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Home / Tag Archives: GDP & Economic Activity

Tag Archives: GDP & Economic Activity

The UK’s public spending led recovery – before the cost-of-living deluge strikes

In this article I look mainly at the UK’s GDP position. While the ONS first estimate for Q1 2022 shows that it is now 0.6% higher than the pre-pandemic peak in Q3 of 2019, this is entirely down to increased government consumption and investment, mainly health-related. But for this real-terms increase, the economy (measured in GDP) would be some 2% smaller now, even before the cost-of-living crisis hits us fully, and before government and Bank of England tighten fiscal and monetary policy...

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(How far) has Brexit affected UK GDP?

It looks as if the UK’s GDP will have risen by a little over 7% in 2021, after a fall now estimated at 9.4% in 2020. (We await the Q4 data).  It seems that – despite stronger November data – GDP in 2021 will come in below that of 2019, and maybe a tad less than 2018.  Clearly COVID has played a major part, but is there also evidence of Brexit-induced slowdown in the mix? The “Conservative Home” website (among so many other right-wing propaganda outlets) tries hard to keep spirits up and the...

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PRIME’s 2022 forecast

Each year the Financial Times invites economists to answer an economic survey for the British economy. This is PRIME’s submission. 1. UK economy Will the UK economy outpace or lag behind other developed economies in 2022 and why? UK trade performance on imports and exports has been among the worst of all OECD economies, with Brexit exacerbating the pandemic. This significant fall in total trade (compared to 2018) is an outcome, or consequence, of weak economic activity at home. Flat...

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Industrial Policy’s Comeback?

This is my comment on a major article on Industrial Policy in the Boston Review, published in September, 2021. The leading article was by Professor Mariana Mazzucato, Rainer Kattel and Josh Ryan-Collins. In their well-executed argument for a new approach to economic policy, Mazzucato, Kattel, and Ryan-Collins spell out how governments could develop an industrial policy to shape and drive innovative opportunities for the future. They rightly demolish the folk tales of neoliberalism: the...

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Spend for recovery & green future, raising corporation tax is ok, & there are no bond vigilantes

A couple of weeks ago, my old shower broke down, needing replacement. Chatting to bathroom-kitchen store manager, I learnt that business was brisk for them, especially the demand for new bathrooms.  In fact, very brisk. Lots of people wanting new bathrooms for their holiday to-be-let homes, with higher rents in mind, as well as for actually lived-in homes. His order book is far stronger than in ‘normal’ times. For those who ‘have’, the times are not – financially speaking – bad at all. All...

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Spend for recovery & green future, raising corporation tax is ok, & there are no bond vigilantes

A couple of weeks ago, my old shower broke down, needing replacement. Chatting to bathroom-kitchen store manager, I learnt that business was brisk for them, especially the demand for new bathrooms.  In fact, very brisk. Lots of people wanting new bathrooms for their holiday to-be-let homes, with higher rents in mind, as well as for actually lived-in homes. His order book is far stronger than in ‘normal’ times. For those who ‘have’, the times are not – financially speaking – bad at all. All...

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After the furlough ‘tide’ recedes?

Is our biggest worry inflation? No, our biggest worry is a fall in employment, investment and income. Inflation is caused by the economy ‘overheating’. Wage and price inflation arises when economic activity (investment, employment, income) exceeds the capacity of the economy.  Put simply, inflation most often arises in conditions of full employment, when incomes are high and rising and when investment in new jobs, speculation and the creation of new assets, surges.  Many point to the 1970s...

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GDP, Brexit & the trade winds of change

In 2020, GDP per head of population fell, year on year, by a massive 10.5%. For me, that’s the  take-away statistic from last Friday’s GDP-related ‘data dump’ by ONS.  The level of GCDP per head (in real, inflation-adjusted terms) was £29,124.  This was almost identical to the level in 2009 (£29,098), at the peak of the global financial crisis, and otherwise the lowest on record since 2003.  Of course, the extent of the decline is heavily down to the government’s  first lockdown...

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The spatial hole in economics: the Regions bite back

Over the last decade the relationship between mainstream economics and serious spatial analysis – always sporadic – has become even more tenuous. What lies ahead for the British economy over the next ten years? Here, relentless centralisation of Westminster politics and Whitehall practice has been matched by a similar trend in much of the economics profession. The result of this insensitivity to the geographically uneven development of the economy has been an entirely predictable political...

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UK GDP – the Q2 close-down, and the distorting effect of ‘imputed rental’

On Wednesday (30 September) the Office for National Statistics published its second estimate of GDP for the second quarter of 2020, April to June.  The very marginally positive news is that the fall, between Q1 and Q2, was reduced from 20.4% to 19.8%.  Since this was still the largest recorded quarterly fall since records commence in 1955, this is hardly a cause for jubilation – and even less so since the Q1 drop was raised from -2.2% to -2.5%. As we discuss below, the position would...

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