breakdown in South African infrastructure.
Meanwhile, all of the UK’s mobile phone network operators face a class action lawsuit over allegations that they overcharged millions of mobile customers in a case that could cost them billions.
Markets Today’s Take
Berkeley's earnings contain a plea for chief executive Rob Perrins for planning clarity, and the firm said it wasn’t currently investing in new developments due to the current regulatory environment.
The homebuilder focuses on development of brownfield land — sites which have previously built on, usually for industrial reasons. But Perrins complained that “despite urban regeneration being a clear national priority, it has become increasingly difficult to progress this form of development as changes to planning, tax and regulatory regimes have created an increasingly uncertain, unpredictable and burdensome environment. This is driving investment away from urban areas, restricting growth and preventing homes and other tangible benefits being delivered.”
As yesterday's Halifax data showed, housing supply is a big issue for the UK — albeit one that is keep a floor under prices losses this year — and both main parties have pledged to focus on brownfield sites to help alleviate the shortage.
The trouble is, while almost everyone supports the idea of building more as a a concept, local politicians and communities often object to particular projects in their area, making it very hard to deliver. As an example, Taylor Wimpey, one the UK’s biggest homebuilders, said this summer it has roughly 26,000 land plots representing 133 sites stuck in the planning system.
— David Goodman
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Barclays tapped JPMorgan’s Alishba Ali to be its UK head of Consumer and TMT in the international corporate banking unit. MUFG hired HSBC veteran Dariush Mirfendereski as head of inflation trading in EMEA. And Aviva Investors’ Tom Howard is to join Chesnara as CFO.
Thursday’s decision by BOE is the key event to watch next week. Policymakers are expected to keep the key interest rate at 5.25% for a third straight meeting. The labour market findings mentioned earlier certainly support that view. At the end of next year, Bloomberg economists expect the benchmark to be at 4.75%.
--With assistance from Alexandria Arnold.
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