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Ten things you find out if you drive from Beijing to Paris…

December 9, 2019

Forecasting Eye    We will be holding the launch party for my book ‘Driving the Silk Road – Halfway Round the World in a Bentley S1’ next week and actual publication day is 23 December, just in time for Christmas. The book is published by whitefox*.   As we get close to Christmas it is worth reflecting on what my brother Michael and I did learn as we drove this…

The Times – Consumer confidence rises despite election doubts

December 3, 2019

Consumer confidence rose last month as households shrugged off uncertainty about the impending general election, a poll has suggested.   People are growing increasingly confident about job security and believe that the value of their homes will rise over the next year, according to YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.   The poll found that confidence rose by 1.1 percentage points to 105.1 in November, ending three consecutive months of…

Retailers hoping to see final quarter revenue boost from Black Friday will be disappointed

December 2, 2019

Forecasting Eye    Christmas period sales have risen in line with retail sales values for the rest of the year since Black Friday started to become popular in the UK. However, spending is now concentrated in Black Friday week and the week before Christmas, with a £160 million shift from the weeks surrounding Black Friday to the period of discounted prices.   Amazon introduced Black Friday – the day after…

Tory party manifesto is released late Sunday PM. Can be afforded in the short term but in the long term someone will have to pay…..

November 25, 2019

We produced our comments on the Lib Dem and Labour manifestos over the weekend. Our line was that they were unaffordable. But the Lib Dems, with some squeezing and rescheduling, could probably be afforded in the short term if not in the long term. The Labour manifesto was another thing – if they won sterling would collapse overnight and the economics simply fails to add up.   Coming back from…

No party’s manifesto can be afforded, but Labour’s could lead to a run on the £

November 25, 2019

Forecasting Eye    The Lib Dems and Labour have produced their manifesto launches in the last week. The Tories seem to be delaying theirs until late in the campaign, presumably in response to the difficulties that followed the release of their manifesto in the 2017 election.   The background to the parties’ promises is that the UK public deficit is no longer falling. Total borrowing for the financial year to…

Cebr welcomes delegation of the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission

November 21, 2019

Cebr was delighted to welcome the National Development and Reform Comission, led by Liu Xilong, Director of the Division of Coal Management of the Bureau of Economic Operations Adjustment.   Cebr Deputy Chairman Douglas McWilliams, Chief Executive Nina Skero, Head of Energy Mike McWilliams and Head of Macroeconomics Kay Neufeld presented an overview of the Cebr’s company history, the state of the world and UK economy and the latest on…

The global manufacturing recession

November 18, 2019

Forecasting Eye   Just over a year ago, Cebr wrote about the risk of a global recession rising to one in three for the 2019-20 period. Looking back at the topics that worried us most back then, we see that some of our predictions have come true while others haven’t materialised (yet).   We were certainly right to put the US-China trade war at the top of the list of risks.…

Evening Standard – Returns are the unknown quantity in online shopping

November 12, 2019

The new warehouses in contrast were sited near towns so that van drivers could access them and take advantage of the “extra mile” of delivery. As a result modern warehouses near big markets have become essential to Amazon, Target and others.   They have also become one of the darlings of the stock market, in contrast to most real estate, which is going through the doldrums, even with Brexit stockpiling.…

Independent – Nudging employers to do better on equality doesn’t work – they need a shove instead

November 12, 2019

A leading economist says the productivity gap will close with legislation to help women achieve their potential. But what about Bame and disabled workers, asks James Moore.   One reason why Britain has a skills and productivity gap is that it’s failing to make the best use of its workforce’s potential.   Take female workers. Vicky Pryce, the former head of the government’s economic service, argues that the UK is sacrificing productivity, prosperity and growth through women not working…

Could the unleashing of women’s true economic potential be the answer to solving our productivity puzzle

November 11, 2019

Forecasting Eye    Our present short term focused market system does not lead to proper allocation of resources because it doesn't price externalities properly with little account taken of long term impact of actions. This is of course changing as concern over environmental issues such as climate change is increasing but prices and actions are adjusting too slowly and will continue to move slowly unless there is concerted international government…