Business Diary: Why the bosses love recession

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The Independent Online

Good to have Michael Moore's take on the US recession – and to hear that he is as cynical as ever about big business. Writing for the Daily Beast website, he sees it this way: "We have to face the fact that most of America's CEOs don't want the economy to get "better". Because for them, it couldn't get better – they've got profit coming out their ears, while with 9.5 per cent unemployment their entire workforce is too scared to ask for a 25 cent-an-hour raise. They'd be happy to have things stay just like they are now. Forever."

An app for the grocery nerd

Goodness, surely even supermarket analysts can do without touch-of-a-button access to figures on British grocers' share of the market? Nope, reckons Kantar Worldpanel, the experts on the sector, so it has launched Grocer Share, an iPhone app that will give you up-to-date information on UK supermarkets' sales, as well as three years' worth of historical data. And the really good news about the app? It's free.

Normal service at John Lewis

Signs of relief at John Lewis, which was the one bright light in the dark days of the recession on the high street and has continued to shine in the upswing. Followers of the department store had become worried in recent weeks by the fact that its sales updates, released with a fanfare every Friday, had only featured single-digit rises of late. Surely the steamroller wasn't running out of steam? Fortunately, last week's release restores the faith – sales up by 15 per cent. That's more like it.

Summer surveys make no sense

A curious missive arrives from the flight comparison website Skyscanner, which has been conducting some rather dubious research. It claims 29 per cent of mothers are worried about "exposing their children to topless beach culture", and lists various explanations for why this might be. The company rather misses the point that its survey means 79 per cent of mums don't give two hoots about what their kids see on the beach. Very sensible too.