President Trump imposes tariffs to protect heavy industry whilst a new group of countries slashes barriers.
After the sobering downgrade to our prospects for productivity growth comes the scramble for solutions. The new industrial strategy, if fulfilled, is a good place to start.
The UK housing market is tipped to feature prominently in the Chancellor’s Budget. A range of initiatives are expected to be unveiled, targeted primarily at the younger generation. There are calls for a shift in emphasis from ‘Help to Buy’ to ‘Help to Build’ schemes. It remains to be seen how Northern Ireland will benefit from these. But it’s worth considering how the Northern Ireland housing building sector is currently faring. Continue reading
Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first and last Spring Budget was a modest affair and a perfect advert for holding just one fiscal event each year.
Chancellor Philip Hammond surprised those anticipating a boring Budget by littering his speech with jokes and gags. However, there were definitely none of the pyrotechnic policies that were prominent in the last Chancellor’s Budgets (e.g. the sugar levy), as the substance of ‘Spreadsheet Phil’s’ announcements lived up to his nickname. And, needless to say, the state of the public finances remain no laughing matter. Continue reading
Growth at the end of 2016 had the feel of a seasonal sale. Let’s hope the consumer avoids feeling buyers’ remorse.
Lower growth forecasts meant the Chancellor had some tough choices to make in last week’s Budget. By pressing ahead with business and personal tax cuts now he chose to postpone a big chunk of austerity until the final year of this parliament. Austerity will have to be extended unless productivity and wages stage a dramatic recovery.
There is an increasingly unpopular drama unfolding in the global economy. It’s not quite the epic of 2007/8. But it certainly has economists and investors gripped, as we have witnessed the Big Short on oil prices and a Revenant-style bear market that has mauled the share prices of the stock markets’ biggest stars. Continue reading
Download an extended note on the Budget here.
The 2015 general election was a speed camera for austerity, or so we thought. Given the content of the Budget back in March, the chancellor had been expected to put his foot down on the austerity accelerator. Instead, however, he is set to keep the austerity drive in cruise control, with the pace to remain steady.
We’ll be live blogging during the UK Budget today (July 8th). You can follow updates here from when the Chancellor takes the floor at around 12.30pm.