Sainsbury’s has begun offering lower prices on more than 300 items to members of its Nectar loyalty card scheme in a move that will rival Tesco’s Clubcard scheme (The Guardian). Sainsbury’s is making changes to its loyalty card scheme to rival Tesco’s money-saving deals by offering discounts on hundreds of products to Nectar members when they swipe their card or link it to their Sainsbury’s account online (Sky News).

Black Sheep is considering a sale of the business after appointing financial advisers to help it navigate choppy economic waters. The North Yorkshire independent brewer has launched a strategic review after flagging the ‘after-effects of Covid-19’ on pubs and the impact of the cost of living crisis on consumers’ spending. (The Daily Mail)

The UK is set to be one of the worst performing major economies in the world this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (The BBC). The IMF has downgraded its outlook for the world economy after turmoil in the banking sector dampened optimism for growth (The Times £). A fresh wave of financial crises could undermine an already weak global economy, the International Monetary Fund has warned (The Daily Mail).

IMF’s gloomy words speak more than a thousand forecasts, writes Sky News’ Ed Conway. The IMF’s long-term projections for the world are the weakest they’ve ever been. And the stark language it uses in its latest set of assessments point to an unsettling outlook for the global economy. (Sky News)

More than 150 pubs closed for good in England and Wales during the first three months of this year as soaring energy bills and other costs pushed many operators over the edge. (The Guardian)

Commenting on Sterling being 2023’s ‘best performing currency’, David Smith in The Times writes: “Every time a sterling revival has threatened to gain momentum in recent years, it has been knocked back by politics or economics. Britain’s medium and long-term growth prospects remain poor, there is a large and chronic trade deficit and, while the current account of the balance of payments narrowed in the final quarter of last year, the deficit for 2022 as a whole was large.” (The Times £)

Signs that shoppers are continuing to loosen their purse strings was the cue for investors to throw some more retail stocks into their baskets. Analysts have suggested that fewer people expect food prices to get much higher, nor do they plan to tighten their spending in many activities. (The Times £)