Tuesday 11 September 2018

Despite Brexit

This was Kamal Ahmed's take on the economy on last night's BBC News at Ten
So Hugh, if we remember to the earlier part of the year, the economy was a rather sickly patient. If we look at the figure for growth from February to April, that came in at the princely of 0% - i.e. there was no growth. Terrible weather in the winter, more than 30 days of freezing temperatures, the usual post-Christmas lull in the economy led to that very poor figure. Today, as you say, a much better figure, 0.6% growth for the UK economy. That's building on a trend from last month of 0.4%, so there is some growth in the trend. Why is it happening? Well, two big sectors are doing better. They are construction and retail. If there is no snow on the ground, you can build houses, house building has been strong in the last 3-4 months. And retail. As you say, the World Cup and hot weather. Put those together, we're out more, we're shopping more, enjoying restaurants and entertainment. So that has been why it has been stronger. But it's not quite time to hang out the economic bunting in all senses. That Brexit uncertainty is still weighing on the economy, though of course if there was better news, as you've been hearing earlier in the programme, that might boost that. But the final point is that growth today is in exactly the same place as it was this time last year. So, no substance, no change of substance on the economy so far. 


  1. Real wages up...2.4 annual growth rate in last quarter...record employment...

    And we are keeping as Governor of the Bank of England the guy who said wages would go down, there would be negative growth and jobs would go down the pan if we voted for Brexit.

    It's quite incredible!

    Imagine how we'd be doing if the Governor and Chancellor were talking UP the economy's prospects rather talking them DOWN!

  2. I love the way journalists and politicians seemlessly move from something like GDP, to the growth of GDP or to the rate of change of the growth of GDP as if they were the same thing. Either they don't know the difference or they do but are looking to make a positive, increased GDP, look like a negative, decreased rate of change of GDP.
    They play this game all the time with immigration, the public believing there are too many immigrants in absolute terms while the politicians assure us that not as many extra came in last month than the month before, (the boat is still sinking but not quite as fast as before!).

    1. Oh yep, despite often appearing to us as idiots, we have to start with the presumption that most BBC presenters are actually well educated, highly intelligent and therefore they are either (a) lying intentionally or (b) (when appearing stupid) acting out a role (Adrian - are you listening?).

      Yes when it comes to migration, the misrepresentation, diversion, distraction and straightforward fibbing is on an industrial scale.
      How did "net migration" ever get started as the key measure? If people are leaving your country in hundreds of thousands every year, you need to ask some questions about your country and who is leaving...is it some of your most skilled people?

      Furthermore if nearly all of the inward migration is going into maybe 25% of your overall land area, already heavily populated, that should raise some other questions.

      And notice how they never like to tot up how much net migration there has been in a decade. For some reason, that's not relevant...just keep focussing on the annual figure.


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