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Economic Indicators

Gas at $5 tips some U.S. rideshare drivers to wrap cars in ads

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on

3/3

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A rideshare car with ads wrapped by mobile advertisement company Carvertise is seen in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., June, 2022 in this file image acquired by Reuters on June 22, 2022. Carvertise/Handout via REUTERS

2/3

By Nivedita Balu

(Reuters) – When Duana Malcolm had her blue Hyundai Sonata sedan ‘wrapped’ as a mobile advertising board, the part-time delivery driver did not expect to make an extra $200 per month.

Malcolm is one of the many rideshare drivers looking for alternate sources of income to cushion the impact of soaring gas prices and higher costs for everything from tires to servicing, as U.S. inflation touches a more than 40-year high.

“It’s not life changing money, but I know I’m getting money every month for the next five months that’s going to ease my concerns,” Malcolm, who drives in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas, said of the arrangement with outdoor ad firm Carvertise.

Drivers can make anywhere between $100 and $600 a month, depending on the ad and the duration of the campaign and can make a bonus of $100 to $200 for timely ads.

And it is not just car wrapping, advertisers are also turning to traditional forms like billboards and bus benches, as potential customers who were glued to their screens during the pandemic return to offices and venture out more often.

Carvertise, which pays drivers to wrap their cars in ads printed on adhesive-backed films known as ‘decals’, said it has seen a monthly growth of between 8% and 13% in new signups in the past three months, with more expected.

“By wrapping their cars with our clients’ advertising, rideshare drivers turn their cars into rolling billboards and get paid for something they’re doing anyway: driving,” Greg Star, co-founder of the Wilmington, a Delaware-based firm, said.

Users will have to install an app and register on the platform to take part in a campaign and the company will select the drivers it uses based on the advertiser’s target location and the user’s driving habits, whether commuting to work or working as a rideshare or delivery driver.

Market leaders Carvertise and California-based Wrapify said they have thousands of gig drivers on their subscriber list and clients ranging from GoPuff, EA Sports, 7-Eleven to local law firms. They have plastered thousands of cars with ads.

Although ride-hailing firms Uber (NYSE:UBER) and Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT), under pressure due to acute driver shortages, have announced a fuel surcharge, this has not been enough to make up for the rise in fuel costs, with U.S. gasoline average price rising above $5 a gallon for the first time ever earlier this month.

Uber and others are also in talks on formal partnerships with firms such as Carvetise to boost driver income, a source familiar with the matter said, but nothing has been finalized.

Uber said it has been focused on its cartop advertising network, which has 112 million daily impressions with ad displays atop over 3,000 vehicles across major U.S. cities.

Lyft declined to comment.

Economic Indicators

Italy says can exceed 3.1% growth target for 2022 despite energy prices

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk along the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping mall in Milan, August 25, 2015. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s Treasury said the country’s economy could grow this year by at least as much as Rome’s official target of 3.1% set in April, despite the negative impact of surging energy prices.

Italy grew 0.1% in the first quarter from the previous three months, national statistics bureau ISTAT said last month, revising up a preliminary estimate of a 0.2% contraction.

This left Italy with so-called “carryover” growth of 2.6% this year, assuming gross domestic product was flat in the remaining three quarters, ISTAT said.

Announcing on Monday the bond issuance programme for the third quarter, the Treasury said it expected growth to accelerate in the second quarter, compared with the first three months.

This still makes it plausible to reach or exceed the 2022 growth target of 3.1%, it said in its debt issuance report.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government in April revised down its 2022 economic growth forecast to 3.1% from a 4.7% projection made last September.

The government has budgeted since January more than 33 billion euros ($34.90 billion) to soften the impact of sky-high electricity, gas and petrol costs.

($1 = 0.9456 euros)

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Economic Indicators

French consumer confidence falls more than expected in June

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© Reuters. A woman shops at a fruit and vegetables shop in Paris, France, June 10, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

PARIS (Reuters) – French consumer confidence fell more than expected in June, hitting a near nine-year low as concerns about the economic outlook surged in the face of high inflation and political uncertainty, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The INSEE official statistics agency said its consumer confidence index fell to 82 in June from 85 in May and the lowest level since July 2013.

A Reuters poll of 14 economists had an average forecast of 84 with the lowest estimate for 83.

Although households’ concerns about future inflation remained well above the long-term average, they eased in June for the third month in a row.

However, household sentiment about the general economic outlook continued to worsen, falling to the lowest level since May 2020 when France was in the second month of its first and most strict COVID-19 lockdown.

While surging inflation has stressed households in recent months, France’s political situation has added to uncertainty about the economic outlook since President Emmanuel Macron’s party lost its ruling majority in legislative elections this month.

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Economic Indicators

Peru truckers, farmers to strike over fuel and fertilizer costs

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk next to parked trucks during a national transportation strike against fuel prices, in Lima, Peru March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Angela Ponce/File Photo

By Marco Aquino

LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s truckers and some farm groups will go on strike on Monday after failing to reach agreements with the government seeking measures to reduce the impact of steep global price rises of fuel and fertilizer, sector leaders said on Sunday.

Union leaders met on Friday and Saturday with government representatives, with demands including considering freight transport a “public service” that would reduce costs and curb competition from truckers from neighbor countries.

“We are firm in plans to strike with all our bases nationwide,” the leader of the heavy load haulage and drivers union Marlon Milla told radio station RPP. The union has 400,000 cargo transport units in 14 of the 25 regions of the country.

High global fuel prices linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have stoked unrest in Peru, the world’s No. 2 copper producer, while shortages of fertilizer have raised fears over food supply with the government struggling to secure shipments.

The government of leftist President Pedro Castillo, who has seen his popularity tumble since taking office last year, has taken measures to curb the rising cost of living, but the annual inflation rate remains at around 8%, its highest level in 24 years.

Some farming unions also announced strikes on Monday, in protest at the rise in fertilizer prices and shortages.

Latin American leaders are grappling to bring down spiraling prices despite major interest rate hikes. Trucking protests over fuel costs have hit Argentina while Ecuador is being roiled by protests in part linked to gas prices. [L4N2YB27W]

“The dialogue has not been exhausted, we are in a permanent session of ministers to avoid protest,” Justice Minister Félix Chero told reporters on Sunday. The government is offering subsidies for road tolls and fertilizer costs.

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