Business rates cut for UK shops, restaurants and gyms

November 1, 2021

In our weekly Market Monday insights, Prosperity Investment Management examines the latest developments across the globe's biggest financial markets - providing you with all the latest information you need to know.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a temporary 50% cut to business rates for shops, restaurants and gyms badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of his Autumn Budget, Mr Sunak also scrapped the planned annual increase in rates in 2022 for a second year in a row. He also said that in the 2022-23 tax year, pubs, music venues, cinemas, restaurants, hotels, theatres and gyms would be able to claim a discount on their bills of 50% up to a maximum of £110,000 - a tax cut worth almost £1.7bn.

In Europe, the European Union’s statistical arm issued a preliminary estimate indicating that the Eurozone economy grew 2.2% sequentially in the third quarter - an uptick from the 2.1% expansion recorded in the second quarter and above the 2.0% consensus estimate. Among the major economies in the area, France and Italy posted stronger-than-expected growth in gross domestic product.

In the United States, the Commerce Department revealed its advance estimate that the economy expanded at an annualised rate of 2.0% in the third quarter - a sharp slowdown from the previous quarter’s 6.7% pace and below consensus estimates of roughly 2.7%. A decline in vehicle sales and a slowdown in spending on food services and accommodations, seemingly due to the delta variant of COVID-19, were largely to blame. Pending home sales also fell unexpectedly.

Japan’s factory output shrank for the third straight month in September, falling 5.4% versus expectations of a 3.2% drop, with the auto sector hit by a persistent supply shortage and weakness in general purpose machinery. The data raised some concerns that the country’s GDP may have turned negative in the third quarter; however, many observers believe a recovery in service sector sentiment following the easing of coronavirus restrictions is likely to support the economy in the coming months.

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