Slowing economy

The latest job figures confirm that the UK economy is slowing as the rest of the world does. The combined impact of the UK’s home grown fiscal and monetary squeeze, and of the big fall in worldwide car output and manufacturing more generally is being seen. The poor background of trade wars and new tariffs does not help.

Over the last week the USA has threatened Turkey with higher tariffs in steel and suspension of trade talks. The US-China talks stumble on in the hope that they could at least delay or cancel the next round of US tariff rises mid month this month. The disputes in Kashmir, South Korea-Japan, and US- Iran also continue.

We are told the UK government plans a budget for early November, when they need to provide some stimulus . India, France, China and others have made recent cuts to taxation, which the UK also needs to do.

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  1. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    And we continue to import 20,000 people each month or perhaps more.

    • Prigger
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      Local Election Project Delay

    • RichardM
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      Non EU immigrants working in Tech, IT and Telecomms companies on rotating visas for low wages low annual holidays no sick pay no national insurance contributions. Once their visas expire they rotate with another. The cycle continues. Many UK workers in thses sectors get Tuped to Chinese/Indian companies. As they slowly leave after years of no pay rises, they are replaced with offshore resource.
      This is not a level playing field for UK born.
      EU workers at least compete under the same EU employment rules.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 17, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink


        This is total, utter and complete baloney .

        All workers on Tier 2 visa’s are subject to full employment law . The average wage of IT workers in UK is £48,000 .

        To obtain an intra company transfer tier 2 visa the minimum UK salary will need to be £41,500 per year. This is higher than the requirements for the Tier 2 General visa category which is £30,000 per year. Before granting any tier two visa it is mandatory to advertise the position on both a government and at least one private sector job website and to show that the position cannot be sourced locally. Seeing as we have 35,000 unfilled IT/ Digital Tech jobs in the UK its hardly surprising if they cant be filled . There were 64,000 Tier 2 visas ( in total in ALL occupations and sectors last year) Out of a UK workforce in IT of 1.9 million

        You wouldn’t know a fact if you walked headlong into it.

        • bill brown
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

          Personal insults again, totally unnecessary

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Yes Ian – coming soon to a brand new housing estate near you – for your taxes to pay for their rent, their reduced council tax, their bills, their benefits and no doubt their multiple wives and multiple kids as well. Is your “no-control ” generosity warming the cockles of your heart – -or making your blood boil?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 16, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        What have those people whom you caricature, and whose benefit entitlements you completely misrepresent, got to do with the European Union?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Yes, well someone has to do all the high-value-added work, to support all the Leave-voting pensioners, don’t they?

      • Edward2
        Posted October 17, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Why do they need support?
        They have worked for decades, paid National Insurance every week and now have right to a State Pension.
        Many more have built up savings and or have separate private pensions.
        We don’t need your support.

    • Addanc Monster
      Posted October 17, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget the anti-business faux Tories are trying to wipe out the UK flexible workers!

  2. Mark B
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Good morning – again.

    Taxation definitely needs to be cut. Not just personal but corporate as well. But the one tax, apart from death taxes and Stamp Tax, is Employers NI. Just get rid of it ! We have too many taxes and simplification is well overdue. So if you want to stimulate the economy, cut taxes and simply them there is your answer.

    I also notice my comment from yesterday was not published. Once again I seem to hit the spot 😉

    Thank you.

  3. Kite Mark
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Pity the budget is not on 5th November instead the 6th. Then journalist could say “It’s a fire sale budget”. Is it on the 6th because MPs do not wish to tempt Providence by it being scheduled for the 5th. The Remainer MPs if frightened could always send their office staff in their stead.

    • James1
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Cut and greatly simplify taxes. Infinitely safer to rely upon competitive free markets than the altruism of politicians. Get the appalling nanny state bureaucrats off the backs of taxpayers. Forget equality as a goal, aim for freedom.

    • David J
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Interesting timing on the proposed budget. We will probably be in the chaotic aftermath debate surrounding Boris’s attempt to resurrect the May WA version 4 “Divided Union”.
      ……strange irony that the many will be relying on the rogue parliament to block May’s deal one more time….

  4. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    The attack on car assembly plants in the U.K. buy the EU (giving Japan a Free trade agreement) is adding to that problem. About time British consumers stopped giving the German car industry a living.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink


      How many British people are earning their living through the German car industry ?

      • Fred H
        Posted October 17, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        MH… do the numbers. Add every Mercedes, Porsche, BMW sold, then add the number of people who have to buy parts made in Germany for their not new ones. QED.

  5. Derek Henry
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    The problem I see is previous Tories have built a rod for your own back.

    Never mind the IFS and OBR with their gold standard, fixed exchange rate nonsense. How are you going to convince voters that budget deficit is going to increase after they told them it works like a household budget the last 15 years or so.

    I mean the tax payers alliance is complete bonkers and does not reflect the country we live in. They will be in your back as well.

    I know you know how it works in reality John. You are going to have to pull a rabbit out of a hat here or change the false narrative of recent years.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 17, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      That was a party political broadcast from the Magic Money Tree Party.

  6. Newmania
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    “Despite ” Brexit….. you mean

    • libertarian
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink


      Thats the Brexit that you assured us due to you working in the sector that you guaranteed that the city of London would move wholesale to France and Germany

      That would be France where HSBC has just shed 8,000 retail banking jobs

      Your predictions are at least very consistent….. always wrong but consistent

      • libertarian
        Posted October 16, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        ps Newmaniac, Andy Maggs & Marty

        Hmm your predictions of the demise of UK motor manufacturing dont look too clever either

        The UK’s car industry looks like it’s shifting into top gear as Britain speeds towards the Brexit finishing line; with the announcement by Jaguar Land Rover of a new three million-square-foot distribution centre in Leicestershire, supplying to 80 markets worldwide

        • bill brown
          Posted October 17, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink


          Like your predictions about stock piling in March that did not happen (according to your knowledge)
          Merkel’s future
          Closure of the Danish border

          Well done

          • libertarian
            Posted October 17, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink


            You keep posting this even though you are demonstrably wrong

            I linked you to the full fact website that said no real stockpiling had taken place

            Merkel is retiring and Germany is in big trouble exactly as I predicted 6 months ago

            I told you first that the border between Denmark and Sweden had been re manned for heavy checking, I asked why Denmark had done this YOU told me that Sweden had done it first months ago . I then posted that it was closed and you all fell for the trap telling me it was only temporary .

            You look a right mug

        • margaret howard
          Posted October 17, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

          In other words not ourselves making any cars but just a distribution centre for others. A sort of Amazon warehouse with poorly paid unskilled people earning a pittance and not trained for anything one could call a trade.

          Is that the future you envisage for a post Brexit Britain? It seems only yesterday we called ourselves the workshop of the world.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 17, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

            UK manufacturing employs millions and is growing and is profitable.
            Good well paid jobs.
            Stick to commenting on things you know about.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 17, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink


            So you continue to ignore all the posts Ive made about the various high tech engine design, new electric car and battery tech factories being opened in the UK

            You are pitiful in your ignorance of UK manufacturing

        • bill brown
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink


          You come out of your corner with your personal insults again, you are really getting desperate.

          Let me know, if you need some help?

    • Richard1
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      Yes I think Brexit must be the reason the world economy is slowing

      • More
        Posted October 16, 2019 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

        and Climate Change

  7. Derek Henry
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    John I know you know this.

    Sorry to post twice because I know you do not like multiple posts but it is really important.

    Trump just did it. Drained the swamp so to speak. He is running a $ trillion government budget deficit. He knew there was enough skills and real resources to absorb both the tax cuts and increased government spending so that the $ trillion surplus he gave to the private sector did not cause inflation.

    Who is going to just do it for the Tories? Who is going to drain the swamp after brexit.

    What on earth is the point of Brexit if nobody does it and sticks to the self imposed gold stsndard, fixed exchange rate rules. That caused all this self harm in the first place ?

  8. Nig l
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    In terms of stimulus, I see no mention of a Brexit dividend that you have oft mentioned in the past. I guess you have heard we have crumbled. No surprise there then!

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    The solutions are very clear. Cheap on demand energy, a bonfire of red tape, far less government, better competition in banking, do not subsidise duff university degrees (at least 50% of them) or renewable energy, far lower simpler taxes, easy hire and fire, relax planning, kill the minimum wage, reduce the incentive to be feckless, have sensible law and order with deterrents, quality controls on immigration, far more people doing productive work and far fewer doing essentially parasitic jobs.

    • Enrico
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Or in fact no jobs at all.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 17, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

        What like Greece, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Rumania, Italy…..

  10. agricola
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    We are two small to bring real influence to bare on those areas of trade disruption based on conflicts of ideology, dishonesty of behaviour, and protectionism. Best leave that to the USA while offering them moral support. Concentrate on creating the best conditions possible for home grown and overseas investors in our new freedom post Brexit.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 17, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      Self Sufficiency and diversity of suppliers and customers would be a sound bases for our economy. Never be too reliant on anyone any one thing.

  11. Fred H
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    It is hardly surprising given 3.5 years of uncertainty over the EU. Too many small employers have cold feet over expansion, middle sized ones hit by the worldwide slowdown, and large business affected by trade wars, technology change and employment laws.

  12. Everhopeful
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    No wonder they are panicking to get us to replace all our “carbon spewing” boilers and cars.
    An economic “ recovery” based on compulsory consumerism?
    The next false narrative will be that UK recession is caused by Brexit ( or failed Brexit).

  13. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    When we have appalling health and social care, when it takes a month to see a doctor, with lengthening waiting times in the NHS … the answer, apparently, is tax cuts! So we all have a few more quid to buy £3 coffees or head off to Prague for the weekend. Yes, that will really help.

    Why not cut the foreign aid budget and spend the money here.

    We all know the endless ways government and councils waste our money. How about stopping funding the office costs of former Prime Ministers. How about stopping the farcical attendance allowance for the House of ‘Lords’. The £200k salaries for head teachers. The junkets the Speaker goes on.

    The list of how our money is wasted or frittered away goes on and on and on. Why not do something about these matters.

  14. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Trade is better than Aid, but the UK needs to act sensibly in its own interests, to protect itself from those who wish to take unfair advantage of that mantra.

    With the World now in effect having a trade war with it various factions we need to steer a sensible middle course on tariffs and trade agreements that we make.

    We tried with the EU and it failed, because too many countries wanted too many different things which were against our own interests, and too many countries were taking out of the pot and not putting in.

    Time for us to now act in our own Countries, economic, and its peoples best interests.

    The only question is do we have the politicians who can do it ?

  15. oldtimer
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I read that US food production in the mid west is under threat because fierce blizzards have dumped some 2 feet of snow. It is said that crop yields will be low to decimated in the affected states. Global warming strikes again.

    • Filum
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Crop failure was caused by Brexit not Climate Change. Oldtimer you’re in the wrong movie or film as you might put it.

  16. EarleyRiser
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    You would like this discussion to take place without any mention of the Brexit elephant in the room?

    I may as well interpret the Queens Speech through the medium of dance.

  17. libertarian
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    There are still 812,000 unfilled jobs in UK though

    • Desperate
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

      They’ve all got a boss, that’s the trouble. How the hell are you supposed to get the job done with boss?

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 17, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      and 1.2 m unemployed ?

      • Fred H
        Posted October 17, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        and the highest employed number EVER recorded.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 17, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        When you have a population as big as the UK, at any one time about a million will be between jobs and signed on.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 17, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          Edward 2 is exactly right

          There are 400,000 long term unemployed that is anyone unemployed continuously for longer than 12 months .

          Long term unemployed tend to be made up of people with illnesses and severe disabilities that prevent them from working even though they may wish too

          There are four main types of unemployment, namely classical unemployment, seasonal unemployment, structural unemployment, and frictional unemployment. The last is a result of people changing jobs.
          Structural unemployment can be the result of the unemployed having skills that do not match with the skills required in current job openings. It is an indication of a mismatch in the labour market. It may also be a result of lack of mobility where the unemployed persons may be based in an area far away from where the jobs exist. Seasonal unemployment tends to happen mostly in agriculture and other seasonably dependent sectors

  18. Edward2
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I speak to a good few SME companies and all are doing well and have multi million pound investment plans.
    But these are on hold until 31st October.
    They all say they need some final decision to be made to give some clarity.
    They also say the worst possible option is a further extension.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 17, 2019 at 5:51 am | Permalink

      This is part of the Opposition plan. To slow the economy and force a recession. Job losses plus not Leaving the EU will damage the Tories in the polls. This I argue is cynical gutter politics. The country, the people and business must suffer so that a few measly MP’s can hang on to their marginal seats and keep their snouts in the trough while the EU does their job for them. Contemptible !

      • Edward2
        Posted October 17, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        I agree Mark B.

  19. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    There should be no fiscal easing; we must weather the temporary storm without increasing State debt. This is what we correctly did in the 1981 recession, when Geoffrey Howe got it right and 365 ‘leading economists’ got it wrong.

  20. BillM
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    I have no doubt a big financial downturn is on the cards. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that we are out of the EU without ANY ties.
    To be aligned to them in anyway whatsoever, is to condemn the British taxpayers to enormous amounts of bail-out funding. Let the Germans fund them instead.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted October 17, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      It’s important to realise why there will be a financial downturn and that it will be temporary. It arises because adverse conditions for our exports to Europe precede access to new markets and import substitution. This is a direct consequence of the Customs Union that the EU imposes on Member States. We have a dynamic economy and a competent Civil Service. We should be through the worst in two years tops.

      In recent months, there have been 1.09 Euros to the £ when No Deal has seemed to be likely, and 1.14 Euros to the £ when a deal has seemed to be likely, a 5% difference. It is no co-incidence that the average EU external tariff is 5%. In the short term, we will need to maintain market share in Europe and a fall in sterling is the price to pay.

  21. Kenneth
    Posted October 17, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    The longer some MPs avoid the ballot box, the less legitimacy Parliament has.

    Parliament should not have its reputation damaged and not be undermined by people who are squatting there and continuing to receive taxpayer funds.

    I think the government should publicise the list of MPs who are refusing a general election. The longer the squatters leave it, the less votes they will get.

  22. APL
    Posted October 17, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    JR: “We are told the UK government plans a budget for early November, when they need to provide some stimulus .”

    You make me laugh!

    With interest rates at three quarters of one percent what sort of stimulus are you going to provide?

    What you going to do to ‘stimulate’ the economy. More QE?

  • 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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