Good morning, it's Friday, so just Paul here today, and a more leisurely pace.

This week's podcast is here  (just put the URL into your podcast service, and it will update automatically). Lots of topics covered, as usual!

Agenda

Paul's Section:

I have a ponder on the 0.5% increase in base rates announced yesterday. NB I'm not an economist, so this is just the musings of an investor, not an expert.

Renold (LON:RNO) (no section below) - I like this share (not currently holding personally, but it's on my possible buys list), and the big acquisition announced yesterday looks interesting. I've spoken to the CEO before, who explains the company well, so have invited him to an audio interview with me (no fee, it's completely independent, I'm just doing it for general interest). Here is my audio interview with CEO Robert Purcell, recorded this afternoon.

Begbies Traynor (LON:BEG) (no section below) - Red Flag Report - is here. Just in case you found last night's TV news too cheerful, here's another helping of doom, No surprises to hear that bars & restaurants, and retailer sectors are struggling - we've been expecting this to worsen, due to the ending of the rent moratorium (which made paying rent optional during the pandemic). So a cull of zombie companies is coming - leaving more business for the companies that survive of course ( Next (LON:NXT) mentioned earlier this week about good weather, and less competition, as being a surprise upside on the performance of its retail stores). Begbies also mentions construction as another problem sector, which I'm surprised at, as the listed construction companies have been putting out fairly upbeat trading updates recently. Do readers have any thoughts on that? This is an unusual comment on inflation from BEG - "Businesses continue to be impacted by rising inflation in the 'real economy' which is far exceeding the official rate of more than 9%.". There's a big rise in CCJs. No surprises here, but it's worth a reminder -

"We are now in a very high inflationary environment that's piling pressure on businesses that were already weakened by the shock of the pandemic.  

"Sectors most exposed to discretionary consumer spending - bars and restaurants and general retailers - are feeling the pain most. Hit by staff shortages due to the latest…

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