Return to Insights

Humza Yousaf Resigns

Travel Tuesday, resignation of Scotland's First Minister, Real Wage stagnation reports from the TUC, and world's largest airport set to be built in Dubai.

Travel Tuesday: Panama

Connecting the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Panama’s world famous canal opened in 1914.

GDP $83.4 billion

Population 4.4 million

Biggest Industry Service Sector (75% of GDP)

Border Countries Costa Rica, Colombia

Canal Length 82 km

Next Election 5 May

Humza Yousaf Resigns

Yesterday, Humza Yousaf resigned as Scotland’s First Minister kickstarting an SNP leadership race to find his successor. His resignation means that he will no longer face the vote of no confidence which was tabled last week but will continue to serve as the First Minister until his successor is found.

Yousaf’s resignation follows a tumultuous few weeks in Holyrood which included his abandonment of the Bute House agreement. Since 2021 this agreement formally tied the Greens and SNP in a cooperation pact. Given that the Scottish parliament has 129 seats (of which the SNP hold 63), the Green’s 7 seats were crucial in taking Yousaf’s party above the 65 seats needed to command a majority.

Some of the suspected frontrunners for the leadership race include John Swinney who served as deputy first minister between 2014 and 2023 under Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon and leader of the SNPs from 2000 to 2004. Some are also expecting Kate Forbes to announce her intention to run. Forbes has been an MSP since 2016 and served as the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy from 2020 to 2023. Forbes lost out to Yousaf last year when she took 48% of the vote to his 52%.

TUC on Real Wage Stagnation

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) issued a report yesterday which indicated that historically low levels of real wage growth had left the average worker “£10,400 a year worse off” when compared against pre-GFC levels of wage growth.

With average wage growth coming in at 1.7% between 1997 and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis against -0.2% after it, had the initial trend continued the average worker would be £200 better off each week.

According to the TUC, average wage growth in 212 out of 340 local authorities falls below that seen prior to the crash. This comes as real wages have fallen across 94% of London’s local authorities since 2008.

According to the Union “Not since Napoleonic times has there been such a sustained period of wage stagnation.”

The TUC notes that “the UK shows a very small improvement in real wages from pre-financial crisis peak in 2007 to 2022 (the most recent year for which data for international comparisons is available).”

Dubai Announces Plans for World’s Largest Airport

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has announced Dubai’s intention to build the world’s largest airport over the coming years. At a cost of $35bn, the Al Maktoum International Airport will take years to build and eventually cover 56km2 (around 100 times larger than the Vatican City).

Once complete, the airport will handle up to 260 million passengers a year through 400 gates and five runways.

Sheikh Mohammed also announced ambitious plans to “build an entire city around the airport in Dubai South” which will “host the world’s leading companies in the logistics and air transport sectors”.

Dubai continues to attract a growing number of tourists with passenger numbers up some 20% last year from 2022.

Sticking with airports, over the weekend Heathrow Terminal 2 (The Queen’s Terminal) welcomed its one millionth flight. This comes 10 years after the terminal opened on the old T2 site and it has since seen 144 million passengers pass through it. As Dubai looks to handle 260 million passengers through Al Maktoum International Airport, Heathrow is expecting to handle 82.4 million passengers this year (around 5 million lower than the number that passed through Dubai International Airport last year).

Ready to talk FX?

Get in touch with one of our friendly and knowledgeable experts to see how FX strategy can drive commercial impact in your business.

Contact us


Find out how we have helped our clients meet their hedging requirements.

UK Retail Sales Slump Despite Rise in Consumer Confidence

Friday feeling, second consecutive contraction for UK retail sales which come in lower-than-expected, potential for energy bills to reach lowest levels in two years, and a look at the seats that will sway the election.

Snap Election Special

Thought for Thursday, 4 July will see snap election in the UK, price action of sterling gives muted response to election announcement, Sunak keeps to assumption of election in second half of 2024, and more MP's than at any time since 1997 not seeking re-election.

UK Inflation Surpasses Expectations

Word of the week Wednesday, expectations surpassed by UK inflation, Rishi announces today's inflation rate release as a "major moment for the economy", and benchmark rate unchanged by Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Protests in Georgia in Focus

Travel Tuesday, political turmoil in Georgia sees continued protests, application for an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister and his Defence Minister announced by ICC Chief Prosecutor, and softer-than-expected German PPI.

Morning Update

Macro Monday, reports on helicopter crash that killed Iranian president, house prices continue to rise in the UK, new president sworn in for Taiwan, and what's happening this week.

Morning Update

Friday feeling, record highs for copper prices, Dow Jones surpasses 40,000 points for the first time in history, French unemployment holds at 7.5%, and today's focus on Eurozone inflation.

Morning Update

Though for Thursday, Xi visits Moscow to meet with Putin, Washington's tariffs have implications on China, latest inflation data from the US, and yesterday's attempted assassination on Robert Fico.

Inflation, Equities, and Billionaires

Word of the week Wednesday, US producer price index rises unexpectedly, yesterday's equity markets surpass previous peak, and proposed global minimum tax for the world's wealthiest billionaires.

Find out more about our foreign exchange solutions
Contact us