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Removal of tax-free shopping costing £10.7bn in lost GDP and deterring two million tourists a year, report concludes
August 4, 2023

The analysis of VAT refund schemes for international visitors has become somewhat of a specialty at Cebr in recent years. With over a dozen reports across various jurisdictions, Cebr has been a leading voice in evaluating the costs and benefits associated with such schemes. Furthermore, we were asked to provide expert evidence in the court of

Global manufacturing sectors are in recession – expect this to worsen as the inventory cycle turns
July 31, 2023

We are expecting a major inventory cycle in worldwide manufacturing over the next two years, hitting already fragile manufacturing sectors in global economies. Even in normal times, the shape of the current economic cycle would lead to a knock-on inventory cycle, but high interest rates will amplify its shape in 2024 and 2025. This will

We forecast that China will be the world’s largest economy for only 21 years before the US overtakes again in 2057. And by 2081 India will have overtaken the US. How does this affect geopolitics?
July 24, 2023

Cebr’s last World Economic League Table (WELT) published in December 2022 suggested that China leapfrogging the US to become the world’s largest economy measured in dollar terms might be delayed to 2036 from the 2028 date previously forecast. The next version of WELT to be published this coming December will update this forecast but we

US inflation is falling back fast – will prices in the UK follow suit?
July 17, 2023

This week brought some welcome news from the US as inflation in the world’s largest economy slowed to 3% in June, down from 4% a month earlier. This is the lowest inflation reading since March 2021, and though the fall back is at least partly driven by base effects, it is hard not to see this

How a rapid post vaccine recovery, labour market tightness and shifting consumer behaviours created a perfect inflationary storm
July 7, 2023

On Wednesday, 5th July, I had the privilege of joining Professor Sir Charles Bean, (former Monetary Policy Committee and OBR Budget Responsibility Committee member), Stephen King (Senior Economic Adviser to HSBC) and Dr Sushil Wadhwani CBE (former MPC member) in giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee. The session examined the Bank of England’s inflation

The US economy continues to confound expectations of a looming recession – so why are consumers so downbeat?
July 3, 2023

Over the past two years, the US has faced a series of challenges that have tested its resilience. Alongside the global battle against the pandemic, the nation has grappled with a surge in inflation, adding to its woes. The inflationary surge has prompted the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) to raise its base interest rates

An interest rate of 6% would mean nearly 10,000 extra home repossessions in the next three years
June 23, 2023

Please note: the figures in the report below were published before the Government announced additional measures to protected mortgage holders on 23 June. These measures will likely reduce the number of mortgage repossessions over the coming 12 months. UK mortgage holders just can’t catch a break at the moment. Gilt yields, which had been trending

The end of the free lunches…
June 19, 2023

I was recently asked to give a briefing on the UK property market for a range of foreign investors, mainly from South East Asia. This is an expanded version of some of my comments. Investing in the UK Since the Brexit vote many overseas investors have downgraded the UK. Simon French of Panmure Gordon estimates

Increase in mortgage rates expected to cost UK households £9 billion over 2023 and 2024, with London and the South East experiencing the sharpest rises
June 12, 2023

The volatility in the UK mortgage market has yet again intensified as major banks swiftly withdraw their mortgage offerings, creating more uncertainty for potential homebuyers and homeowners alike. April’s higher-than-expected inflation reading has unsettled the recent steady falls in fixed mortgage rates, highlighting affordability as the primary concern for the housing market. With the Bank

Greedflation will soon be a thing of the past as consumers’ patience wears thin
June 5, 2023

Inflation now seems firmly on the retreat across most developed economies. While concerns remain regarding the speed with which inflation is expected to fall back to target and the UK in particular seems to grapple with stubbornly high core inflation, the trend is encouraging. Still, if you were to ask two economists for the reasons

With global manufacturing in crisis, economies are dangerously reliant on consumer spending to avoid a recession in 2023
May 29, 2023

Compared to the gloomy forecasts at the nadir of the energy crisis last winter, recent months have seen widespread upward revisions to growth forecasts, particularly for the UK, which now looks set to avoid recession in the first half of 2023. The Eurozone, too, has fared less badly than predicted albeit growth remains anaemic and

Understanding the UK productivity collapse – the bulk of the shortfall comes from online shopping and the government sector
May 22, 2023

New government data released in the past week has shown that the UK’s productivity has fallen over the last year. Output per person hour in Q1 2023 was down 0.6% on the same quarter a year ago and output per worker was down 0.9%.[1] Without productivity growth, the economy cannot prosper – a continuation of

Industrial action cost the UK economy £243m in Q1 due to lost working days, but indirect costs will drive bigger overall impacts
May 12, 2023

The ongoing wave of industrial action that has been sweeping the UK has eased since the end of last year, but with little progress being made in negotiations between unions and government it looks set to drag on. In the nine months to February, more than 3 million working days were lost to strikes, and

A credit crunch is squeezing the global economy
May 8, 2023

Recent economic data have painted a more positive picture of business activity for most developed economies. For example, service sector PMI data for April point towards expansion at the fastest rate in a year raising hopes that a more protracted economic slowdown can be avoided. Odds of a recession or even a single quarter of

The costs of Net Zero may not be net zero
April 24, 2023

The UK government’s rush to act on Net Zero is resulting in a failure to recognise that there are more (and less) efficient methods to decarbonise the economy. This is leading to some policies which are, at best, excessively costly, and at worst, both costly and environmentally ineffective. As an economic thought leader, Cebr has

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