Snow has been the big story this week in the UK. As a significant portion of the workforce got marooned at home on Monday, with nothing to do but hurl snowballs at the neighbours, those cheerful souls at the FSB estimated that the deluge of white stuff cost the economy several billion pounds. However, BT begged to differ, pointing out that broadband and home-working will have offset some of this (except for those you who got a snowball in your laptop).
With the country cloaked in white, it was pretty hard to make out any of those pesky green shoots of recovery. There was more grim news from the corporate world: the collapse of Baugur left the future of some big high street names under a cloud; Ryanair slumped to a quarterly loss due to soaring costs, as did BA; and BP came under fire after a lacklustre set of results. We also learned that UK fraud cases are on the rise – a fairly inevitable consequence of the recession (or should that be depression, Prime Minister?)
But not everyone’s feeling the pinch. English football clubs continue to spend money like there’s no tomorrow, with outgoings in the transfer window hitting a record high. The collapse of sterling is also proving advantageous to some: holiday camp operator Pontin’s is set to go an hiring spree after benefiting from a move towards home-grown entertainment (bring on the Bluecoats), while Vodafone saw profits boosted by currency movements despite fairly flat sales. Elsewhere, Google continued its quest to control our social lives with latest money-spinner Latitude. And Dairy Crest reaped the rewards of the remarkable choice of Johnny Rotten to front its latest butter ads…
Speaking of PR, this was the week in which we showed you what Matthew Freud would look like with nothing but a copy of the Sun covering his modesty. And M&S proved once and for all that its teacakes were indeed cakes. Which is handy, because teabiscuits would be a rubbish name.