Economics & Social Policy Blogs

The UK economy hits a soft patch, euro area recovers — no Brexit conclusions

The UK economy hits a soft patch, euro area recovers — no Brexit conclusions

Mike Taylor — Policy Exchange’s Economics Research Fellow — reflects on the IMF’s recent downgrading of its 2017 GDP forecast for the UK from 2 per cent to 1.7 per cent, which coincided with its upgrading of its euro area forecast from 1.7 per cent to 1.9 per cent. Pointing out that the areas are in different stages of their economic cycles, he concludes that ‘structurally, the UK is in better shape to deal with the bumps in the road ahead’.

What is the American economy’s trend rate of growth, and how can it realistically be raised?

What is the American economy’s trend rate of growth, and how can it realistically be raised?

Warwick Lightfoot — Policy Exchange’s Director of Research and Head of Economics and Social Policy — reflects on ongoing debate in the States about the trend rate of growth and the relative performance of the US economy. He argues that while America retains great relative strengths, it is ‘not immune from the structural impediments that hinder other advanced economies with developed welfare states’.

Brexit economic opportunity from the perspective of the Minneapolis Fed

Brexit economic opportunity from the perspective of the Minneapolis Fed

Warwick Lightfoot — Policy Exchange’s Director of Research and Head of Economics and Social Policy — reflects on recent research from the economics department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Different scenarios are considered regarding potential EU and UK approaches to foreign direct investment, leading Lightfoot to conclude that ‘being open to such investment will be the key to improving the UK’s economic well-being’.

There is an opportunity to reform how public sector pay is managed

There is an opportunity to reform how public sector pay is managed

Policy Exchange’s Economic & Social Policy Research Fellow, Jonathan Dupont, writes about the debate within the Cabinet about the cap on public sector pay, for The Times’ Red Box. He suggests that, while the cap ‘should come to an end soon’, this ‘should be done in a systematic manner, taking into account the many difficult trade-offs involved, and what is affordable’.

The mechanics of the DUP deal

The mechanics of the DUP deal

Dr Graham Gudgin – Policy Exchange’s Chief Economic Adviser, former Director of the Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre, and Special Advisor to the Northern Ireland First Minister from 1998-2002 – examines the deal signed this week between the Conservative Government and the DUP, and argues that Scottish nationalist criticism of extra spending in Northern Ireland is hypocritical and misplaced.

Is it time to think about spending EU-funded science money better?

Is it time to think about spending EU-funded science money better?

Warwick Lightfoot — Policy Exchange’s Director of Research and Head of Economic and Social Policy – reflects on the way in which science policy exemplifies both Brexit’s ‘practical challenges and its genuine opportunities’. He concludes that Europe is ‘lagging in terms of innovation and areas of rapid technological progress’, and that proposed commitments to increasing science spending and the number of scientists working in the UK ‘should give the British science community the best of both worlds’.

Customs Union: A soft option with a dead end

Customs Union: A soft option with a dead end

Geoff Raby, Policy Exchange’s Head of Trade Policy, welcomes the latest pronouncement of Philip Hammond’s in favour of the UK still leaving the Customs Union — but notes that the Chancellor hinted that there might be a transitional arrangement to remain inside it. Raby points out the potential perils in this stance, not least of which is that transitional arrangements could solidify into permanent ones.

Euro Clearing Proposals reveal real European Commission Intent

Euro Clearing Proposals reveal real European Commission Intent

Michael Taylor — Policy Exchange’s Economics Research Fellow — explains why the recent European Commission proposals on euro clearing ‘may well be the first shot in the battle for European financial services post-Brexit’. He concludes, however, that the proposals, ‘appear to have less to do with addressing market failure and more to do with the failure of any other EU city to develop a financial centre anywhere near comparable to the City of London’.

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