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Today’s news in brief-19/6/24

UK inflation has hit its target for the first time in almost three years, with consumer price inflation easing to 2% in May, down from 2.3% in April. The Bank of England last reached this target in July 2021. The Office for National Statistics attributes the decline primarily to falling food prices, which rose by only 1.7% over the year, marking the lowest annual rate since October 2021. In contrast, motor fuels contributed to upward price pressures, with prices rising slightly this year. Furniture and household goods prices also saw a minimal increase of 0.2% between April and May 2024. Core inflation, excluding energy, food, alcohol, and tobacco, rose by 3.5%, down from 3.9% in April.

Games Workshop is set to announce a significant increase in its profit-before-tax, expected to reach “no less” than £200m for the 53 weeks ending 2 June 2024, up from £171m the previous year. Core revenues are projected to be at least £490m, up from £445m in FY23, with licensing income rising to £30m. In recognition of its employees’ contributions, the company has paid £18m in profit-share cash payments, up from £11m in the previous year. Dividends declared and paid amounted to £138m, reflecting a robust financial performance.

Uber Eats is introducing a new service where its couriers will pick and pack grocery orders in-store for customers, responding to a near doubling in grocery orders on its platform over the past two years. The ‘Courier Pick and Pack’ service will have drivers engage with customers for substitutions if items are out of stock and check out using a pre-authorised payment method before delivery. Uber Eats collaborates with UK retailers such as Co-op, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose. Additional features include aisle indexing to guide couriers and smart item verification to ensure correct selections.

A Co-op report suggests that by 2054, cricket salads, lab-grown steaks, and azolla burgers might replace traditional British meals due to changing consumer preferences towards health and sustainability. AI-generated images depict these futuristic meals, created with insights from FixOurFood and the University of York. The report predicts a significant shift towards valuing farmers and producers, increased urban indoor farming, and a rise in locally sourced produce like avocados and olives grown in Surrey.

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Amazon is investing £23m in skills training for UK employees, reflecting a trend where 61% of workers value on-the-job training or apprenticeships over traditional university degrees. The investment comes amid findings that a majority of UK employees prioritise learning new skills to enhance their career paths. Since 2014, Amazon has invested over £55m in training through its Career Choice programme, covering 95% of prepaid tuition for a range of courses. The programme has seen over 18,500 UK employees participate, offering training in fields such as tech, sustainability, and logistics.

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