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

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“Economy to Defy Brexit Fears”

times

Britain will be the fastest growing economy in the G7 and beat Bank of England forecasts with 0.5% economic growth in the final quarter of 2016, The Times reports today under the headline “Economy to defy Brexit fears”. A survey of businesses showed the service sector had its best month since January.[…] Read the rest

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Record Car Sales This Year

cars

More good news: new car sales are set to reach a record high this year according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Registrations rose by 2.9 percent to 184,101 vehicles last month. Reuters reports:

“It is the first time the industry has sold more than 2.5 million vehicles in the first eleven months of the year, putting it on track to beat the 2.63 million sold last year, despite uncertainty created by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.”

The economy is motoring #DespiteBrexit…[…] Read the rest

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Mortgage Approvals at 7-Month High

mortgage

Mortgage approvals are now at the highest rate since March according to the Bank of England. The latest figures show 67,518 home loans were given the go-ahead in October, up from 63,594 in September and the highest number since March. How are the FT reporting the good news?

[…] Read the rest

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Good News Round-Up

[…] Read the rest

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China Putting Billions Into ‘Second Canary Wharf’

china-despite-brexit

Four of China’s biggest banks have given the go ahead to finance a £1.7 billion ‘second Canary Wharf’ for Asian business on a derelict old East End dock. Chinese investors are also on track to sink £4 billion into London property this year, beating the 2015 record by miles. […] Read the rest

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Brexit or Bust

despite-brexit-boobs

The inventiveness of this particular #DespiteBrexit story made Guido laugh…[…] Read the rest

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Facebook Likes Post-Brexit UK, Plans Thousands More Jobs

Facebook zuckerberg

Facebook will confirm its commitment to add 500 skilled jobs to its London workforce today as part of a plan to expand its British headquarters from 4,000 to 7,000 employees within the next four years. This joins Google’s £1 billion investment in Britain, and Apple’s huge new HQ at Battersea as evidence that the tech sector is still thriving.[…] Read the rest

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