Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, has hit out atTransport for London’s decision not to renew his company’s license.
He insists Uber has made ‘fundamental’ changes, and will fight the ruling.
But what about today’s revelation that at least 14, 000 Uber journeys took place with the ‘wrong driver’ at the wheel?
London Mayor Sadiq Khan says this is unacceptable; Uber hasn’t yet proved it has ‘robust’ procedures in place to prevent a repeat.
(the company, though, will point to its facial recognition work that could thwart rogue drivers who upload their own photos).
The improved CBI retail sales reportcould be a sign that shoppers will hit the high street with gusto this Christmas.
So argues Howard Archer of the EY Item Club:
The CBI survey offers the retailers genuine hope that consumers are prepared to loosen their purse strings for the critical Christmas period; and suggests that some of the recent lackluster sales performance has been due to consumers taking a breather before splashing out over the festive season. The survey indicates that retailers are relatively upbeat about the Christmas sales outlook for sales with a balance of 21% expecting sales volumes to be up year-on-year in December. This was the first positive expectations balance since June
It also may well be that some consumers have recently held back on their retail sales, waiting for Black Friday price cuts and promotions in the latter part of November. However, the evidence of recent years suggests that Black Friday tends to have more of an impact in distorting the timing of retail sales rather than boosting them overall.
Here’s Anna Leach, CBI Deputy Chief Economist, on today’s retail survey:
“Retailers are entering the festive season with a bit of hope that sales will head up, with the strongest expectations in half a year. Actual sales have also stabilized and have nudged above average for the time of year. And employment has stopped falling after three years of decline.
But Brexit uncertainty continues to weigh on investment plans for the year ahead which remain weak.
UK retail sales slump ends
Just in: The downturn in UK retail may be bottoming out, just in time for Christmas.
The CBI’s monthly survey of British retailers has found that sales were “broadly unchanged” in November, ending a six-month run of falling demand.
Retailers are more optimistic about future prospects too. Many growth to return in the year to December, with their strongest expectations in seven months.
However, suppliers reported another drop in demand, suggesting that shop owners are still cautious.
Here are the main findings:
- 38% of respondents reported that sales volumes were up on a year ago in November, while 41% said they were down, giving a balance of -3% – the highest balance in 7 months
- Retailers expect sales volumes to increase in the year to December ( (%), with 44% expecting a rise and 23% expecting a fall
- Sales were seen as above average for the time of year to the greatest extent since April: 38% reported sales for the time of year as good and 30% reported them as bad, giving a rounded balance of 8%. This is expected to improve further in December ( 15%)
- Orders placed upon suppliers fell for the seventh consecutive month in annual terms:32% reported an increase while 42% reported a fall, giving a rounded balance of -9%. Retailers expect a recovery in orders growth next month ( 12%)
Uber has hit back, saying it is “extraordinary and wrong” of TFL not to renew its London license.
The company says it has audited all its London drivers in the last two months, and is setting up a new “facial matching” process to protect passengers.
It also confirms it will appeal, meaning it can keep operating.
Fans of Uber shouldn’t delete the app quite yet, though.
If Uber appealsthis morning’s ruling(which surely it will), it can keep operating in the UK capital through the extra-busy Christmas period.
Here’s the full story on Uber getting the red card in London.
Alarmingly, TFL says that at least 14, 000 Uber journeys were carried out by unauthorized drivers, who managed to upload their photos into other drivers’ accounts.
That allowed them to appear to be legitimate Uber operatives (who would have been through its vetting procedure). But they could actually have been uninsured, and a potential safety risk.
Uber loses bid for London license
NEWSFLASH: Ride-hailing service Uber has been refused a new license to operate in London.
Transport for London has concluded that Uber is not a fit and proper company to hold a license to operate private hire vehicles in the capital.
TFL says it cannot renew Uber’s license, due to a “pattern of failures” which put passenger safety at risk.
This includes allowing unauthorized drivers to operate as Uber operatives, carrying out thousands of journeys.
Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision, TFL says, and can keep running while the appeal process is running ….
Economist Daniel Lacalle points out that Germany’s economy still looks weak, even if business conditions are improving:
ING: German slump is bottoming out
Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING Germany, says the economy appears to be bottoming out – but not recovering strongly.
Here’s his take onthis morning’s rise in business confidence:
Germany’s most prominent leading indicator, the Ifo index, just added more evidence to a tentative bottoming out of the German economy. The Ifo index increased to 95. 0 in November, from 94 .7 in October. This is the third month in a row with an increasing Ifo index, after (drops in) months. In November, both the current assessment and expectations component increased. However, before anyone gets overly cheerful, the headline number is still not even back at its July level.
It is part of Germany’s new economic modesty to appreciate a tiny increase in the Ifo index. Better than another disappointment. However, while today’s Ifo index suggests that the economy, and above all, the manufacturing sector, could be in a phase of bottoming out, a sharp rebound is not yet near.
Thee pick-up in German business optimism, after a largely torrid year, is welcome, say trading platform BP Prime:
(November) , 2019
This tweet shows how German business optimism had been falling steadily since early 2018:
The key points from IFO’s healthcheck on Germany: