Item Club Quadruples GDP Forecast

Independent economic forecaster the Item Club – sponsored by City professional services giant EY –  today reports a headline prediction of 1.8% GDP growth for 2017. This is well up on even the 1.3% prediction it made last October. And it is incredibly well up on its post-referendum forecast…

The Item Club sent shock-waves through the City last summer when it downgraded its forecast for 2017 GDP growth to an absolutely dismal 0.4% after the Brexit vote. This prediction of dread set much of the business media agenda: the Item Club is taken seriously because it uses the same economic models as the Treasury. Between July 2016 and today the Item Club has revised up its forecast by an eye-popping 1.4%…

Peter Spencer, chief economic advisor to the Item Club, said today:

“Although the starting gun for Brexit has just been fired, the UK economy has been adjusting to life outside the EU since the referendum…”

And the Item Club has been adjusting its numbers…

Siemens U-Turns, Now Talking Up Brexit Opportunities

Siemens is Europe’s biggest manufacturing firm and employs 15,000 people in the UK. During the referendum the company was a paid-up member of Project Fear, sending out doom-mongering statements threatening to pull investment from Britain in the event of a Leave vote:

“Brexit would disrupt the economy in the short-term and we believe that uncertainty about the UK’s future relationship with the EU could have more significant and negative long-term effects… [this] could make the UK a less attractive place to do business and may become a factor when Siemens is considering future investment here.”

Yesterday, Siemens chief executive Joe Kaeser met Theresa May at Downing Street where he said he was “confident and optimistic” about the “big opportunities” in Brexit Britain:

“There is no reason not to invest tomorrow, if there is a demand and a commitment from the customer. I am willing – and the company is willing to invest – further. There are more opportunities than risks for us.”

Who’dathunkit?

Toyota Invests Quarter of a Billion in UK #DespiteBrexit

Toyota today announces an investment of more than a quarter of a billion pounds into the UK, contrary to previous warnings from the firm and car market analysts over Brexit. The Japanese company has a major plant near Derby where it manufactures its Auris and Avensis models. About 75% of cars made at that plant are exported to EU nations. Last year the FT warned:

“The Leave vote could be the final straw for the two Japanese carmakers… Ahead of the referendum, Toyota had already warned of “huge cost reduction challenges” at its plants in Burnaston in Derbyshire and Deeside in north Wales if the UK faced a 10 per cent tariff on exports to Europe.

“The reality is that it’s nearly impossible to make profit considering that they had not made much money over the past two decades. Can you keep holding on to a perpetually lossmaking operation in Britain?” said Koji Endo, analyst at Advanced Research Japan.”

Experts…

Vodafone Boss: Mobile Roaming Charges Won’t Rise Post-Brexit

The claim that mobile phone roaming charges would rise post-Brexit was one of Project Fear’s best lines. Hence why it was parroted time and time again during the referendum:

  • Treasury: Abolition of roaming fees would not include Britons if UK leaves EU
  • Tim Farron: “From the cost of food and petrol to mobile phone bills, Brexit is hitting consumers in the pocket”
  • Britain Stronger in Europe: “Being in the EU means you pay less for… mobile roaming charges”
  • Deloitte report said using your phone abroad could become more expensive post-Brexit
  • Financial Times: “British mobile phone users face bills of up to €50 for each song they stream while roaming in the EU”
  • Guardian: “UK tourists face mobile phone roaming charges post-Brexit”

Indeed, Britain Stronger in Europe explicitly used the words “more roaming charges on mobile phones” on this graphic:

Today, the chief executive of Vodafone has signalled that post-Brexit mobile phone costs are not likely to rise. Vittorio Colao dismissed talk of increases as “not very logical”. He continued:

“We treat Switzerland, which is not part of the EU, as part of it so why would we not treat the UK that way?

The claim costs would go up was peddled by the Treasury and the official Remain campaign. Seems, once again, that it wasn’t true…

UK GDP Beats Predictions and Exports Up… Again!

UK GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2016 has been revised higher this morning to +0.7%, higher than the expected +0.6%. The Office for National Statistics revealed export growth of 4.1%, which alongside a fall in imports of 0.4% means net trade added 1.3% to growth. Brexit Britain’s boom continues to defy the ‘experts’…

UK Food and Drink Exports Hit All Time High

Britain exported a record £20 billion of food and drink last year, as sales to the US rose by 12% and China entered the top ten UK food export market for the first time. The numbers bode well for Andrea Leadsom and Liam Fox:

  • UK food and drink exports grew by nearly 10%;
  • UK food and drink sales to the USA up 12%;
  • UK exports of salmon to France up by 31%;
  • UK food and drink exports to Germany up by 12%;
  • UK pork exports to China skyrocketing to £43 million, an increase of over 70% (China entered the top ten UK food export markets for the first time, with export growth of nearly 50 per cent);
  • Exports to Malaysia grew by a whopping 143%;
  • India emerged as one of our priority markets thanks to growing demand for Scotch whisky, global sales of whisky grew by 3% to reach over £4 billion;
  • Last year exports grew in nine out of ten of the UK’s leading export markets including USA, China and Hong Kong.

It remains the case that just one in five UK food producers are currently exporting, so there is masses of room for improvement. It is in vogue to say the Brexit-focused departments are twiddling their thumbs until we leave. In truth they are kept busy by the job of getting exports up to scratch alone… 

EU Commission: Brexit Better For Britain Than We Thought

The European Commission has been forced to scrap its gloomy UK growth forecast and revise up its estimates despite the Leave vote. City AM reports Brussels bureaucrats begrudgingly upped their prediction for 2017 UK GDP growth to 1.5% from a 1% forecast made last November. At the time EU pen-pushers said:

“Risks to the forecast have risen in recent months and are clearly tilted to the downside, including as a result of the UK ‘leave’ vote, which has raised uncertainty and can be seen as an indicator of heightened policy risks in the current volatile political environment.”

In Brussels they are eating their words…

PwC’s ‘Serious Economic Shock’ Turns Into Brexit Boom

Before the referendum the EU-funded PricewaterhouseCoopers wrote the infamous CBI report claiming Brexit would cause a “serious economic shock”, costing £100 billion and 1 million jobs. Today they have performed a screeching u-turn, now claiming Brexit will lead Britain into an economic boom. In March last year, PwC thought a Leave vote would cause a drop in UK living standards, GDP and employment and warned GDP growth “could be seriously reduced — and possibly be as low as zero in 2017 or 2018.” Today, PwC are forecasting the opposite: they now think Britain will enjoy GDP growth faster than any other major advanced economy in the world over the next three decades. They say GDP growth will outstrip the US, Canada, France and Germany with average annual rate of 1.9%.

Very expensive experts wrong again…

Bank of England Revises Up Growth Forecast, Again

The pessimists at the Bank of England slashed their growth forecasts almost immediately after the Brexit vote. The economy proved resilient, prompting an upwards revision from 0.8% to 1.4% in November. Today on the BoE’s Super Thursday the Bank yet again revises up its 2017 GDP growth forecast to 2%. Obviously this beats the predictions of all city economists. Michael Fish eat your heart out

Brexit Boom for Brilliant British Boffins

The Remain campaign’s Scientists for EU group once warned: “Less money, not more, available for UK for science if we leave.” Well, according to buoyant boffins, the UK’s world-leading life sciences sector will enjoy a boom in investment and growth post-Brexit. London Stock Exchange figures released today show angel and seed investment into British life sciences grew 258% and 365% respectively last year compared to 2015 levels. Dr Eliot Forster, chairman of life sciences hub MedCity, said:

Enthusiasm for UK life sciences will encourage more players to come here for the first time and may be one of the defining factors of 2017.”

How’s it being reported?

Investment in UK life sciences set to rise in 2017… despite Brexit.”  

Britain’s brilliant boffins leading the way…

UK Economy Growing Faster Than Experts Expected. Again.

ONS numbers just out show that the UK economy again grew faster than expected in the final quarter of 2016 with a rate of 0.6%. This is ahead of “expert” predictions of a 0.5% in a survey of City economists. UK GDP grew 2.4% on annualised basis. In comparison US is coming in at 2.2%.

The above graph also shows growth ahead of Reuters survey of economists prediction every month last quarter – the experts were too pessimistic about the post-referendum prospects. This is Britain’s sixteenth straight quarter of economic growth. Brexit Britain’s boom continues…

IMF Revises Growth Forecast Upwards Again

The IMF has significantly upgraded its growth forecast for Britain in 2017: it now expects the UK economy to grow by 1.5% this year, up by 0.4 percentage points on its October estimate. It has recorded 2016 growth at 2%, up from 1.8%. The IMF said growth:

Held up better than expected in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.”

Remember, Christine Lagarde said the aftermath of a Leave vote would be “pretty bad to very, very bad”. At least Andy Haldane had the good grace to issue a mea culpa…

Christmas Party on Britain’s High Streets

Britain’s high street retailers enjoyed one of their best ever Christmases “despite Brexit“, a snowstorm of positive trading reports reveal. Marks and Spencer group sales were up 5.9% in the 13 weeks to the end of December, with a 2.3% uptick in like-for-like sales by its previously struggling clothing line (smashing a gloomy 0.5% estimate). Sainsburys had a Christmas cracker with more than £1 billion in sales. Lidl reported yuletide sales growth of 10%. Online clothing firm Asos reported sales were up 36%. The FT writes:

“It’s such a disappointment for the gloomsters. The plunge in sterling after the June vote was going to produce a surge tide of inflation to overwhelm static pay packets. Shoppers would be reduced to window-shoppers and, even though we never believed George Osborne’s silly pre-referendum scare stories, a bleak midwinter loomed for the high street. It hasn’t turned out that way.”

How will Christmas be different after Brexit? No Brussels… 

UK Industrial Production Surges, Small Businesses “Confident”

UK industrial production is up 2.1%, way up on a gloomy 1% estimate. The latest figures are for last November and year-on-year the indicator is now +2%. Experts wrong again…

The news comes after the Federation of Small Businesses reported its members confidence had “bounced back” after Brexit. Chairman Mike Cherry said:

“The current economic outlook seems brighter, and UK small businesses are ambitious and want to make the most of it.”

Brexit Britain confident and productive…

Snapchat Headquarters in Britain, Rolls Royce Rolls Back on Brexit Scares

Snapchat today makes London its main hub outside the US and announces it will book all its non-US sales in Brexit Britain. Remainers had predicted the UK tech sector would be hit particularly hard by leaving the EU, but Claire Valoti, general manager of Snap Group in the UK, said:

“We believe in the UK creative industries. The UK is where our advertising clients are, where more than 10 million daily Snapchatters are, and where we’ve already begun to hire talent.”  

Meanwhile, car-maker Rolls Royce U-turned on its pre-Brexit plans to leave the UK, instead confirming its commitment to its West Sussex HQ. A letter from CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös leaked to the Guardian last year said Brexit would affect the firm’s “employment base”, but now he says:

“Success for Rolls-Royce is success for Great Britain and we reaffirm our commitment to maintaining the home of Rolls-Royce in the UK.

Brexit Britain: A booming tech and design hub…

Pimlico Plumber Flush Despite Brexit

Official handyman to the Remain campaign Charlie Mullins has revealed his business Pimlico Plumbers is enjoying its biggest ever trade boom, despite Brexit. Mullins’ firm enjoyed year-on-year sales up 30% to £9.7 million in the last quarter, including its first ever £3 million month in October and further soaring sales of £3.4 million in November, before sinking to an impressive £3.2 million in December. Mullins was tapped up by BSE to campaign against a Leave vote, which he claimed would be a wrench on the economy, a drain on sales and cause employment to plunge:

“I think we are going to see a rocky road out there, I think it’s going to affect the economy and we are going to see job losses.”

Charlie now spends his time funding Gina Miller’s calls for a blockage of Article 50 even though he knows his business isn’t going down the pan. That’s enough puns, don’t want to faucet…

UK Service Sector Growth At 17 Month High

Britain’s powerful services sector is motoring: the services Purchasing Managers’ Index is now at its highest for 17 months. Services make up 80% of the UK economy and the PMI surge to 56.2, up from 55.2 in November, is a noteworthy uptick in business activity. A Bloomberg survey of City economists predicted the services PMI would fall to 54.7 this month. More of that group-think, wrong-think

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said:

“A buoyant service sector adds to signs that the UK economy continues to defy widely-held expectations of a Brexit-driven slowdown. The faster growth of services activity follows similar news of improvements in the manufacturing and construction sectors at the end of 2016.”

Brexit Britain booming!

Hat-Trick of Economic Good News to Kick Off 2017

As Remainers psychoanalyse every line of Ivan Rogers’ 1,400 word resignation letter, three pieces of good news have slipped under the radar. British manufacturing output and new orders hit their highest for the last two-and-a-half years yesterday. The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 56.1 in December, up from 53.6. Anything above 50 means British manufacturing is expanding. The UK has also secured £16.3 billion of new foreign investment since the Leave vote, including £12 billion from DONG, a Danish energy company, and £2.5 billion from Chinese construction firm CNBM to build 25,000 new homes. And to complete the hat-trick, the FTSE 100 reached another record high on the first day of trading in the New Year: the index soared to an intra-day record of 7,205.21. Reuters reports:

“Britain’s economy has fared much better than many economists predicted in the aftermath of June’s vote to leave the European Union, with consumer spending strong and companies continuing to perform well.”

Happy New Year!

UK Shoots Up World Business League Table

The UK has shot up the annual list of countries where it is best to do business. Britain is now fifth on the Forbes magazine “Best for Businesslist – rising from tenth place last December. The list’s editor said the UK moved up because of “improved scores on corruption, tax burden and monetary freedom, as well as a stronger stock market” – all of which were subject to Project Fear doom-mongeringSky News reports:

“The UK has moved up the list of the best countries in the world to do business – despite wider fears over how Brexit could hit trade and slow economic growth.

First on the list is Sweden. The Swedish people defied their political class by voting against adopting the Euro in 2003. An April poll showed the majority of Swedes surveyed would like to see their country follow Britain out of the EU. Eurosceptic countries are the most business-friendly in Europe…

Lidl Won’t Discount Brexit Britain

German supermarket giant Lidl is massively expanding its UK operations after being granted planning permission for a new state-of-the-art 240,000 sq foot headquarters in Tolworth, West London. The announced permission had been granted last Friday. The final hurdle before beginning construction is to secure a rubber stamp from Sadiq Khan in the New Year.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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