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The Europeans can see the writing on the wall. Net migration to the U.K. fell to a three-year low last year, driven in large part by an increase in the number of European workers leaving. More people overall are still coming than going: Arrivals outnumbered departures by 246,000 in the 12 months through March 2017. But that was down from 327,000 a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics in London said Thursday. The outflow was most pronounced among citizens of the eight eastern European nations that joined the bloc in 2004, including Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. — Andrew Atkinson
Amsterdam’s appeal. Frankfurt has banks, Paris has culture, but for finance firms looking for a new home post-Brexit, Amsterdam might have the best attraction of all: a friendly regulator. The Dutch regulator allows firms to trade with big pension funds and insurance companies without treating them as clients, a distinction that reduces their legal and regulatory burden.
Slow phones. Shares in Dixons Carphone fell as much as 36 percent after Britain’s largest electronics retailer forecast an unexpected drop in earnings this year due to slow sales of mobile phones. The company was formed three years ago in a merger. Dixons was criticized for a lack of transparency in its accounting. Now it has its work cut out to regain the faith of analysts and investors.
Breathing new life. The Czech glassware industry has contracted by about 25 percent since the mid-1990s to around $230 million in annual sales. But glassmaker Verreum has succeeded despite the downturn with modern styles and partnerships with high-profile designers—a far cry from the traditional carved crystal and hand-painted items that fill tourist shops in Prague.
Metal detectors. It’s turning out to be a great year for minor metals. Rechargeable-battery ingredient cobalt has gained 83 percent, while ruthenium, used in the chemical industry and electronics, is up 63 percent. The latest star is vanadium, an obscure silvery-grey metal used in steel and batteries, which has surged 67 percent since mid-July.
Drone disruption. An Israeli company has become one of the first to offer on-demand drone delivery. Flytrex’s drones will fly more than 2.5 kilometers across a bay into Reykjavik, Iceland, delivering for online marketplace Aha. Amazon and Google parent Alphabet are also working on drone delivery, and Airbus is starting a company to provide unmanned aerial services, estimating the field could grow to more than $120 billion annually.
Too much. Tourism in Croatia has been soaring, and many point to its appearances in Star Wars and Game of Thrones. Now, the number of visitors who want a glimpse of the real-life streets of King’s Landing is starting to provoke a backlash. The government is trying to balance the economy’s needs with those of residents: It wants fewer tourists who spend more money during their visits.
Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha