News & Insight Weekly Newsletters

31 May 2024 | William Buckhurst | Charlie Todd

That Was the Week That Was


  • The US PCE index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, showed a small step in the right direction as it rose at its slowest pace (+0.2% month-on-month) since December
  • Revised US GDP figures for Q1 came in slightly lower than expected at 1.3% year-on-year
  • Consumer prices rose at a faster rate in Germany (2.8%) and France (2.7%) this month, adding to signs that Europe's battle against inflation isn't yet won. An ECB rate cut on 6th June is still priced in but stickier inflation data may make further rate cuts less likely


  • Sanofi, the FT reported, is going to push ahead with the spin-off of its c.€20bn consumer health division which accounts for around 10% of Sanofi’s group sales
  • Sony’s music division is rumoured to be buying the back catalogue of Queen for around $1bn. Queen’s music is thought to generate around $45m a year in royalty revenues
  • Costco beat earnings and revenue estimates for its third quarter as more shoppers flocked to its stores.  The company ended the quarter with 74.5m paid members, up 7.8% from a year ago. The renewal rate for members was 90.5%. Membership fee revenue grew 7.6% to $1.12bn
  • Salesforce shares slumped after its lowest-ever quarterly revenue growth forecast raised fears that high interest rates and rival AI offerings were hampering demand at the cloud-based software firm


At the time of writing, India's general elections are well underway and inching towards the final phase of voting. There are a staggering c.969m registered voters, including 18m first time voters, casting their votes for 7,456 candidates across 2,660 political parties in 543 constituencies. Two key blocks - the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government, and, in the opposition, a coalition of regional parties and the Indian National Congress called the INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) - are contesting to form the next government with results being announced on 4th June


Greggs, the British bakery chain that has developed a loyal, if not somewhat irreverent, customer base over the years – and has helped to displace Pret a Manger as the go-to lunch on the go spot – announced this week that it is to release a yard-long sausage roll for “National Sausage Roll Day” on 5th June. Rather disappointingly, it will only be available in 10 stores – although, pleasingly for your correspondent, further research shows that one of the stores will be on the Strand, a few minutes down the road from Vermeer Partners' offices


1720: One of the greatest speculative bubbles in history nears its peak, as the South Sea Company shares jump from £595 to £720

1985: RJ Reynolds Tobacco reaches an agreement to buy Nabisco for $4.9bn


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 As at 31st May 2024. Source: InFront


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