Jan 10, 2023
The Weekly Scan January 10, 2023
Find out what’s happening in the world of business this week.
Welcome to the Weekly Scan. Here’s what we’re following for the week of January 10, 2023.
Turbulence settles. Last week, Southwest Airlines said it expects a loss of all fourth-quarter profits as a result of the holiday winter storm which severely disrupted its services. The airline reportedly canceled 16,700 flights between December 21 and December 23 as a result of severe weather. Southwest’s pretax income will fall by $725 million for the quarter, including between $400 million and $425 million in revenue. While other airlines were able to recover fairly quickly from the storm, Southwest’s outdated technology made it difficult for them to recalibrate.
Make it work. In the latest jobs report, unemployment fell to a pre-pandemic low of 3.5% in December, from 3.6% in November. Meanwhile, average hourly earnings increased 0.3% and 4.6% year-over-year. Household employment also increased by a large margin: 717,000 jobs. Many experts saw the report as an indication that the U.S. economy could experience a “soft landing.” Markets rallied in response to the report.
Hopped up. Beer prices have been relatively unscathed by the current period of high inflation. However, in the 12 weeks before Christmas, beer prices increased by 7% from the year before. Bud Light and Coors Light prices increased by 10%. Demand for beer in the U.S. has reportedly fallen in response. Beer sales have already been on the decline, with people preferring to purchase wine or spirits. Sales of both imported beers and superpremium domestic beers dropped in the fourth quarter of 2022.
An extra pickle. Pickleball is becoming increasingly popular, with more than 36.5 million people playing the game between August 2021 and August 2022. Fourteen percent of Americans played pickleball at least once over the course of a year, according to the APP Pickleball Participation Report. In 2021, only 5 million people were playing pickleball. Real estate developers and recreation companies across the country are adapting to the increased interest in pickleball by adding playing courts. There are also restaurant-entertainment pickleball companies popping up like Chicken N Pickle and Camp Pickle.