I’m relatively relaxed about the fiscal costs of Covid: UK government borrowing will drop sharply as the economy recovers; the increase in the debt burden is manageable; and there’s no need to ‘pay for Covid’ with ‘austerity’ of any kind. (See my earlier blog explaining How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Debt.) … Continue reading Why fiscal responsibility still matters
There is a lively debate among economists about the way in which UK statisticians are estimating the impact of Covid and the lockdown on the output of the public sector. This is a relatively arcane topic and the mainstream media can be forgiven for not yet covering it. But it is important, not least because … Continue reading How more accurate data help to explain the relatively large fall in UK GDP
Ever since the 2016 referendum, economists have attempted to estimate what Brexit ‘has already cost’ the UK economy and households. It won’t be a surprise to see some of the most depressing numbers dusted off this week to mark the departure from the EU. But all these studies should be taken with a large pinch … Continue reading Has Brexit really already cost us [insert number here]?
The recent slide in the pound against both the dollar and euro has prompted talk of ‘meltdown’ and ‘free fall’. Some commentators have already called this a ‘sterling crisis’, and speculated about what Tory politicians would be saying if it were happening under a Labour government. Even the normally sensible Conservative MP, Sam Gyimah, has described … Continue reading No, this still isn’t a ‘sterling crisis’