All the economic forecasts were wrong on Brexit, Britain’s Brexit minister says
LONDON - Reuters
Brexit minister David Davis on Feb. 1 rekindled a debate about the credibility of the government’s own forecasts by saying that every economic forecast made about the performance of the British economy after the referendum has been wrong.
“Every forecasting model on the performance on the British economy after the referendum by every major organization, the banks, the government organizations and, indeed, intentional organizations has proven wrong,” Davis said in parliament.
“One of the ways it has been proven wrong is because employment in this country has grown despite the forecasts to record levels today. We will be seeking to do the best we can to ensure that grow record is maintained.”
Meanwhile, British manufacturing lost some of its recent strong momentum last month as factories were held back by overall weakness in the economy in the run-up to Brexit, a survey showed on Feb. 1.
The IHS Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropped to 55.3 in January, its lowest since June 2017, though still well above its long-run average of 51.7.
If sustained, that performance would lead to quarterly growth of 0.6 percent for the sector -- better than the broader economy but only half the rate of the final three months of 2017.
The survey also showed one of the biggest jumps in the cost of raw materials in decades.
Manufacturing has been a bright spot in an otherwise sluggish British economy since the Brexit vote in 2016.
Exporters have been helped by last year’s global economic recovery, which is expected to carry on in 2018.