Business Confidence Returns to Positive

An Institute of Directors poll of 700 company directors has found that business confidence has returned to positive for the first time since Article 50 was triggered. The IoD say the transition deal “has brought some much needed reassurance” and that Brexit is no longer even in the top three concerns of business leaders. IoD senior economist Tej Parikh said:

“It seems likely meaningful progress in Brexit negotiations since December has brought some much needed reassurance.”

Expect the remain press to lap this one up…

British Manufacturers Report High Profitability and Confidence

Britain’s post-Brexit boom continues as UK manufacturers recorded their second-highest levels of profitability ever. According to the Office for National Statistics, net rates of return for manufacturing companies increased from 13.8% in the third quarter of 2017 to 15.8% in the final quarter, marking the second-highest value to date. On top of this, the latest UK Business Outlook from IHS Markit released this morning shows manufacturers are bullish on growth:

“Growth expectations in the manufacturing sector are the highest for more than two and a half years manufacturers cite the improving global economic backdrop and hopes of increased export sales.”

The net balance of UK manufacturers predicting a rise in output is at +58% in February, up on+54% in October 2017. And they said Brexit would crash Britain’s manufacturing sector…

Vauxhall to Build New Vivaro in Luton #DespiteBrexit

French-owned car giant Vauxhall has announced it will build its new Vivaro van at its Luton plant rather than in Germany or Poland. Parent company PSA is investing tens of millions of pounds in the Bedfordshire facility which will eventually see Citroen and Peugeot branded vans made in the UK rather than in Europe. PSA hopes to hit production levels of 100,000 vans a year bringing new jobs to the town. 1,400 jobs have been secured beyond 2030 after a £9 million contribution from government. Group chief executive Carlos Tavares said:

“This is a major milestone for the future of the Luton plant and a key enabler to serve our ambitions in the commercial vehicle market.” 

Remainers have indulged in scaremongering speculation about the future of the UK car industry, including about the Luton plant. Yet another myth busted…

Europe’s Great Symbol of Industrial Cooperation – Airbus – is Staying in Britain

Just days before the referendum StrongerIn played their trump card. Airbus and Siemens publicly warned of the risk that they would leave Britain, if Britain left the EU. It was one of the most credible arguments of Project Fear from CEOs of respected giant industrial firms. Siemens, the bluechip German engineering giant, could go home. Airbus in particular, the champion and political symbol of multi-national cooperation, would probably come under pressure to re-trench. Britain’s multi-billion aerospace industry and engineering base would be at risk.

What actually happened? Siemens’ CEO Joe Kaeser soon announced after the vote 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.”

Yesterday brought the icing on the cake, Bloomberg revealed that the Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders has written to the Business Secretary Greg Clark promising the U.K. government that Airbus plans to retain its British operations “long into the future’’ – this from the most europhile of CEOs. Project Fear’s strongest cards turned out to be bluffs.

The same people who bluffed before now say if Brexit happens it will be a disaster for the economy. Ignore what they say and instead follow the money. Investment banks like Bank of America and Goldman Sachs are spending billions on new headquarters in London, europhile Bloomberg too. The Brexodus of big business is not happening, instead they are investing billions for the long term. Brexit is going to be great…

Quintuple #DespiteBrexit Special

A special quintuple whammy of #DespiteBrexit good news to brighten up a chilly Monday. Over the weekend US bank Citigroup announced a massive investment in London, its first since the referendum result. They plan to establish an innovation centre with 60 high quality jobs and room for expansion. James Cowles, the bank’s EMEA CEO, told the FT:

“Regardless of Brexit, the UK remains one of the world’s largest pools of diverse talent when it comes to hiring advanced technologists with a strong business background.”

Meanwhile, Bob Dudley of global energy powerhouse BP says Brexit has “not diminished” Britain’s standing on the world stage and is bullish on trade deals. He told The Times:

“There are a lot of countries around the world that would like trade deals with Britain bilaterally down the road, I hear that a lot. I don’t think British influence is diminished. BP works all over the world and I see the importance of Britain in what we do and how they view BP.”

In manufacturing, British engine makers are experiencing an unprecedented boom and production is at an all-time high. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders:

  • British engine manufacturing rose 6.9% to all-time high of 2.7 million units in 2017;
  • Home demand is up 9.7%, while global demand rose to almost 1.5 million units;

UK engine manufacturing is now worth £8.5 billion, supporting 8,000 British jobs. Brexit an engine for British growth…

Remember when Project Fear said Brexit would threaten Britain’s reputation as an outward-looking, welcoming nation? Remainers suggested international visitors to the UK, students, for instance, would be put-off. In fact, a record number of foreign students now want to study at British universities. According to UCAS figures:

  • International student applications are up 11% to 58,450;
  • Applications from China rose by 20%;
  • Applications from India rose by 36%;
  • Applications from Mexico surged by 52%.

And the value of UK food and drink exports has soared to record levels, up 10% to reach £22 billion in 2017 – more than double what they were worth ten years ago. British food and drink producers now sell to 217 countries. Sales of milk and cream increased by 61%, salmon by 23% and pork by 14%. And, as Liz Truss famously predicted, we’ve sold cheese to the French (£85 million), chocolate to the Belgians (£21 million) and tea to the Chinese (£2 million). Five new pieces of good news, #DespiteBrexit…

Bank of England Upgrades Growth Forecasts

The Bank of England has upgraded its growth forecast for 2018 to 1.8%, up from 1.6%. Remember the Treasury said we would be in recession by now. Anyone really believe they didn’t fiddle the figures?

Sterling Back Above $1.40

Sterling climbed back above the $1.40 benchmark today in a sign the currency is strengthening after Brexit. The pound is one of the strongest performing currencies so far in 2018. The pound touched $1.20 this time last year but has since recovered. Thomas Flury at UBS told the Financial Times

“It looks like the pound is becoming increasingly resilient . . . Markets have probably become more confident that a cliff-edge Brexit in 2019 will be avoided.”

Next time a remainer brings up the value of the pound…

#DespiteBrexit Double Whammy

Barely a week into 2018 the #DespiteBrexit crowd are already being confounded by strong economic indicators. First news from the ONS that hourly labour productivity showed its biggest increase since 2011, up 0.9% in the third quarter of 2017. Remember that the next time a remainer lectures you on Brexit and the productivity crisis…

Meanwhile, London is enjoying a post-Brexit tech boom after venture capital investment in the sector reached an enormous all-time high. London is beating its closest European rival, Paris, hands down: London tech firms on average receive four times as much investment cash as French companies. Total tech investment in London now stands at £2.9 billion, beating every other European city. That’s almost double the previous year…

Turns out yet another aspect of remain scaremongering was entirely wrong. Happy New Year!

2017: The Year ‘Experts’ Were Completely Confounded

Among all the predictions of doom and recession the remainers and economists got wrong they were right about one in 2016 – the pound did fall 15% after the vote. This was not unexpected, Leave backing donors like hedge fund manager Crispin Odey figured that out and traded accordingly. The pound was widely seen as over-valued.

The pessimism on the pound continued into 2017, HSBC predicted it would hit parity with the €uro, Remain backing investment bank Morgan Stanley toppped that with a prediction that the € would surge past parity to be worth £1.02. Brexit-backing economist Roger Bootle’s firm Capital Economics stuck their neck out at the same time and said the £ would finish at €1.13. The pound ended the year at €1.12…

Goldman Sachs’ CEO Lloyd Blankfein has been outspoken against Brexit, his firm forecast sterling would fall from $1.25 to $1.14 in 2017. In fact, it has risen to $1.35. Goldmans also forecast  that the 10-year gilt yields that determine government borrowing costs would rise from 1.28% to 1.65%. They fell to 1.19%…

We were told that banks would leave the City last year, there has been no such exodus, London still has more international banks than any other financial centre in the world. We were told that foreign investors would shuna UK poised to Brexit, yet inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) hit a record high in 2017, dwarfing all other EU countries. The experts were absolutely wrong.

These same Remain supporting investment banks and international institutions are now predicting that Britain’s GDP will plummet outside the EU. Ironically official figures have just been revised up putting UK GDP growth up with Germany. UK and French GDP has been neck and neck for years, France is actually ahead currently. Guido will wager that in a decade the UK’s GDP will actually be greater than that of France. Any takers among economic experts? 

UK Best Country for Business #DespiteBrexit

The UK is officially the best country in the world to do business. Despite Brexit…

Forbes says that after the Leave vote “predictions swirled that the British economy would collapse”, yet “the economy as a whole has held up relatively well” and “Britain’s business climate remains attractive. The UK ranks first for the first time in Forbes’ 12th annual survey of the Best Countries for Business”. We were fifth last year and have never come top before. Look forward to the FT write up of this one…

UK Number One Developed Economy For New Business

More businesses were established in the UK last year that in any of world’s other developed economies, according to accountants UHY Hacker Young. 218,000 new businesses were started in the UK in 2016, a a 6% increase on 2015. During the referendum the Remain campaign said:

“If we left, businesses would be hit by new charges… leading to job cuts, higher prices, lower wages and fewer opportunities for you and your family. Companies say they would move their business, and jobs, to other EU countries, meaning fewer jobs on the UK market.”

UHY’s Daniel Hutson said:

“The figures suggest confidence in the economic outlook, despite Brexit.”

Classic!

City Jobs Boom: Square Mile to Embark on Hiring Spree

Remember that mass exodus from the City of London that was supposed to happen after the vote to Leave? Turns out the opposite is the case. City AM reports this morning that “City firms are set to embark on a hiring spree next year”. Data from City recruiter Hays reveals that more than two-thirds of financial services firms are planning to hire more staff in the next 12 months. Their MD Mark Staniland says:

“It’s promising that despite market uncertainty, financial organisations are continuing to hire as regulatory changes come into play and digital advancements are creating the need for organisations to constantly adapt and remain up-to-date.”

City AM says “high demand for staff” has been “driven by double-digit salary growth for new hires in the capital”. A jobs boom in the City, #DespiteBrexit…

“Let’s Just Be Calm” – Despite Brexit Banking Double Bubble

A classic day of #DespiteBrexit in the City. First up German central banker Andreas Dombret, a board member of the Bundesbank, called for financial services clearing to stay in London:

“At all events, London will remain one of the world’s leading financial centres. That is why creativity and a truly global outlook will be necessary in order to place future cooperation between the EU27 and the United Kingdom on a solid legal footing. For one thing is also clear – the world’s fast-growing regions are not going to stand idly by while Europe indulges in navel gazing.”

While Italian bank Unicredit said so-called Brexit ‘disruption’ is “much ado about nothing”. Jean Pierre Mustier, Unicredit boss said:

“Let’s just be calm. [London] will remain an important centre for expertise.”

Surely the FT can’t ignore these…

Siemens to Cut European jobs, Expand in UK

Siemens, the most blue-chip of German manufacturers, is cutting some 3,000 jobs in Germany, over 1,000 across Europe and nearly 2,000 in the US. At the same time, despite the company campaigning vociferously against Brexit and threatening to with withdraw future investment, it is now investing €39 million to expand its largest UK plant in Lincoln which employs 1,500 people… 

‘Brexodus’ Was Bogus

All that talk of a ‘Brexodus’ of EU citizens following the Leave vote was bogus admits The Times, which informs us on its front page today:

“The number of EU citizens working in Britain rose to a record high in the year after the Brexit referendum, official figures revealed yesterday. Despite fears of a so-called Brexodus, 2.37 million migrants from EU states were employed between July and September, an increase of 112,000 on the same period last year.”

The Times of course say this is “despite Brexit”…

Not only that, but the number of EU citizens employed in the UK has risen every quarter this year. The Remain press’ shameless fear-mongering will have made EU citizens living in Britain uncomfortable. The good news is they didn’t buy into the Remainers’ view that they aren’t welcome in Brexit Britain.

Meanwhile, in other Despite Brexit-ry, billionaire businessman and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg gave a resounding vote of confidence in London, saying the city is set to continue as the financial heart of Europe:

“[London will] be the financial centre of Europe for the foreseeable future. It has the things the finance industry needs: it is English speaking, it is family-friendly, it has a lot of cultures so you can attract those people here. It is a city with the best transportation and communication and scale and it is already here, so it’s hard to see that going away.”

Naturally, this was written up by the Independent: “Michael Bloomberg says London will remain Europe’s financial capital despite Brexit.” Some classics of the genre this week…

BBC Reports Positive Unqualified Economic News

Shocking scenes in the BBC Newsroom as a positive story about the UK economy is reported without the “despite Brexit” suffix qualifying the headline. Do you think the continuous mocking from Brexiteers – not least Jacob Rees-Mogg on Question Time – has resulted in a change of policy? If a memo has gone out, it is a victory for our campaign against this Remainstream media meme…

BBC: Home of Despite Brexit

Last week David Dimbleby unwisely challenged Brexit champion Jacob Rees-Mogg when he pointed out the BBC had regularly pushed the “despite brexit” agenda. A clearly riled Dimbleby tore into Rees-Mogg on Question Time:

“Can you actually specify an occasion when you’ve heard that… have you got a quotation?… Are you sure, are you sure?”

Well… how about these, all from the BBC News website…

We’re sure, Mr Dimbleby…

Double Whammy of Manufacturing Good News

Remember when they said a Leave vote would ruin British manufacturing? Aston Martin today announces a trade and investment deal with Japan worth £500 million. The luxury car manufacturer will massively expand its dealership network in the country, and will open a number of new offices including a global brand centre in Tokyo and a new HQ. At home, the five-year package will benefit Aston Martin’s factories in St Athan, Wales and Gaydon, Warwickshire. Exports from the plants will be worth £400 million. The UK beat more than 20 other countries to secure the deal…

Meanwhile Japanese car-maker Nissan has said it will increase output from its Sunderland plant by 20% to 600,000 units per year, and raise the quantity of parts sourced in the UK from 40% to 80%. Not a hint of either of these good news stories in the Guardian‘s write-up of the Japan trip and its associated trade deals, which crows: “Theresa May will have to allay Japanese fears about the impact of Brexit.” Seems to be working so far…

August Kicks Off With Brexit Good News Hat-Trick

August kicked off with yet another triple-whammy of good economic news for booming Brexit Britain. In the City this morning Moody’s lifted the ratings of several major British banks and building societies. CityAM reports:

“Santander and TSB banks and Nationwide, Coventry and Nottingham building societies have all had their deposit ratings from negative to stable, while the stable outlooks for three issuers – Close Brothers, West Bromwich Building Society and Yorkshire were maintained.”

Before the referendum, Moody’s warned that Brexit was likely to have a long-term negative impact on bank credit ratings. No need to be so moody after all…

Staying with the banking sector, Deutsche Bank yesterday signed a 25-year commitment to a new London headquarters. The bank has signed up for a minimum of 469,000 sq ft of office space and has taken an option allowing it to expand further at a later date. About 5,000 employees will move to the new office when work is completed in 2023. That’s the same Deutsche Bank that just last month stoked up remainstream media headlines with its warning that it would downsize its London operation. Actions speak louder than words…

Last but not least, British manufacturing continues to strengthen: the sector grew at a faster rate last month than EU countries including France, Spain and Ireland. British factories are on a hiring spree as they scramble to keep up with a booming global order book. The IHS Markit purchasing managers’ index rose to 55.1 in July, from 54.2 in June. Manufacturing number-crunchers said they saw a “significant boost” in activity. A cracking summer to be had in booming Brexit Britain

A Classic of the Genre

Yesterday’s hat-trick of Brexit good news is covered the only way the FT knows how…[…] Read the rest

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