More gloomy forecasts that will be wrong

The gloom mongers have latched on to the slowing of the UK growth rate in the first quarter, after the UK’s good performance in 2016. They forget the timing of Easter issue which distorted consumer spending patterns. They now have to work their way round some obstinately good PMI figures. They think this means a prolonged slowdown. Now today they have to explain away a sharp rise in the construction PMI for May, up to a lively 56 from 53.1 last month. This reflects good growth in housebuilding and general construction projects. The crane count is rising again.

Usually they like PMIs, as these are more opinion surveys than hard data. They fell sharply in the summer of 2016 after the vote, but the real economy did not fall away with them and so they recovered. The latest PMIs are strong, with manufacturing yesterday at 56.7 for May where over 50 means expansion. On normal relationships between PMIs and the performance of the actual economy this points to a sharp acceleration in UK growth in Quarter 2 after a quieter Quarter 1. This is not just based on better exports as the USA and the rest of the EU grows a bit. A lot of it is domestic. Demand for services at home remains strong, with many small businesses with plenty of work and some capacity shortages apparent.

The experience of retailers can be misleading. Many bricks and mortar retailers are struggling to keep up volumes. Some are losing margin and having to keep prices down. Shop prices are still lower than a year ago despite the movement up in general inflation around the advanced country world. This is because the internet companies are taking more and more business, and are able to sell at very competitive prices. I see no reason to change my view that the UK will grow around 2% again this year. Money growth is healthy and there are sensible amounts of credit available.

Published and promoted by Fraser Mc Farland on behalf of John Redwood, both at 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG 40 1XU

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  1. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    “… sensible amounts of credit available.” eh? Isn’t the level of personal debt at a record high, before the mortgage coming into play, with the average family owing around £13k? So could it be that the action on the High St is also slowing down because the shoppers are are maxed out on their credit cards? There is also stuff in the papers today about the housing market slowing down. Mind you could always blame this on the “weather” which is a favourite excuse when supporters of the “recovery” narrative are contradicted by reality. Another “who are you going to believe me or your own eyes” piece from the Conservatives.

    Reply The new homes market continues to expand well. second hand homes were hit by the Stamp duty hikes and turnover remains lower as a result

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      Expensive home sales have been hugely by the absurdly high stamp duty rates (up to 15%). Increased by tax increaser Osborne and foolishly not reversed by the socialist dopes May and Hammond.

      A tax on tenants in many ways. Very damaging to job and personal mobility and thus to the economy.

      • Hope
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        JR, come on. Every prediction and target by Osborne failed to deliver. The central plank was eliminating the deficit by 2015. Where is the central plank in your manifesto two years on? 2025 if ever! May claimed yesterday to live within her means while slating Labour! She is hammering the savers, pensioners and strivers. Look at Hammond’s budget, socialist care policy- we are having your homes when you are buried! Probate tax as well! Alleged Tory party my arse. Goodness, wake up.

        She is not credible.

        Look at her appointments: Gummer an arch remainer should be no where near govt. Read Guido. Rudd on TV. Remember her vile comments only last year about remaining in the EU. Has she morphed into something different?The public do have memories.

        (The election expense issue is sub judice ed)

        • Hope
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

          JR, Gummer thinks the decision by people like you and I make him sick to his stomach! Please explain why I would vote for May?

          Last night on the BBC’s left wing Question Time Labour made it clear they prefer the ECJ than our own courts. Why is this not being exposed? Was Davis not listening? Unless she intends to keep us in.

          • NA
            Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

            Hope, are you another MP or Conservative politician?
            Only you are usually on the ball.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. Not credible and not real Conservatives at all, but clearly by far the better of the two dire options. We just have to hope the sensible Tory wing can stop most of her mad socialist streak.

          Indeed, innocent ’till proven otherwise.

          Gummer minor involved with the bonkers manifesto too I understand. Fancy going in to an election against Father Christmas (with a magic money tree) as a cross between Scrooge and the Grim Reaper . Just how daft can these manifesto people be?

          Etc ed

      • Richard1
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        True. But Labour’s planned garden tax is a threat to every home owner in the country. Why on Earth aren’t we hearing more about this appalling Marxist-inspired plan from the Conservatives?!

        • eeyore
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          The Land Value Tax is “an option”, says the manifesto. No details are given and Labour spokesmen will not elaborate, so it looks bad. A tax on land is a tax on food. It would mean an end to the cheap food policy we’ve had for a century.

          It’s hard to avoid the impression that Momentum neither expect nor want to win this time round, but are just seeing what unspeakable drivel their baying idiots on the payroll vote will swallow without gagging.

          Next time, though, when the country is sick of the Tories and the Tories sick of themselves . . .

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          Any they are going to freeze IHT thresholds at £325K, not even the tiny increases that the Tories “promised” over future years.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          @Richard1 Because maybe this is all planned???!!! How dare the electorate vote to come out of the EU when most of our political party members want to stay in! The establishment must win whatever the cost. We, the plebs must be put in our place. I still think Mrs May doesn’t want to win the election but I hope the public make her follow through.

    • eeyore
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      Dame Rita – how right you are to draw attention to personal debt, which is so often downplayed. But let’s not forget that for every debtor there’s a lender. The interest paid by indebted Brits is received in income by Brits with savings. So we come out even.

      Of course, as interest rates are artificially low and there are six savers to every debtor, the money gets spread thin and both sides grumble like mad.

      • forthurst
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        “But let’s not forget that for every debtor there’s a lender”

        Spending money on a credit card creates an asset in the bank’s balance sheet; it has nothing to do with deposits. With fractional reserve banking, banks create money out of thin air.

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        “So we come out even”

        Except when we don’t- remember what happened almost ten years ago?!

        • eeyore
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          Ah, when the debtor doesn’t pay the money goes to money heaven. Ten years ago the State stepped in and replaced it. Does anyone know why HMG doesn’t charge a premium for insuring banks against going bust? Why is the taxpayer on the hook without limit for nothing?

          JR, you’re with Rothschilds. What’s the reason?

          Reply I am not! Why do you lie about me?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply.
      Gideons attack on btl plus his hideous stamp duty regime has damaged the housing market which knocks on to most parts of the economy.
      Hammond continues with his increase in insurance tax.
      If we go into recession it will be entirely down to government policy.
      We just need labours garden tax to ensure the penury of the little people who are also subsidising the rich through stupid energy policy.
      Three cheers for Trump standing up to the green blob who wish to send us back to the stone age.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      REply to reply. Yes, especially in Scotland where the stamp duty for more expensive homes is very high and is putting people off buying. The government in Scotland has seen its income from the higher rate reduced. Much like the results that will come about from Corbyn’s policies.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        No point in buying for the short or medium term with absurd stamp duty rates. Better to rent than chuck large sums at the government to waste.

    • Know-dice
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply:

      The up-side of the Stamp duty hikes, is that people stay put and upgrade their property.

      The small builders around here (Wokingham constituency) are loving it 😉

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        But it takes away choice?? Maybe people don’t really want to stay for various reasons. Other might move in and make improvements anyway. I know we have always changed something major in any property we have moved in to. People must have choice for change of jobs etc and downsizing when the children move out. Anyway, if people don’t move it suffocates the market.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        It is not an “up side” to be forced into staying, rather than moving as you perhaps preferred to but for the absurd turnover tax.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Recently the trend has been towards a cashless society where most spending is done on cards.
      Then there is the trend to buy cars on monthly low interest leases.
      Then there is the extra few million people living here.
      All adding to the headline debt figure.
      Some say its a worrying sign.
      I prefer to see it as a sign of confidence in the future by consumers.

    • NickC
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Dame Rita, As some of the EU nationals return home, and fewer come over here, the pressure on the housing market will reduce. That will be reflected in lower house prices, which is good for our own young people who will be more able to afford to buy.

      • Graham
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Dream on!

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Er and what about their student debt?

        • Bob
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          the student debt is a problem for a future government, as a large portion of it will need to be written off.

          I don’t expect the govt have budgeted for that, they’d rather keep kicking the can down the road.

      • NickC
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Graham, It’s happening already. More to the point, when we are finally independent (not TM’s or Corbyn’s fake Brexit) we can then attract only the people we need, not whoever fancies their chances. That inevitably will reduce demand for housing.

        Dame Rita, So you think all EU nationals here are students? Not even close.

        • Dame Rita Webb
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          You misread that. A significant cohort of our offspring will not be able to afford a house, not without a significant correction in their cost, because of the level of their student debt.

          However even if the EU immigration dribbles off (which it wont as we will still need seasonal East European farm labour, our own benefit class are above such work) . The last set of figs still showed around 100k coming in from outside the EU so the pressure on housing will still be there. There is no intention to get serious on an ever increasing population, because if there was the non EU part could have already been cut the “tens of thousands”

        • Graham
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink


          I don’t think the facts support your assumption that it is already happening however I agree that if we do ever get some control back, and a regime to ensure it works, it should stabilise

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Indeed but growth could be far better still if we had tax cuts, tax simplification, vanity project cuts, red tape cuts. a sensible chancellor, a cheap energy policy a much smaller state and some positive vision from the Tories.

    Three cheers for Trump for withdrawing from the Paris Climate lunacy and three boos for May for failing to welcome it and follow his lead. Hopefully she will post the election, the public would welcome a sensible cheap energy policy.

    Of course if Corbyn actually does win it will all go very negative in short order.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:53 am | Permalink


      To be fair to TM whilst we are still in the EU she has no choice in the matter. That is why I voted to leave. So that we too can do what President Trump has done and put his country first.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        She could at least indication a sensible direction of travel but she is doing the reverse.

        • Hope
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

          Mark, recently she claimed in the HoC to build on the Climate Change Act. This is not because of the wretched EU policy to make us all reliant on each other for power under its stupid climate agenda. Do not forget husky hugging Cameron antics. As for JR talking about nationalization, which I am against, he forgets the banks, EDF, eon. These are partly owned by governments! Let us not all forget the BBC! A left wing fossil that should have been modernized or privatized years ago. I do not want to pay for extreme left wing views. Nor should anyone from Westminster be allowed a job in the organisation they are too political to fulfill the impartial aims of the charter.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 3, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink


    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 6:09 am | Permalink

      LBJ said a successful politician engenders a combination of fear, love and respect. These are not traits that you can attribute easily to Mrs May. So its not hard to see that most probably she will get the flick this time next week or some time before Christmas if the majority is not bigger than the last one. However what we makes me worry most, not so much about Corbyn, but the people around him, is who will lead the opposition? Ms Rudd keeps getting mentioned in dispatches as a potential leader because of her performance as a stand in the other night. Well how is she going to change the fortunes of the Conservative Party? Why are they overlooking talent elsewhere? Rory Stewart has the perfect CV why are people like him being overlooked and instead given a brief to sort out flood defences?

    • Richard1
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Mrs May couldn’t possibly do that. It would be the equivalent of a Victorian PM announcing himself as an atheist.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    I see that Osborne’s Evening Standard keeps calling May’s policies ‘economically illiterate’ well he is certainly right in many respects. He should know too as he was certainly economically illiterate and an IHT ratter, pension and landlord/tenant mugger, Brexit scaremonger and punishment budget threatener too.

    Just climb into a hole with John Major and the rest of your type please.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      Lord Howard criticised Trump over Paris and once stated that Mrs Thatcher was the first leader to propose a UN convention to limit climate change.

      No doubt, vast majority of Tories oppose Trump on this except they’re reluctant to come out as they’re trying to stay close with Trump over Brexit.

      However, they need to be careful, as they could lose a tonne of votes if they don’t speak out against Trump on this.

      • Know-dice
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        With Trump its probably best to whisper in his ear if you want to get him to change direction, rather than shout at him in public and try and win a handshaking contest.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

          You’re probably right.
          The guy is seriously insecure (like we all are, except he’s President of the United States). Shouting at him won’t help. Still, I can understand people’s anger.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

          Trump is right and the rest of the world’s politicians are wrong. Nothing wrong with renewables, when they can compete on a fair basis without a rigged market let them.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted June 2, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

            It’s most of the world’s scientists and politicians as well as leaders of leading US companies (including Exxon Mobil) who all think / say Trump is wrong. Even Rex Tillerson is pro Paris Climate.

            You’re way out here. But it’s not just that you’re at odds with people such as Tillerson, Lord Howard, and all the scientists, politicians and business leaders, but also what you say is terrible PR for the Tories when we need all the good PR we can get at moment with general election coming up.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 2, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

            This is the problem with state funded science, you have to say what they want to hear to get funded. I am a physicist by training now an engineer and most sound scientists I know (in private) think climate alarmism is, at best a gross exaggeration at worst a huge scam or fraud.

            No significant warming since 1998 – so that is 19 years now. How much longer? All their computer models have been proved to be drivel. May wrong on the issue needless to say.

          • rose
            Posted June 3, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

            I have friends who are serious scientists and they just look at the evidence, not the political activism. They say the man-made climate change case has yet to be made. The jury is still out. Solar activity is what counts at the moment.

            Disgraceful madia coverage of this, especially making out the Chinese to be knights in shining armour on the subject by contrast with the evil Trump.

          • hefner
            Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

            LL, If we had to rely on private funding for science, we would likely be 50 years behind. Try looking at proper figures, and stop thinking you know everything.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink


            ” Try looking at proper figures, and stop thinking you know everything.”

            WHOOPS …..

            According to OECD, more than 60% of research and development in scientific and technical fields is carried out by industries, and 20% and 10% respectively by universities and government.

          • hefner
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

            Whoops, ha ha. Please read properly “Public Research Institutions” in, just the first paragraph should be enough “Rationale & Objectives”. You will learn that basic research and research on things like defence and health are essentially carried out in Public Research Institutions and Universities. I’ll give you that the total R&D in the private sector (essentially technical applications of basic research) is 3-4 times higher than the total R&D in the PRIs and Us. But tell me whether space or marine or desert or land/sea ice research is being paid by public or private.

          • hefner
            Posted June 5, 2017 at 6:11 am | Permalink

            My point simply is that without initially public funded research a lot of subsequently privately funded R&D would not (have) happen(ed).

      • Graham
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        I think that the majority of normal people agree with Trump and May wouldn’t lose any votes even if she openly agreed – climate will change without human intervention.

        It’s usually vested interests and celebrities (who fly a great deal) who absolve their consciences by pushing this agenda – and those who have built their career on funding.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          @Graham. Quite agree. I am sure prehistoric man didn’t stand there and say, “Oh look, we have an ice age, what can we do about it”. Answer – NOTHING! It’s nature and it will do what it wants. We have a drier than usual spring here in Scotland but we have so many bees this year the noise is noticeable and the house martins have returned in droves. It means a lot of mess on the patio and outside the front door but who cares? Nature is taking care of itself and that’s how it should be.

        • APL
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          Graham: “I think that the majority of normal people agree with Trump .. ”

          The Paris accord is just a massive wealth transfer from West to East. India can afford a space program, the UK dropped its space program in the ’50s. The ability to launch satellites into space is now a multi billion dollar industry.

          It seems too, that our Blue streak formed the basis of the ESA Ariane launch capability.

          China is slated to become the largest economy in the world this century.

          If India chooses to prioritise its space program over the health and welfare of its population, that’s India’s affair. I can’t see why the UK should transfer more funds to India because of some slight they experienced at our hands a hundred years ago.

          If India has a claim against anyone its the Mogul dynasty that invaded in the sixth century and destroyed the Hindu and Sikh temples and put huge swathes of the population to the sword.

          A thousand years under the heel of the Moguls, it’s hardly surprising India was a push over for the East India company. British rule must have been a walk in the park by comparison.

          • Mitchel
            Posted June 3, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

            Surely the Mogul/Mughal dynasty arrived in the sixteenth century.Before then there was the (Turkic Islamic) Delhi Sultanate which had beaten away an earlier attempted invasion by the Mongols.

          • hefner
            Posted June 7, 2017 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

            The Blue Streak was directly linked to the WWII German missile technology (V1, V2). After a number of failures at the test level the Blue Streak/Europa project was abandoned in 1965 and never became operational.
            The European rocket project was successfully restarted this time by Germany, France and the UK in the ’70s.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Exxon Mobil, and many other leading American companies, support Paris Climate. In Exxxon Mobil’s letter to the President, they wrote:

      ‘“effective framework for addressing the risks of climate change” and the “first major international accord” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.’

      ‘U.S. is “well positioned to compete within the framework of the Paris Agreement.” Trelenberg argued that the agreement would also expand the country’s use of natural gas, which he says is the “cleanest-burning and least carbon-intensive fossil fuel.”

      How is it in the UK’s national interest to support Trump on this when companies such as Exxon Mobil don’t and leading Tories such as Lord Howard don’t either

      Your position makes no sense to me.


      • Graham
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Just assume that Exxon will benefit hugely from supporting the status quo and you won’t be far wrong.

        Following the money gets you there almost 100% of the time

    • NickC
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Theresa May is clearly one of those types of people who are good at climbing the greasy pole, but hopeless when they actually get power. The Conservatives seem determined to lose the GE (failing to capitalise on a real Leave especially) with all their policies all over the place.

      Although it grieves me to say it, I can see Jeremy Corbyn as the next (in a coalition) PM. Then we get fake Brexit (even faker than the Tory Brexit), a united Ireland (in the EU), independent Scotland (in the EU), Gibraltar and Falklands given away, no nuclear deterrent, and a Venezuelan economy, etc ed.

      • John C.
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Nick Take a stiff drink and go for a lie-down. It will be fine next week- trust me.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t Osborne at the Bilderberg meeting this week?Or perhaps as a mere scribbler on a free sheet he no longer qualifies as part of the global elite.

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        Yes,just checked.He’s there!

  4. Mark B
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    People are buying new build homes because the tax payer is subsidising them. Take away that and you will see how bad things really are. People are maxing out on expensive little boxes and have little cash to spare. If the USA being to raise interest rates we will see just how precarious the UK economy is. And with the UK effectively propping up the EU in terms of trade and offsetting their unemployment figures things for everyone could turn out real bad. And it is because of this that I suspect an early HE was called.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    More dire figures from the NHS today I see. It can never work as currently structured and with Labour it would be even worse still – as the economy and tax receipts would clearly collapse. Hopefully the Tories, after the election, will finally grasp the nettle. Though I rather doubt it under May.

    Step one encourage all who can to insure or go privately, start charging at the point of use for all who can afford to pay something and cut taxes to compensate.

    Do the Tories actually believe in freedom of choice or just dire, state run, socialist (take it or leave it, you have paid anyway mate) monopolies? The latter it seems.

    • Beecee
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      There is a huge shortage of qualified doctors and nurses – in the thousands in both categories. They are not there to employ and most if not all trusts etc have vacancies they cannot fill.

      Those politicians who say they will employ thousands more to reduce waiting times etc should be asked on what medical tree they think they will find them?

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        As far away as Mongolia at the moment. My other half is working with a doctor from there.

        • Dame Rita Webb
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

          JR why is Jeremy Hunt completely invisible in your campaign at the moment?

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        Indeed. Only this morning they reported severe shortages of GP’s in Scotland. In my local town they have advertised for a GP for months and not had one application.

        • Bob
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

          Look no further than Calais, there are thousands of them trying to get across to the UK.

          • Graham
            Posted June 2, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

            And you know this how?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Not surprising at all working for something as incompetent and dysfunctional as the NHS must be rather depressing.

    • NickC
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Stress at work happens principally as a result of imposed responsibility without the authority to rectify the situation. At any level. The NHS management treat doctors in the same manner as 1960s production line workers: so many minutes for this; follow that procedure; etc. It’s not working.

      So doctors have the normal stress of making life or death decisions (which they expected), with the added stress of a prescriptive, prodnose, NHS management driven by bureaucratic targets and paperwork. Doctors are not allowed to be professionals so are deserting in droves.

  6. Richard1
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Interesting that as the world rushes to condemn President Trumps withdrawal from the Paris accord – you really need to get a virtue signalling confirmation out there – no-one so far seems to have addressed the actual point Trump has made: that even if the Paris targets were to be met by 2030 (highly unlikely absent some dramatic technological breakthrough) and are then maintained for the rest of the century the actual effect of all those $trillions will be max to reduce global temperatures by 0.2C. I.e. The benefits aren’t worth the cost. The argument that it’s economically bad for the US as the US will miss out in new green industries is clearly bunkum – there’s nothing to stop companies and entrepreneurs investing in these technologies, it’s simply that the government isn’t going to force higher energy prices and restrict development of the US’s energy resources. It would be good if the BBC would allow some debate on the actual argument Trump has made rather than just interview people talking about how terrible it is.

    • ian wragg
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Well said, The Chinese are keen for the USA to sign up so they can flood the market with PV panels which will require subsidy.
      Working on a renewables power project in the USA it is interesting that the ROC for generation is only $3 per Mwh. This makes the pool price for electric around $38 per mwh. Contrast that with £107 we are paying for renewable energy and £165 for offshore wind.
      Trump is not going to put the USA at a massive disadvantage with manufacturing overseas which don’t have massive energy costs like the EU.
      It is interesting that industry is exempt from the renewable subsidies in Germany, only domestic bills are covered. Hence millions in Germany in fuel poverty.
      If any other EU country tried it on the ECJ would cry foul.

      • hefner
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Richard1, Ian, Who said that (the 0.2K)? Based on what? Who finance the nay-sayers?
        Maybe if you were applying as much zeal to investigate this side of the story as to denigrate the other side, you might in fact learn something.

    • Atlas
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      At least Trump has done something to cheer me up – which is more than I can say for May and her Winter Fuel Allowance cut to 9 million pensioners…

      • Richard1
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Paying winter fuel to wealthy pensioners is absurd. Socialists – amazing – like the idea. presumably to foster a sense of state dependency. We should get rid of universal benefits and get tax rates down. if you can afford to stand on your own two feet you don’t need state handouts.

    • stred
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      According to this Swedish scientist the effect of the Paris agreement will be to reduce temperatures by 0.05 deg C and the US contribution would be 0.o3.

      I watched Trump’s speech on CNN as it was next to the BBC in Holland. He was impressive for a politician, giving figures and reasons. One he could have given was that India’s contribution is to reduce the increase in coal generation to only 60% instead of doubling it. Of course, the TV media just produced ‘experts’ waffling about Trump uniting the rest of the world against him, with no figures for the effect of his intentions.

      Re Bjorn Lomborg

    • Solar student
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Had the USA, EU and UK been in any way serious about Climate Change then Obama would not have banned Chinese companies in Arizona from manufacturing with US workers solar panels, cheaper than that which could be produced in Mexico ( He made redundant US workers in preference for other US workers producing at much higher costs ): The EU would not have banned the import of extremely cheap Chinese panels nor the UK done the same. Instead they decided to make solar panel production and solar power uneconomic instead of a Godsend.
      So what Mrs May and Ms Rudd are playing at in regard to Climate Change protocols is a mystery and if TV Election audiences were not deliberately peopled overwhelmingly by Corbynistas they might be asked the right questions. Perhaps it’s just a chance ot visit France/Paris and pick up some expensive French branded perfume which is actually made in Finland by immigrants largely from Pakistan

  7. Richard1
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Sorry I meant condemnation

  8. alan jutson
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    The squeeze will eventually come when interest rates start to rise, as we have been living in cloud cuckoo land with historic false low interest rates for rather too long now.
    Indeed I am surprised it has lasted so long.

    Those who have maxed out credit cards and have huge mortgages, will I am afraid start to suffer first, Brexit will know doubt get the blame, but that will be wrong, as it will happen in other Countries as well.

    Once interest rates start to rise, then the Country’s deficit and overall debt will also become more expensive to sustain, so the burden on taxpayers will also rise.

    When will it start to happen ?

    Your guess as good as mine, but sure as eggs are eggs it will happen at some stage, lets just hope it’s not too harsh too soon.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Quite soon you can see the pressure ZIRP is already having on the pension funds and insurance companies

  9. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    How disappointing to see that May did not follow Trump’s lead in dumping the climate change act. I suppose this means more expensive energy is on the cards for us and for Europe. Is this what the Conservatives mean when they say they are on the side of business and especially our heavy industries?

    • Iceman
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Mrs May and Ms Rudd are both tearful about Trump’s decision. The only thing I like(d) about Margaret Beckett was she openly proclaimed Climate Change was and is a load of nonsense. No disrespect to her age. I myself am knocking on. But we can remember various weather in our lives and when some 20-something weather broadcaster says “its the worst snow since the Ice Age we recall such snow in our childhoods and there were no mammoths about.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        You do not need to be that old. I remember at school in 70s being taught about scientists fears of a “new ice age”. That was probably just an equal amount of old cobblers as futurologists predicting that the “new technology” would lead to the development of a new leisure class. However instead its led to large chunks of the lower orders in the West being effectively thrown on to the scrapheap as their means of making a living has been taken away.

      • John C.
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        One of the odd things about climate change “believers” is that they automatically assume that any change is for the worse (WHY?) and they want desperately to keep the status quo. Does this mean they are all at heart Conservatives?

  10. a-tracy
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    The shops need to get smarter and give people a shopping experience the internet can’t offer. Department stores especially those in smaller Towns should offer local clothes designers and small boutiques the chance to catwalk their creations at weekend events and then let them have pop-up shops to sell their goods.

    They should have wedding fayres and promote their homeware departments. Pre-Prom events, where have all the marketeers gone? We don’t train enough sales and marketing people, so the sales industry ends up with college dropouts without qualifications in the main. M&S need a new clothes designer they should beg George to come back.

    If shops are empty for more than three years owners and Councils should really think about repurposing them and look at their local rates.

  11. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    .. and there is the climate change hysteria. It’s the sun and overpopulation folks – suggested tweet.

  12. margaret
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Surveys, audits, types of research should be taken as indications not fast rules.
    An example of this is as follows. I have my own patient list of approx. 16-18 patients in a morning. Some do not turn up . We go into their file , spend time assessing their known present condition and make an effort to follow up, as many times anxiety or emotional / mental health problems prevent patients from attending . I actually may take more time on the non attenders than the attenders. Along come managers who see everything in black and white. Their position is that if they do not attend then we are not spending time with their concerns. These figures are then audited and by my previous explanation can be seen that the audit does not represent the truth . The audits are passed on and collated in and as a whole representing the time taken with patients. On a grand scale then, this is gross misinformation and managers should learn to carry out their work for the best interests of the patient , not their jobs.
    As a Nurse the NMC code of Conduct states that my first attention is for the Nurse to be and advocate for the patient . Therefore although we all should work together as a team; if it is against the interests of any patient within my capabilities and scope I will not do as management say. Audits and research must not be fast law.

  13. Man of Kent
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    ‘The latest PMI s are strong ‘
    Not according to the BBC yesterday who forecast recession is on the way !

    • Jagman84
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Well, the BBC revenues are in decline as an increasing number of people ditch the TV licence. Their behaviour during the election campaign will only encourage more to do so. Why the Toreis allow them to get away with such overt bias is beyond me.

  14. Bert Young
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Internet shoppers ( including my wife ) ought to be aware of the off-shore advantage that Amazon have . It is very convenient to have things delivered to your door , avoid driving and parking costs , but , it is at the expense of the small local retailer who is disappearing fast .

    In my area many premises have become ” charity ” shops because rates are high and trading volumes low . This trend has been going on for several years and the town centre is dying . Nearby – in Didcot , my wife incurred a £25 parking fine because she entered the parking area of the Supermarket 2 minutes earlier than she should ; having done her shopping in the first 2 hours of free parking , she remembered something and then returned to get it – result – £25 !. No wonder she uses Amazon .

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Bert I forecast exactly this a decade or more ago.

      We used to have a small but knowledgeable owner of a camera shop in Wokingham many years ago. (JR will know who I mean)
      His prices were fair and keen, but he could not compete with out of Town or out of Country discount sheds.
      His advice was often sought by keen camera purchasers, who then wanted to think about it (purchase from the web).
      Inevitably when they had problems with the equipment they had purchased elsewhere they tried to use his services to return the goods to the manufacturer.

      His answer was the same as mine when I was in business, you did not purchase it here so may I suggest you take it back from where you got it !

      Unfortunately serious family illness and high costs eventually meant closure.

    • ian wragg
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Bert, even the charity shops are now having to pay a portion of business rates, we are also forced to pay over £500 per annum for waste removal.
      many people are dumping good on charity shops rather than take them to the tip.

    • Swizz
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Bert Young
      I have some sympathy for small retailers, but not much.
      Locally I wished to buy a certain very popular pain killer but specially made avoiding the possibility of heartburn for continued use. The price on the internet was 30 pence ( thirty pence ) per packet. The local chemist tried charging me £8.60p for two packets taped together “They are special” ) and were said to have been prepared for a customer who failed to turn up.
      I could cite decades of instances of masssive overcharging and substandard goods sold by small corner shops who years ago took no pity an a virtually captive group of ignorant customers.

      • getahead
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        In the same vein, I bought some LED lamps from a well-known on-line retailer. £2 each.
        At our local supermarket they were £6 each, £8 for two. I thought that was excessive.

  15. Antisthenes
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    If the Conservatives do as badly in the the general elections as opinion polls appear to indicate and the left does take command of the country then expect growth to be considerably better than 2%. The left will be cock a hoop as the left harvest their magic money trees and liberally dole it out to all and sundry who can spin a victim hood yarn and quickly make it’s way onto the high street.

    The law and rule books will quickly be thickened as new protections for workers et al will be added so as to immensely enhance their rights and privileges. The electorate and vested interest except of course those hated wealth creators will be ecstatic as they rejoice in the largess and new protections that are showered upon them by a benevolent government.

    It will be short lived of course as inflation kicks in, productivity plummets, the new high growth rate suck in more immigrants(who will quickly find they are also joining the ranks of the unemployed) to take jobs indigenous people have even less need to to leave their comfortable sofas for. Entrepreneurs and innovators will stop their wealth creating ways, the state will have to take over more and more of the means of production and have to introduce ever more liberty destroying laws to enable it to do so. The new high growth rate will descend rapidly into negative growth rates. Bankruptcy, shortages and discord will follow and the UK will follow the path that all socialist governed states take and become destitute, anarchic and impoverished.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      I’d say, generally, you are talking nonsense. Are you under the illusion that all in the garden is rosy now? £1.7 trillion debt. £60 billion a year in debt interest. Still borrowing £50 billion a year. Yet, education and NHS funding in crisis. Half the country working for slave wages. The next generation priced out of home ownership. Pension returns next to nothing so massive boom in buy to let. I could go on. And on. And on. But it is too depressing.

      If you think Labour are bad and the Tories are good you are, not to put too fine a point on it, deluded. They are as bad as each other. Labour’s state capitalism and the Tories’ corporate capitalism are producing one thing – a race to the bottom.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Mike Anti needs to read the collected works of Lifelogic to remind himself of the Conservatives current anti growth anti entrepreneurial activities.

      • John C.
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Mike W. You are, alas, speaking the truth. Perhaps it’s better, for the sake of personal happiness, to live in dreamland for as long as poss.

        • hefner
          Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          … and to stop using this blog. Unfortunately for me from time to time I need my dose of stupidities, and I am sure to find ample provision of those herein.

      • Antisthenes
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        If your level of understanding of current affairs is representative of the electorate as a whole, which sadly I believe it is, then we are indeed going to have a progressive alliance with Corbyn in charge after June 8th. Then you will understand the reality that what we have now although far from perfect mainly because of socialist meddling for much of the last century will be paradise compared to what is to come. It also did not escape my attention that you appear to not have understood a word I wrote as it obviously was far too intellectually challenging for you to do so.

    • Ha!
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      If Corbyn wins the election the effect on the Pound will be debilitating and the BoE will need to work nightshifts to stem the immediate collapse. It is not just Tory Party hype when they say his economics are economic suicide. They are frightening to anyone with money to invest or invested. ..including pension funds.

  16. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    We buy almost everything, apart from groceries, from Amazon. They are going into groceries I believe. So, we’ll no doubt buy from them when they do.

    Off topic … are the Tories trying to throw the election? Why was Amber Rudd on the TV debate the other day. She comes across cold … uncaring … indifferent to the problems faced by those whose benefits have been cut. There are so many things that can be lobbed at the Tories – and she does not have the replies. David Davis would have been a much better choice but, I suppose, a woman scared to appear delegating to a man would never have done.

    You, unbelievably, are going to lose this election. Seems surreal.

    Oooh, bonus on the Captcha. Didn’t have to select anything.

    • Ha!
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Mike Wilson
      If the vast majority of people…95%-99% made their voting decision based on whether Mrs May attends a TV debate then you might have something. You and people on this site are interested in politics and make the time to watch such debates.( if that is waht it was supposed to was a farce ) Everyone else is either working, playing, watching a movie, in the garden, at the pub, walking the dog, or asleep as they work shifts, changing nappies, washing the dishes, cooking,eating. They would be stupid anyway to base their voting decision on a one-off TV performance. , Even the Corbyn suppoerters in the audience were so brash, and hooligan-like that no-one would wish to vote and associate themselves with such people.They lack personal control and basic civility.
      BTW don’t bet any money on your Election prediction. You’ll thank me!

      • DaveM
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        I think you’re wrong. Labour supporters round my way have demonstrated their sharp political and economic acumen as well as their mature approach and natural ability to run the country. How you may ask? By daubing obscenities all over the Conservative party candidate’s signs. Brilliant. Why would you consider voting for anyone else?!

  17. housey-housey!
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    The housing bubble and car purchase bubble is hotting up worldwide. It will be worse when it all crashes because one way or another financial entities have worked around subprime rules and are now lending at Grimm’s fairytale deal levels. Canada anbs the USA have already openly got bigger “bubbles” than just prior to 2008 “But it won’t lad to a crash because “blah blah blah” Well some older fund managers are not taking the risk with their clients’ money and their own reputations and are getting out of the mortgage and even private rented lending sector as fast as they can.

  18. Too good a customer
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Credit card companies ditched many of their excellent payers some years ago. They wrote letters saying their customers should either use their credit cards more often and where there was actual credit on cards gave their customers a choice of three charities to give the money to (comnpulsory ) or spend more money on the card. That isn’t to say present card holders are bad customers or bad payers. But if much is owed on them now, and it is, it would suggest our economy is going to take a big hit….timescale unknown but the advance of online retailing can only make a crash come faster and be more profound.

  19. Oracle
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    The Labour Party, LibDems and the SNP are creating uncertainty. No-one in their right mind would invest in the UK in the event of a win by their Coalition of Chaos. Good will start to come if Mrs May wins a thumping majority.
    Though Clegg will probably retain his seat, he seemed unnerved on BBC Question Time and a very calming SNP Angus Robertson changed subject abruptly and deliberately.
    My assessment of the panel’s body-language is that LibDems are going to get a thorough roasting, Labour is going to lose considerably, Angus Robertson will retain his SNP seat and possibly become SNP leader instead of Sturgeon. I have a feeling he personally prefers being in Scotland than London.

  20. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Just had a bet on Labour to win at 6/1. The bookies have the Tories at 1/10 or worse. The mind boggles.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      The odds you quote are for most seats, not an overall majority. There is no way at all Labour can win most seats and no polis close to saying they can. You have wasted your money.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      The bookies were wrong on BREXIT and Trump. I would be interested on the odds for
      the Conservatives as largest party with no majority

    • saint
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Mike Wilson
      It might be an idea to find out what those odds mean.

  21. Snack
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    The historic low price of cocoa is not reflected in the prices of chocolate. It seems like a tax on kids’ pocket money by the retailers. In any event what they may be losing on other food-goods they make up by fleecing little children. With modern dieticians trashing and making comic formerly wholesome school meals, kids need chocolate to “fill that gap” with….

  22. Ed Mahony
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink


    It’s totally irrelevant at this stage whether you’re trained in physics or not.

    What matters is the amount of scientists who claim climate change is real, who they are, and what arguments they make.
    The evidence, from the scientific community overall, is that man-made climate change is real and a real threat to our environment.
    To look at it like this is just pure logic. Don’t you get that?!

    Anyway, even if the scientist were just having a really bad day in their assessment on this, by supporting Trump on this, you’re helping to create bad PR for Tories as many potential Conservative voters are really concerned by this subject, by Trump’s response to it, and by Mrs May’s response to Trump.


    • Ed Mahony
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      And Trump isn’t opposing Paris for economic reasons (Tillerson, exxon-Mobil boss is pro Paris). Purely for political ones. I simply cannot understand how any Tory could support Trump on this? (Especially coming up to a general election when we could lose lots of votes on it).

      Science is great. If we give it the opportunity, we can reverse the damages we’ve done to our planet. And at the same time, make money out of it. It’s not a bleeding heart cause anymore. It just makes good sense overall.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        Utter tosh! Science isn’t decided yet and those without vested interests have different opinions on ‘global warming’. It is a money making scam

    • David Price
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      You are describing herd stampede behaviour, not “pure logic”

  23. adam
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    More gloomy forecasts that *may* be wrong

    As you can never tell with the economy.

  24. Beecee
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    The Leaders debate on BBC has just started.

    What idiot agreed that Mrs May would go first? Have they never heard of ‘lasting impression’

    Corbyn can now throw as many brickbats as he wishes without return.

    Mrs May is surrounded by imbeciles. They maybe intelligent but that is not the same as ability!

    Mr Dimbleby will certainly punch the anti-Tory message home.

    The Manifesto was another suicide note, ably written and supported by her prat of a team at No. 10

    In the next survey I get from YouGov I shall have to answer that I expect mt finances to worsen considerably in the next few years.

    Time to get Boris out there to repair the damage!

    • hefner
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      “Time to get Boris out there to repair the damage”: that’s really the best comment, not.

  25. The silent majority
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Yet another TV audience facing Mrs May and Mr Corbyn which, if you instead radomly pulled people from the street and made them the audience would behave wholly differently. Few would have tolerated many of Corbyn’s utterances. The nurse would have been asked to produce her payslip and tell everyone why she deserved more money.
    Mrs May should ask the next nurse what she earns.No more nurses would appear on TV shows and Mr Corbyn would not want them to. Their salaries would anger half the population who manage on far less and don’t even know how to qualify for a food bank nor need such charity. I have never earned as much as a nurse. One day , it is a dream, I hope I shall.

  26. Ed Mahony
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    @ Rose

    I have friends who are serious scientists and they just look at the evidence, not the political activism.

    I never said look at the political activism (Trump is being completely political on this – to capture his voting base in the coal areas of America) (nor at what your friends think whether they be serious scientists or not) but at what the leading scientist say on this matter think! For example, look at this page from NASA

    Let’s not ignore the science. Not just denying what the leading scientists say. But also how the leading scientists say that we can use science to reverse the problem without affecting our economy in the long-term.

    We can have the best of both worlds if we really listen to the scientists, are patient, imaginative and determined.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      I really think some people (not making this charge at you) have this kind of black-and-white it’s either oil and coal or our economy sinks. This is complete nonsense. Yes, our economy will be affected in the short-term in fits and starts as we introduce new technologies to deal with climate change whilst, at the same time, not forgetting the concerns of our economy, but in the long-term, we’ll be able to achieve the best of both worlds thanks to science – but, also, to patience, imagination and determination.

      So the real test isn’t how we can forsake our economy and wealth (only in fits and stars in the short-term) but how whether we have:

      1. Faith in science
      2. Heroic when in comes to things such as human patience, imagination and determination

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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