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Brexit – let them eat fish….
November 30, 2020

Last Tuesday there was a 5 mile lorry queue on the M20 near my home as the French allegedly tested Brexit procedures. It is still possible that this was a coincidence, though it happened at a tense time in the Brexit negotiations. Meanwhile a 27-acre site near the Ashford Designer Outlet shopping centre has been

Making road pricing work requires the Treasury not to be too greedy
November 23, 2020

The government’s green agenda has started to emerge in a series of announcements, mainly affecting motoring. Road pricing is again under active consideration, there is a threat of higher fuel taxes and the ban on sales of petrol and diesel vehicles, originally scheduled to commence in 2040, has been brought forward to 2030. Meanwhile, FairFuel

The Impact of Imposing an additional 2p on Fuel Duty
November 18, 2020

Cebr founder Douglas McWilliams presented the findings of our report for Fair Fuel UK and RHA to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Motoring. The full report is available here and a summary can be found below.   Rumours in Whitehall have been rife as to how Rishi Sunak will pay off the huge Covid deficit.

Despite appearances, the UK is unlikely to be in the deep freeze under Biden
November 9, 2020

Despite appearances, the UK is unlikely to be in the deep freeze under Biden​   At the time of writing, we don’t know who will be declared winner in the US Presidential election. But on past form, the Democrats normally pull ahead when the postal votes get counted and the judicial system tends to rule

The second wave could reduce monthly GDP by about 5-10% in the Western world
November 2, 2020

France went into full lockdown on Friday. It is illegal to leave your home except for essential shopping, to work in essential businesses, for medical reasons or to take the one hour of exercise allowed. Non essential businesses will be shut down. Germany has announced also announced a national lockdown, though less severe than in

The second wave and Brexit difficulties have derailed both the EU’s and the UK’s economy – without a deal it might be 2024 before we get back to 2019 levels of GDP
October 16, 2020

It seems mad that a Brexit deal could be at risk over an industry as small as fishing that contributes less than £1 billion to UK GDP and not much more to French GDP. Which is why it is not surprising that Mr Barnier has committed himself to further talks in London ‘over the weekend if

Cebr raises Christmas unemployment forecast as the Opinium/Cebr Business Distress Tracker points to 1.5 million additional unemployed
October 12, 2020

On Wednesday, Parliament square was filled with 400 musicians, playing parts of Holst’s ‘Mars’, a thunderous and foreboding composition. The performance was part of a musical protest to raise awareness of the hardship that freelance musicians face amid the coronavirus pandemic. They have been hit particularly hard by the virus, which makes live music events

The Chancellor has till mid-2021 to convince the markets that he has a policy to get the deficit under control but a messy Brexit could limit his fiscal options
October 5, 2020

The Chancellor has till mid-2021 to convince the markets that he has a policy to get the deficit under control but a messy Brexit could limit his fiscal options   There is clearly a debate going on in Whitehall about the appropriate size for the UK budget deficit. The Treasury line seems to be that

Excluding restaurants from the 10pm hospitality curfew would decrease the economic hit of the policy by £3.8bn, while still achieving the desired epidemiological benefits
September 26, 2020

Earlier this week the government announced that, in an effort to suppress the infection rate, pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants across England will only be allowed to operate until 10pm. Explaining the reasoning behind the new measure, Boris Johnson noted that ‘the spread of the disease does tend to happen later at night after more

Turnaround towns
September 25, 2020

Northern towns on track to turnaround half a decade of underperformance with signs of local town-led recovery as people work where they live Download the full report here   New analysis of proprietary Post Office data reveals that struggling towns in the north of England are experiencing strong growth following the first lockdown. Towns like

Take ten years to reduce the deficit and 50 years to pay off the debt
September 7, 2020

There has been some lively discussion in the media during the past week about what looks like a leak from Downing Street suggesting that taxes will be raised in the Autumn Budget to pay for the costs of coronavirus and the impact of the associated recession.   Most of the discussion has been about the

GDP could stand £70 billion higher when the schools reopen but part of the swing will be exaggerated by measurement issues
August 31, 2020

There are quite a lot of different impacts on the economy that are likely to follow from the reopening of schools next month. The most recent GDP figures show the education sector as one of the most affected of all sectors of the economy even though the figures are somewhat misleading because they do not

UK GDP saw a record decline in Q2 – but how much of it can be explained by how we measure public sector output?
August 24, 2020

This month saw the release of Q2 GDP data for most eurozone countries as well as the UK and the US. The picture was one of record contractions in output in most countries. Only in a few cases shown in Figure 1, such as Lithuania and Finland, could the annual fall in Q2 GDP be

Eat Out to Help Out sees diner numbers surpass pre-lockdown levels by a quarter, giving the UK a much-needed boost towards normality
August 17, 2020

When the Eat Out to Help Out scheme was announced in early July many, myself included, were sceptical. It sounded like a bit of a gimmicky policy, that while innovative, would in practice accomplish little in terms of helping the hospitality sector. My scepticism faded on Aug 3, the first day of the scheme, when

The take-up of tech – this is crucial for the recovery
August 10, 2020

This week Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy, in a column in the Spectator, points out that the take up of tech is much more limited by the demand side than the supply side, which is true. He then suggests that he is one of the very few people to observe this, a more dubious

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