Philip Hammond’s Conservative party conference speech gives some long-overdue clues as to the approach he will take at the Autumn Statement on November 23rd. Read more.
Triumph or disaster? In terms of the UK economy, it could be either depending on who you believe and what newspapers you read. Here’s a round-up of the data so far, as of the second week in September. But of course everything could change in the weeks and months ahead. But if the government manages to set out a clear path and provide some certainty at least as to what is known and what is unknown, that will help everyone. Read more here
In the run up to the referendum on 23rd June, business confidence fell a little compared to the previous two years as decision-makers felt a sense of unease simply due to the uncertainty that came from such a large economic policy decision looming on the horizon. Immediately following the result the economy skipped a beat: the survey evidence in July was pretty dire. However the August confidence data is not dissimilar to the pre-referendum levels. Businesses have basically swapped the uncertainty they felt around the referendum result for the uncertainty as to what it means. Read more
The local labour market data released by the Office of National Statistics last week had some interesting gender differences between different travel-to-work areas. It showed that some parts of the country had similar levels of economic activity between men and women, whereas elsewhere it was very different…read more
When a new baby is born, the country in which the parent was born is recorded. This is different from the immigration statistics, but it provides a strong demographic story nevertheless. Most striking is that over half the babies born in London now have parents who themselves were born outside the UK. Read more here
Political risk used to be a phrase that was applied to emerging markets. Brexit has changed all that. The challenge for firms working in the changed environment is to get used to it, rather than feel paralysed by not knowing how things are going to work out. Read more here – Kitty Ussher
Here’s a link to an article for Portland, where I am chief economic adviser, on the priorities for financial services companies when they consider how to approach Brexit.