The UK is expected to be the only country in the G7 to shrink this year, according to the IMF.
A figure that stretches to the 15 biggest economies in the world. Britain's the yin and only.
KPMG found the expected figure of -0.6% growth to be pretty generous… they’re fancying a figure closer to 0.9%.
This is a relatively mild contraction compared to the great economic crash in 2008 which saw a figure more than quadruple what’s being forecasted for this year… but it still makes for pretty grim reading.
Especially on Brexit’s 3rd birthday… a decision that’s yet to see any benefits to British life other than a slightly quicker vaccine rollout.
So why is Britain looking at far weaker economic momentum?
The main culprit isn’t actually Brexit, putting aside the significant shortages in labour right across various industries & the pressure on businesses that have come with it.
One of the main reasons is Liz Truss’ disastrous ideological experiment in September 2022. In an attempt to fund tax cuts right across the board, especially for those earning over £150k per year… Truss’ plans, metaphorically speaking, to increase the borrowing amount on our country’s supposedly underused Credit Card upset the financial markets. This also meant we got a political instability tag on our credit report.
This has meant interest rates have skyrocketed. People are, generally, paying double what they were previously on their mortgages. This means people have less money to spend on the economy.
A problem also unique to the housing situation in Britain is mortgages in other countries are often fixed for far longer than homeowners here. This means they’re more exposed to higher rates paid on their mortgages.
KPMG expect at least 50% of mortgage holders to have rates dramatically increase with their deals expiring.
Not only is the consumer dealing with higher inflation than the rest of the G7 (the US, for example, has got theirs down to under 7%)… the tax burden for everyone is higher than its ever been. This leaves even less money in our pockets to spend.
These pressures are interconnected… but according to the Government, their calculations have concluded the best bet is hedged upon tackling inflation. With economic policy having such a narrow focus, this feeds into the estimated wider contraction because the Government is throwing fewer resources at getting more money in people’s pockets by other means.
Energy costs are also much higher in Britain compared to other G7 countries. This is the same for retailers who are now feeling the squeeze.
Brexit has given us all the powers… today’s economic projections show they could maybe be put to better use.
Merry Brexit everyone.