There are plenty of reasons to be cheerful in our post-Brexit world. Here are just a few:
Britain leads G7 growth forecasts
The Telegraph business section reports that in an an embarrassing u-turn, the International Monetary Fund has said the UK will be the fastest growing major economy this year. It follows earlier predictions that a vote to leave the EU could plunge the country into recession and trigger a stock market crash.
It praised the actions of the Bank of England post-Brexit, for helping to “maintain confidence” in the economy. The IMF now expects the UK economy will grow by 1.8 per cent – that’s above its earlier forecast of 1.7 per cent (which it issued in July) and puts the UK on track to be the fastest growing G7 economy this year.
FTSE close to all-time high
As for the FTSE, well it is now close to an all-time hight. So much for the doom and gloom forecasts.
A report on the Proactive Investors site reveals the FTSE closed at 7,074, up 91 points (1.3 per cent), having reached the heady heights of 7,122 at one point – above the record closing level of 7,104.
UK manufacturing figures up
Meanwhile the BBC carries an encouraging story about the the rise in manufacturing levels since the vote. The value of the pound has jumped after a survey indicated the UK’s manufacturing sector rebounded sharply in August.
The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the sector rose to 53.3 in August from July’s figure of 48.3. A figure above 50 indicates expansion.
The weakening of the pound following the Brexit vote boosted exports, the survey found. Another marked ‘month on month’ recovery to celebrate!
Consumer confidence up
And what of consumers? Well a piece in The Guardian.
The paper reports: “British consumers have recovered some of their swagger after a run of better than expected economic figures calmed nerves following the Brexit vote.
A leading poll of consumers found that a panic in the aftermath of the EU referendum, causing the biggest fall in confidence for 21 years, was partially reversed in August.
Official figures showing strong high street sales in July and am increase in employment, coupled with a soaring stock market, helped bolster the outlook for the coming year, according to the GfK consumer confidence index.”
Consumers are saying the outlook for the economy and their personal fiances had improved.
Employment figures up
More good news in the shape of employment figures with this report on The Independent site catching the eye.
The report says that the claimant count declined last month, suggesting the labour market held up reasonably well in the wake of the Brexit vote.
The claimant count – which measures the numbers in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit – fell by 8,600 in July to 764,000 according to the Office for National Statistics. According to the report, financial analysts in the City of London had expected the count to increase by about 9,500.
Tourism is up! The Daily Express reports that The Tourism Alliance revealed an 18 per cent boost in overseas visitors since the Referendum and a 21 per cent boom in ‘staycationers’. The poll of more than 500 tourism businesses in the UK also found 20 per cent were planning to increase their investment in rural areas and seaside towns after the vote. The Brexit bounce also showed British Airways reporting an 80 per cent increase in UK flight searches on its US website in the aftermath of the referendum.
Something has gone down…the deficit! Forbes reports the deficit has decreased despite the doom forecasters!
Tim Worstall reports: “Britain’s trade gap narrowed last month in further evidence of the economy defying initial gloomy Brexit forecasts. The trade deficit in goods and services fell from £5.6billion in June to £4.5billion in July, driven by a post-Brexit boost in exports.
“And figures published today also revealed that Britain’s construction industry recovered slightly in the month following the referendum result, with output up on the previous month. The brighter picture for UK trade was driven by a jump in exports, lifting £800 million to £43.8 billion.”
Mortgage rates down
Despite what the ‘Remainers’ say, What Mortgage no less reports that monthly gross remortgage lending hit its highest level for eight years in July after being boosted by the UK’s vote for Brexit.
Data shows re-mortgage lending was £7.1billion in July as homeowners rushed to lock in lower mortgage rates post-Brexit and the monthly figure for July is up by more than a quarter (27 per cent) from £5.6billion in June and is the largest amount since October 2008.
Meanwhile Reuters reports house prices are up, (‘Remainers’ sad they would fall. A pattern is emerging it seems.
Okay, the Pound is down. But many commentators think that’s a blessing in disguise
This is Money says much the same – “…almost all the recovery periods in Britain’s modern economic history have followed a sterling devaluation…the greenback is benefiting from safe haven status, the decision of the other Western democracies to re-capitalise their banking systems (which places all the countries back on an even footing) and the collapse in commodity prices which shows up quickly in the US through a reduced trade deficit…”