Fingers crossed, it looks like the UK has dodged the severe recession that many had feared. But we are not out of the woods yet. Could a sharp fall in house prices still drag the economy down? Many better economists than me have been tripped up by their forecasts for the UK housing market. For … Continue reading Could a house price crash still trigger a recession?
Did the Truss/Kwarteng mini-Budget really cost the country £ [insert gigantic number here] billion?
Speculation that Liz Truss is about to make to return to frontline politics has prompted a flurry of dodgy claims and daft statistics about the economic cost of last September’s mini-Budget. Here's a quick debunking of the most common. I’ll start with the biggest number: £74 billion (sometimes cited as £73 billion). This appears to … Continue reading Did the Truss/Kwarteng mini-Budget really cost the country £ [insert gigantic number here] billion?
The MPC should now pause for breath
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) increased UK interest rates by another half point this week, as most had expected, taking them to 4%. But it also hinted that rates may not rise much further - if at all. I think the MPC has got this about right. The decision to raise interest rates was … Continue reading The MPC should now pause for breath
Why is the UK short of workers and what should be done about it?
In the good old days, economists could gauge the health of the UK labour market simply by glancing at the unemployment rate. The latest official figure is still just 3.7 per cent, which suggests all is well. Unemployment has not been this low since the early 1970s. Put another way, the vast majority of people … Continue reading Why is the UK short of workers and what should be done about it?