ALEX BRUMMER: The British economy defies the Brexit weakness

ALEX BRUMMER: The British economy defies the Brexit weakness

As much as naysayers try, it's hard to distract the economy from the course.

As the year progressed and Brexit became increasingly uncertain, production increased and rose 0.6 percent in the three months to September. This was supported by robust budgetary spending, a recovery in the construction industry and improved trade performance.

Federal Chancellor Philip Hammond was rightly out of the trap to explain that the numbers show the underlying strength of an economy with 3.3 million more workers and wages are rising at the fastest pace in a decade.

Forces looking to downplay optimism will point out that the first data for the last quarter seems less impressive. The long hot summer and the World Cup jump are a distant memory.

British output rose 0.6 percent in the three months to September, supported by robust household spending, a recovery in construction activity and improved trade performance

British output rose 0.6 percent in the three months to September, supported by robust household spending, a recovery in construction activity and improved trade performance

British output rose 0.6 percent in the three months to September, supported by robust household spending, a recovery in construction activity and improved trade performance

However, the forecasters believe that Brexit, which type of Brexit will eventually emerge, will have a brutal impact on output.

This is certainly the view in Brussels that pushed the UK to the top of the output tables by 2020.

Future prospects ignore the fact that, despite austerity measures in the postwar period, Britain has outperformed much of the continent – and the EU has good political reasons to downplay the prospects of the United Kingdom.

As a half-open person, I consider one of the most interesting data to be a 1.2 percentage point decline in business investment between the second and third quarters.

This is not surprising at a time when engine manufacturers are crying loudly and warning business groups like the CBI about Brexit risks.

However, it also suggests that a decent Brexit result could free up pent-up investment in buildings, facilities and technology, and could mean rapid growth.

Production should also be promoted by a looser fiscal policy. The key feature of the October 29 budget was Hammond's decision to undercut public borrowing significantly rather than using it as a further down payment for debt reduction.

Hammond's tone was relentlessly optimistic, with more editions to follow in the Spring issue of spending, provided the EU talks have produced a reasonable result.

It has been so long since the United Kingdom has pushed fiscal policy towards a Keynesian push to bolster production. However, it is time to increase public investment.

Select downwards

Vodafone boss Nick Read was not given the best hand by his predecessor Vittorio Colao.

The last chief executive scored a good price when he sold the minority stake to Verizon Wireless.

But by giving back so much money to investors, he left Britain's mobile champion bad.

The stocks are full and offer above-average and unsustainable returns of 9 percent. Debt levels have risen to £ 46bn, which is extremely stressed.

Vodafone, who paid the highest dollar for Liberty Global's assets in Germany, Romania, the Czech Republic and Hungary, is under pressure to sell assets to repay the debt.

Proposals include the phasing out of non-European assets such as Australasia and India, and its global ambition ends as they have already left Japan (a mistake) and the US (in question).

Focusing on Europe may be less exciting for management, but it is not without its challenges. Vodafone faces serious price competition in Italy and Spain.

In Germany, at the heart of his European ambition for freedom, there is a new animal to worry about.

Brian Roberts of Comcast, the new owner of Sky, sees in Germany a great growth opportunity for pay-TV, broadband and more.

Not only does it have Sky technology, it also has rich creative content, including Universal Studios and NBC, and has integrated Netflix into the Sky Q-Box.

John Malone of Liberty may have noticed something when he gave up control.

Lowering the dividend and cutting costs could provide the resources needed to plow. For a digital champion, however, this is hardly an encouraging prospect.

Eastern joy

Jeff Bezos is a big passion. He had initiated a beauty contest in North American cities for a second Amazon campus of $ 5 billion and the associated 50,000 jobs.

He has decided to divide the loot between Washington DC and New York. Crystal City south of the Potomac, the place of debriefing of Monica Lewinsky, gets the capital something.

The New York arm seems to be heading for Long Island City, an old industrial quarter now in Queensland.

Who would have thought that.

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