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Live update: Bain Capital plans to list Virgin Australia Airlines

Are you ready for Blue Monday, the day earlier this year that Cliff Arnall, a former Cardiff University psychologist, calculated in 2005 to be the most depressing 24-hour period on the calendar?

Arnall’s damning conclusion about the third Monday of the first month (which he has since tried to refute) was based on an analysis of data from consumer surveys, divorce filings, weather forecasts, and more. The main conclusion many of us draw from this analysis is that not all academic research is useful to society.

If you’re a world leader or senior executive, at least the World Economic Forum in Davos will take your mind off the January gloom. The FT Live team will also be in the Swiss resort town to host several in-person and digital events where policy, business and finance leaders will share insights on the big issues being debated.View events and more Click here for free registration.

For the rest of us, heading into 2023, we have to face some tough economic news and hope things turn around.

If you are in the UK, the prevailing reality is mass strike action. Another strike vote among ambulance workers is scheduled for this week, with universities and college unions set to announce 18 new waves of strikes after members rejected their latest salary offer last week. This week’s day covering 150 UK universities in February and March after voting for.

The Northern Ireland Protocol rears its head again at Thursday’s deadline for restoring power-sharing in Stormont. Don’t expect this to make you feel better about life or cross-border politics.

Abortion rights activists march from Washington Square Park to New York’s Bryant Park in June last year © Alex Kent/AFP/Getty Images

Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the Roe vs Wade decision by the United States Supreme Court, which guaranteed Americans’ constitutional right to abortion. This, of course, has been a very lively debate, even reaching the board, following last year’s Supreme Court ruling overturning the 1973 ruling. Anti-abortion activists march in Washington on Friday, sparking further commentary about underlying US political fault lines.

The week ends with another artificial day based on astronomy, the celebration of the Lunar New Year. This year, large-scale movements of people visiting family and friends to celebrate will take place in the shadow of rising COVID-19 levels in China. Concerns about the impact on the spread of the disease are high.

A little more fun ahead is an evening with FT columnist Martin Wolf. Join Martin and the rest of his leaders online at a registered-only event, taking place online on January 31st, to help guide the key players needed during this time of great global uncertainty. Discuss any significant changes. This discussion coincides with the publication of Martin’s new book. Crisis of democratic capitalism. Click here for free registration.

economic data

Tesco cashierless store in High Holborn, London

Tesco CEO Ken Murphy has warned UK inflation could rise further © Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

This week will be busy with data from China, the UK and the US. The European Central Bank released the minutes of its December meeting on Thursday, with various central bankers scheduled to discuss regional and global economies in Davos.

UK inflation updates on Wednesday. The outlook is bleak, especially following recent comments from Hugh Pill, chief economist at the Bank of England. Ken Murphy, CEO of Tesco, the UK’s largest food retailer, has even warned that UK inflation could rise further. Estimated cost of living fell from 11.1% in October to 10.7% in November.


We’re in the middle of the first earnings season of 2023, with a hodgepodge of companies, especially from Europe and (when Wall Street returns from the Martin Luther King Day Break) the US.

Online food ordering services Just Eat Takeaway and Deliveroo will update investors on their holiday sales on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. Both are under pressure to improve profitability. The end of lockdown hasn’t been good for food ordering apps as customers have chosen to return to restaurants.

The question is, will the recession help these businesses, as more people are opting for take-out instead of eating out, or will they suffer more from customers reluctantly returning to their kitchens? Efforts to boost grocery sales through partnerships with supermarkets and handy apps such as his Getir could give Deliveroo and JET a slice of the home-cooking market as well.

Last year was a memorable year for Ocado Retail. The online supermarket, co-owned by Ocado and Marks and Spencer, which will report figures on Tuesday, parted ways with chief executive Melanie Smith and warned several times about profits. Its sales are expected to decline for the first time in its history.

A woman walks through unclaimed bags at Southwest Airlines baggage claim in Salt Lake City

All eyes are on a technical glitch at budget airline Southwest Airlines © Rick Bowmer/AP

In a September update, Ocado said it expects a significant increase in customer numbers and an increase in sales of about 5% in the fourth quarter. It’s similar to the growth Tesco and J Sainsbury posted last week after a two-year Christmas splash to keep UK shoppers from getting confused by Covid-19.

US airlines report fourth quarter and full year earnings. Public attention is focused on a technical glitch at LCC Southwest Airlines and the country’s top aviation regulator that sparked a high-profile meltdown. But for most airlines, the news is likely still rosy, with demand for commercial air travel boosting profits (despite growing interest in private jets post-Covid). because

United Airlines will report on Wednesday. Chief Executive Scott Kirby has some harsh words for the Federal Aviation Administration, which grounded planes for two hours Wednesday after a corrupted database file crippled a major safety system. He said the agency needs more air traffic controllers over the summer.

https://www.ft.com/content/ace203f0-cc4c-4b16-b798-9d7297a0e8d6 Live update: Bain Capital plans to list Virgin Australia Airlines

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