Wetherspoon interior

JD Wetherspoon warned it was likely to fall to a “higher than expected” full-year loss of about £30m, driven largely by increasing labour costs (The Financial Times £).

The pub company, which in May had predicted a return to break-even, said that for many operators, the pandemic recovery had been “slower and more laborious than anticipated” as the predicted boom fell short (The Times £).

Wetherspoons said its labour costs were now “far higher” than they used to be, as pubs and restaurants compete with airlines and supermarkets for workers (The Telegraph).

Underlying sales rose only 0.4% in the 11 weeks to 10 July as sales of draught ales, ciders and lagers – traditionally the pub chain’s biggest-selling lines – dropped 8%, offsetting a boom in sales of cocktails and hotel stays (The Guardian).

Pubs and restaurants, which had to battle Covid-19-led restrictions for the last two years, are now struggling against rising labour and fuel costs, and a fall in customer spending as inflation stands at a 40-year high (The Mail).

A major deal to supply chicken to Tesco from nearly a decade ago may be linked to the ecological demise of one of the UK’s favourite rivers, according to a Guardian investigation.

An opinion column in The Financial Times (£) takes a closer look at fuel prices at supermarkets in the wake of the recent CMA review. “Supermarkets using fuel profits to subsidise cheaper groceries looks like the best of a difficult choice.”

US consumer prices rose more than forecast in June, hitting an annual pace of 9.1%, a fresh 40-year high that cements expectations of another historically large 0.75 percentage point Federal Reserve interest rate rise this month (The Financial Times £).

Rising prices on US petrol station forecourts and supermarket shelves helped to push inflation up by 1.3% on the month in June, up from 1% in May (The Times £).