Investors: between a rock and a hard place


When the latest UK official data are published in two weeks’ time it is quite likely that they will show that inflation hit 9.0% in April, the highest level in almost 40 years. The speed and force of the upturn in inflation has been remarkable; just over a year ago UK inflation was running at under 1.0%.

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Posted on 04/05/2022

Christmas quiz


Our Christmas quiz covers an eclectic mix of topics, many related to economics and business. The answers and a brief explanation of the factors at work are below each question.

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Posted on 06/12/2021

Omicron assessed


It will take weeks to establish how great a risk the Omicron variant poses. The hope is that, like the Beta (first documented in South Africa) and Gamma (Brazil) variants before it, Omicron will fail to become dominant. Those earlier variants were unable to outcompete the Alpha (UK/Kent) and now the dominant Delta (India) variant.

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Posted on 29/11/2021

O worker, where art thou?


A New Winter of Discontent? Join us for a Deloitte Academy webinar where I’ll be discussing with Deloitte specialists, Raoul Ruparel and Jurga McCluskey, and Jaguar Land Rover’s finance director, Chris Tye, whether rising inflation, supply bottlenecks and labour shortages presage a new Winter of Discontent – and what organisations can do about it.
Timing: Wednesday, 24 November 2021, 08:30-10:00 GMT
Register at:

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Posted on 08/11/2021

The ripple effects of electric vehicles


Mass adoption of new technologies creates ripple effects across economies and societies, often in unexpected ways. British time had to be standardised across the country in the early nineteenth century to create national timetables. The car paved the way for America’s population to shift from cities to the new suburbs. Standardised shipping containers collapsed freight costs and helped spur the globalisation of the last half century.

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Posted on 25/10/2021

Investment is the focus


Deloitte’s latest survey of UK Chief Financial Officers, released overnight, shines light on the plans of Britain’s largest corporates. The full report is available at:

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Posted on 18/10/2021

Pandemic update


Join me tomorrow, Tuesday, 5 October, at 08:30 BST when I will be in conversation with George Magnus, veteran City economist and China watcher, on the topic of “The inevitable rise of China - and why it may not happen”. We'll be discussing whether China is destined to eclipse the US as the world's economic and geopolitical superpower – and what obstacles it needs to overcome to get there. George, formerly chief economist at UBS and a research fellow at the China Centre, University of Oxford, is author of “Red Flags: Why Xi’s China is in Jeopardy”. To join please register at:

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Posted on 04/10/2021

Where next for the recovery?


Please join me and Deloitte’s CEO, Richard Houston, for our annual ‘Back to school’ webinar on the global economic outlook on Tuesday, 14 September, 13:00–14:00 BST. To register please visit:

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Posted on 13/09/2021

Whatever happened to the antiques market


There may still be a few readers of the Monday Briefing who were early adopters, back in 2008. If so they may recall my enthusiasm for antique furniture as, “a functional, proven asset at a low price”. Prices may have looked low then, but in the ensuing 13 years they have, by and large, fallen still further. In a world where the value of equities, bonds, commodities and houses have soared the value of antique furniture has slumped. This week’s briefing looks at what’s behind this decline.

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Posted on 23/08/2021

Experimentation and the future of work


The pandemic triggered a vast experiment in remote working. Just as the industrial revolution moved workers from the countryside to urban centres, and the automobile era moved residential life to the suburbs, the pandemic has the capacity to remake the nature of work, and where it is done.

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Posted on 16/08/2021