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If inflation subsides in 2023, this Budget will look like a masterstroke worth celebrating with English sparkling wine. Otherwise it is another tax and spend budget…
October 27, 2021

Rishi Sunak is an ambitious man who hopes to be the next Prime Minister. His Budget today is an attempt to steer a course between the prejudices of his boss, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and those of his Department, the Treasury. The essence of Borisism is that the fundamental law of economic gravity, that you

There is a way out of the Chancellor’s fiscal dilemma. But to find it, he has to be brave.
October 25, 2021

Though his popularity has tumbled in the last year as he has faced the hard choices demanded by the economy, more people still think Rishi Sunak is doing a good job than think he is doing a bad job, according to YouGov’s monthly survey. But he is now facing multiple challenges as he prepares his

Interest rates: To raise or not to raise?
October 20, 2021

An article by Douglas McWilliams for Reaction There is one subject on which both the hawks and doves who disagree over interest rates do agree on: that the Bank of England is making a horlicks of its communications with the outside world, and more pertinently, the financial markets. Over the last week we have heard

Fuel crisis. We think it’s all over – or at least by the beginning of next week
October 9, 2021

The fuel crisis has been plaguing the country for the better part of the past two weeks, leading to hour-long queues at forecourts and frustration among motorists. Triggered by the closure of only a handful of gas stations on 23rd September, the crisis has quickly escalated, as drivers rushed to fill up their tanks. Whilst pressures

The economic impact of the UK’s New Approach Methodologies sector – A Cebr Report for Animal Free Research UK
October 6, 2021

View the full report here. Executive Summary Report overview This is a Cebr report for Animal Free Research UK, assessing the economic contributions made by New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) in the UK. The report considers the direct economic contributions made by the UK NAMs sector during 2017-2019 as well as a forecast of its projected

1 in 5 furloughed workers set to become unemployed with those in arts and entertainment especially vulnerable
October 1, 2021

Yesterday (September 30th) marked the final day of the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. First announced in March 2020 and set to end in May of last year, the furlough scheme had been extended several times in the hopes it would prevent a spike in unemployment that would have otherwise been expected given the sharp

After the end of the Merkel-era, Germany’s new Government needs to face its investment backlog to address demographics, digitalisation and decarbonisation
September 26, 2021

On Sunday, Germans will vote for a new Bundestag which will subsequently elect a new Chancellor. After 16 years, it is undoubtedly the end of an era, certainly for me as a German. The last time Germany had a Chancellor that was not Angela Merkel, I was still not allowed to drive a car or

Defending the public purse: The economic value of the free legal advice sector
September 21, 2021

Read the full report here. Executive Summary: Organisations supported by the Community Justice Fund help 483,000 clients a year The average net benefit to Treasury for each client helped is £8,000, while the average cost of advice provision is just £510 per person. This equates to a net benefit to the public purse of £4billion

Highest tax burden in over 50 years will unnecessarily hamper UK economic recovery
September 13, 2021

This week saw the announcement of the Government’s plans for long-awaited reform to the social care system, an issue that has plagued Prime Ministers for decades. The reforms, which come into force from October 2023, involve a cap of £86,000 on the care costs paid by individuals across their lifetime, and tapered care cost support for

Afghanistan is one of the world’s poorest countries. It may just about to be transformed economically by the Chinese – despite the Taliban
September 6, 2021

We normally allocate the country reports for Cebr’s World Economic League Table in turn. I traditionally get the first country on the list which is Afghanistan. And so I’ve been writing a macro report on its economy each year for the past four years. Over this period, the prospects for the economy have gradually deteriorated.

The UK car industry has been suffering and Covid is just a part of the problem
August 31, 2021

The latest SMMT data on car production show that in July, UK manufacturers assembled less than 54,000 new cars. This is the worst July figure since 1956 and a 37.4% year-on-year decline [1]. Up until March this year, car production had seen reasonable month-on-month growth rates and seemed to be recovering from its 2020 woes

The labour market threatens to slide into a two-speed recovery with older workers most vulnerable
August 23, 2021

The last 18 months have seen a drastic uptick in redundancies, furloughed workers and economic inactivity – and although the labour market is on the mend, not everyone participates in the recovery equally.  Many elderly people have dropped out of the labour force which could pose a greater problem to the economic recovery than is

The backwash from a US monetary tightening could hit emerging markets at the same time as lack of vaccination is delaying their post-Covid recovery
August 16, 2021

My former CBI colleague Andrew Sentence recently described central banks’ typical attitude to emerging inflation as initial denial that there is a problem, then suggesting it was ‘just a blip’, then admitting that there are inflationary pressures but that ‘they are only temporary’, before finally realising that inflation had in fact taken off, requiring urgent

International travel restrictions could mean an £11bn spending shortfall by the end of the year, with London accounting for £7bn as other areas plug the gap with staycationers
August 5, 2021

With most Covid-related restrictions lifted and the ‘pingdemic’ set to ease drastically on 16th August, as fully vaccinated individuals avoid having to isolate following contact with someone that tests positive, one of the final remaining frontiers in the fight for normality is international travel. The current rules for international travel generally depend on the colour

Could the Chinese, unlike Gordon Brown, have ‘abolished boom and bust’ despite an average property costing 28 times average income?
August 2, 2021

In the last month, China’s highly successful private tutoring companies and many of its top tech companies, including entertainment giant Tencent, online retailer AliBaba and ride hailing app Didi, have all fallen foul of new Chinese government regulations and faced sharp share price falls. Meanwhile the second-largest Chinese property company Evergrande, which has now broken

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