Innovation in The Monday Briefing

What’s the value of a degree?

Economists don’t agree about much, but there is a strong consensus that education is a powerful enabler of growth and living standards. In the last century, the number of years people spend in education has risen inexorably. Today better education and training are offering the answer to challenges as diverse as mass automation, low productivity and lack of social mobility.

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Posted on 26/02/2018

UK looking for a boost from the global recovery

MB tool kit
UK growth has softened since the EU referendum, and at a time when the rest of the global economy is picking up. The pace of UK activity has not closely followed the news flow on Brexit, illustrating how politics is one of many factors influencing growth.

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Posted on 06/02/2018

How distance survived the communication revolution

A planet of cities
Errors in predicting the future of technology tend to be extreme. At one end are the naysayers, like the Hollywood mogul Darryly Zanuck, who in 1946 predicted that TV would flop, “People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night."

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Posted on 29/01/2018

2018 global economic outlook

Monday Briefing compass
The global economy enters 2018 with good momentum. Expectations for growth this year are rising in many countries, equities are hitting new highs and business confidence is buoyant.

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Posted on 15/01/2018

CFOs want cost control and growth

Planting seeds for growth
The latest Deloitte survey of UK Chief Financial Officers, released this morning, shows the CFOs enter 2018 more focussed on controlling costs than at any time in the last eight years. CFOs seem to be reacting to slower UK growth and Brexit uncertainties with a renewed focus on costs.

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Posted on 08/01/2018

What to read this Christmas

Monday Briefing christmas reading
We are launching our Christmas reading list today. Our ‘top six’ is the product of a lot of reading and some debate in the Economics Team. The list aims to offer a thought-provoking and enjoyable break from the rigours of Christmas. All are available free and online. You can save these articles on your smartphone's or tablet's reading list. To print any use the print icons, where available, on the webpages to ensure the whole article comes out.

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Posted on 11/12/2017

Is low productivity here to stay?


Productivity Monday Briefing low measure
It’s official, the UK growth outlook has taken a turn for the worse. By far the biggest news in last week’s budget was the downgrade in the Office of Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) forecast for UK productivity growth over the next four years, from an average of 1.6% to 0.9% a year.

There is no consensus about why UK productivity growth has been so weak in recent years. But with the under-performance running into its sixth year, and other countries struggling with similar problems, the OBR has thrown in the towel and accepted that the days of rapid productivity growth are over.

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Posted on 27/11/2017

Reports of the death of cash are greatly exaggerated

Monday Briefing receipt
Spending money just keeps getting easier. Internet shopping, electronic bank transfers, contactless and mobile payments are increasingly popular ways of spending. Last year the number of contactless payments tripled in the UK and on-line shopping rose nearly 20%. Digital versions of traditional central bank currencies are in the ascendant in the West.

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Posted on 13/11/2017

Tenth birthday edition

10 years Monday Briefing
The Monday Briefing reached its tenth birthday over the summer. This week’s Briefing offers some thoughts on the lessons we’ve learned and the errors and successes we’ve made along the way.

Perhaps the most obvious lesson is that the economy depends on a stable financial system. In getting this right before the crisis, and emphasising it in the Briefing, I can’t claim great prescience. The devastating effect of the bursting of Japan’s banking and asset bubble in the early 1990s provided me, and others of my generation, with a graphic illustration of the effects of a financial collapse.

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Posted on 24/10/2017

Deloitte CFO Survey Q3 2017 - Optimism bounces

Monday Briefing bright umbrella
A personal view from Ian Stewart, Deloitte's Chief Economist in the UK. Subscribe to & view previous editions at:

The latest Deloitte survey of UK Chief Financial Officers, released this morning, shows a rebound in optimism after the sharp decline in the wake of June's General Election. Perceptions of uncertainty have declined and are running at almost half the levels prevailing after last year’s EU referendum.

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Posted on 16/10/2017