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David Smith’s EconomicsUK

EconomicsUK is the personal Original of David Smith, the Economics Editor of The Sunday Times, London. His easy to understand writing and clearly defined causes and consequences makes this an accessible blog for beginners.

There is no economic silver bullet, but every little helps

There is no economic silver bullet, but every little helps Posted by David Smith at 09:00 AMCategory: David Smith's other articles My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thetimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Not to be reproduced without permission. Every so often people start to think great thoughts about improving the performance of the British economy. Nearly 60 years ago, there was a flurry of such thinking. We would give our eye teeth for the UK’s absolute performance...

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The Covid debt isn’t going away. We will have to live with it

The Covid debt isn't going away. We will have to live with it Posted by David Smith at 09:00 AMCategory: David Smith's other articles My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thetimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Not to be reproduced without permission. Cast your mind back a couple of years, if you can, to the spring of 2019. At that time, most of the indicators relating to Britain’s public finances were flashing green. The budget deficit, which for the 2018-19 fiscal year...

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Pluses and minuses of the return to business as usual

Pluses and minuses of the return to business as usual Posted by David Smith at 09:00 AMCategory: David Smith's other articles My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thetimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Not to be reproduced without permission. Things are changing, and not so imperceptibly. If you have ventured out to the shops in recent days you will have noticed that there are people around. Not necessarily madding crowds, at least in the ones I have visited, but certainly...

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The virus cost trillions, but the world is bouncing back

The virus cost trillions, but the world is bouncing back Posted by David Smith at 09:00 AMCategory: David Smith's other articles My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thetimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Every six months by tradition, to coincide with its spring and autumn meetings, the International Monetary Fund provides an update on the outlook for the global economy. In recent years it has supplemented that with world economic outlook updates in January and late June...

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Will Britain’s consumers splash their stash of cash?

Will Britain's consumers splash their stash of cash? Posted by David Smith at 09:00 AMCategory: David Smith's other articles My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thetimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Many conversations about the UK economy involve consumer spending, which is not surprising. In normal circumstances – counting 2018 and 2019 as normal – it accounts for 62 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product. Most of those conversations, over the years, have been...

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Europe’s third wave will not derail the recovery

Europe's third wave will not derail the recovery Posted by David Smith at 09:00 AMCategory: David Smith's other articles My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thetimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Boris Johnson is famously said to be an admirer of the mayor in the Jaws, who kept the beach open despite the shark, though that has not been reflected in his lockdown strategy. And, as the promotions for that film said, just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water...

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The deepest recession, but also easily the weirdest

The deepest recession, but also easily the weirdest Posted by David Smith at 09:00 AMCategory: David Smith's other articles My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thetimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. This time last year, give or take a few days, I was giving a talk in Birmingham. I had arrived late the night before and had not been out that morning. A couple of members of the audience remarked, however, on how eerily quiet the streets were. A lockdown had not been...

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Now the economy braces for the shock of the new normal

Now the economy braces for the shock of the new normal Posted by David Smith at 09:00 AMCategory: David Smith's other articles My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thetimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Normal life is slowly resuming, with the return of schools in England a few days ago and their partial return elsewhere earlier. Schools are not the economy, but they are clearly hugely important to the economy. It is possible to see the light at the end of the lockdown...

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Sunak’s budget judgment was right – but the economy still needs fixing

Sunak's budget judgment was right - but the economy still needs fixing Posted by David Smith at 09:00 AMCategory: David Smith's other articles My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thetimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Budgets are a bit like Christmas, a huge amount of anticipation followed by the event itself, which can be a bit of a let-down, particularly if you know beforehand most of what you are going to get. Christmas, of course, is not all about presents. Four days...

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Sunak must support the economy now and make us pay for it later

Sunak must support the economy now and make us pay for it later Posted by David Smith at 09:00 AMCategory: David Smith's other articles My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thetimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. It is worth remembering, as we await Wednesday’s budget, that it was not supposed to be like this. A few months ago, Rishi Sunak, basking in the warm glow of his Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August, was looking forward to presenting his second budget in November....

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