Growth in The Monday Briefing
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Our latest UK Chief Financial Officers Survey, released overnight, shines light on the plans of Britain’s largest corporates as the economy reopens. The full report is available at: https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/finance/articles/deloitte-cfo-survey.html
This is a remarkably upbeat survey, the most consistently positive of any since we started to survey CFOs in 2007.
Optimism among Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) has risen to the highest level in the 13-year history of the CFO Survey, far surpassing previous peaks seen after the global financial crisis and in the wake of the December 2019 general election.
In the UK things are looking up on the health and economic fronts. COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths have fallen sharply from their January peaks. For two consecutive weeks, the number of deaths from all causes in England and Wales has been below the five-year average. On 28 March zero COVID-19 deaths were reported in London.
Join Deloitte CEO Richard Houston and me as we examine economic and business prospects beyond the pandemic in our Spring webinar tomorrow, Tuesday, 30 March, 14:30–15:30 BST. To register please visit:
When he became prime minister in July 2019 Boris Johnson brought with him a new priority in the form of ‘levelling up’. It’s an old idea and an enduring political concern, one that, getting on for a hundred years, has gone by the name of regional policy. A growing focus on inequalities of income, health and opportunity across Britain has brought regional policy back to the fore. The Conservative’s 2019 general election success in Labour ‘red wall’ seats in the North, the Midlands, Yorkshire and Wales, has lent political weight to the cause. And in the last year the pandemic has added a new dimension to regional inequalities. Levelling up’s time has arrived.
It says something about the world we’re in that a 9.9% contraction in the UK economy in 2020 is seen as good news by economists. But with the economy expanding by a healthy 1.0% in the fourth quarter of last year, despite November’s lockdown, GDP ended up shrinking slightly less in 2020 than had been feared.
Recessions and shocks change the structure of the economy, accelerating the adoption of technology and new ways of working. Shrinkage in some sectors is accompanied by growth in others. The ‘K-shaped’ recovery is not new.
On Monday, 11 January, at 12:00 GMT I will be joined by Deloitte’s CEO for North and South Europe, Richard Houston, to discuss what 2021 holds for the global economy and for business. Register here: https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1407909&tp_key=ece03b000a
Here, to mark the start of the Christmas week, are 12 of our "And finally" news stories from the Monday Briefing in 2020. The Monday Briefing is taking a break until Monday, 4 January. In the meantime, the Deloitte Economics team wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
It seems a long way off but you may wish to register now for our 2021 “Year-ahead webinar” on Monday, 11 January, at 12:00 GMT. I will be joined by Deloitte’s CEO for North and South Europe, Richard Houston, to examine prospects for the global economy and the many ways in which the pandemic will reshape business and society.
Register here: https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1407909&tp_key=ece03b000a
Our Christmas quiz offers an eclectic test of knowledge, only some of it related to economics and business. The answers and a brief explanation of the factors at work are at the end of the quiz.
1. Which US corporate popularised today's image of Santa Claus as a rotund, red-suited, jolly old man?
b. Hallmark Cards