Last week’s limelight was on Chancellor Hunt who delivered a much-awaited path for fiscal consolidation. While this should assuage financial market concerns and pressure on the BoE to tighten rates, households will be hit hard. Sure, the OBR seems optimistic about the pace of recovery but that won’t materialise anytime soon. Plus, energy bills will rise again in April. More tough times ahead.Continue reading
Prime Minister Theresa May was in the US for talks with President Trump last week. Securing the basis of the UK-US trading relationship is one of the UK’s biggest economic priorities after Brexit. But care is clearly needed after the US’s withdrawal from the TPP, demands to renegotiate NAFTA and threats of 20% tariffs on Mexico. Continue reading
Underneath the Spending Review headlines was an old, but very important assumption – the UK gets more productive, and fast. Higher productivity means higher wages and thus tax receipts. There are signs of improvement but productivity has fallen short of expectations in recent years. (And Northern Ireland continues to lag the rest of the UK.) Will this time be different?