You can’t escape the World Cup, can you? And nor will you in this issue of The Weekly! Given that Germany were knocked out on Wednesday, it would almost be a criminal offence not to! After all, history was made. Firstly, Germany, currently top of the FIFA rankings and reigning World Champions, were knocked out in the group stage for the first time since 1938. Secondly, it’s the first time that England has gone further than their long-term rivals since you know when... 1966. And thirdly, it’s the third successive World Cup in which the reigning champions have crashed out before the knockout stages (following Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014). Germany’s early World Cup exit tops off a tough period for a country of almost 83 million people. Chancellor Angela Merkel is fighting a rising mutiny in her own Government; the once-proud German auto industry is hopping from one scandal to the next and Deutsche Bank is facing more questions than Joachim Low, their football team’s beleaguered manager. That said, Germany’s economy is still growing, its real estate market is in fine fettle and there remains record-low levels of unemployment. However, surely it would be rude not to join the social media bandwagon and enjoy what the German media have dubbed as the "biggest disgrace in World Cup history"? 

The Weekly loves a world city index and this week we were treated to CBRE’s latest report - Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs. Okay, the title’s not particularly catchy but the content of the publication certainly made for an interesting read. Hong Kong Central remains the most expensive office location in the world, with prime office occupancy costs increasing to $307 per sq. ft. in Q1 2018. This is well ahead of the West End (London) at $235 per sq. ft. and Finance Street in Beijing at $201 per sq. ft. Somewhat surprisingly, The City of London returned to the list of top ten most expensive cities, replacing Shanghai (Pudong). For anyone curious about which cities are growing or declining the fastest, Durban had the highest increase in year-over-year occupancy costs overall, followed by Bangkok, Marseille, Vancouver (Downtown) and Oslo. On the flip side, Dubai saw its occupancy costs decline by 15.4% over the twelve months.

It’s a Sunday and the weather is glorious. That means that the MAMILS (middle-aged men in lycra) will be out in force again. They are everywhere, aren't they? Kitted out in form-hugging Lycra, cycling in groups down leafy lanes, racing past buses on crowded roads, and chatting outside coffee shops or restaurants. You cant miss them. Whilst the MAMIL might not always be the prettiest of sights, cycling is certainly having a significant and positive impact on our society. Not only does it help reduce traffic congestion and pollution, make us healthier (people who cycle to work have fewer days off sick), but the UK cycle industry is now worth three times more than the UK steel industry and employs twice as many people. Cycling-related businesses generate at least £5.4bn for the UK economy each year, and they sustain 64,000 jobs – some in bike shops, but most in cycle tourism of one sort or the other. Estimates suggest that a bicycle is sold roughly every 10 seconds and for every pound spent on a bicycle, the wider economy benefits by £4. The Government is desperate to develop an “industrial strategy” that demonstrates the UK’s potential, both domestically and globally. Perhaps cycling and the MAMIL could be our saviour?