An Independent Scotland: Poorer, More Unstable, Fiscally Weak

In 9 days, voters in Scotland will decide on whether their country should go it alone. The latest Sunday-Times YouGov poll shows a two-point lead for the “yes” camp. The outcome is now too close to call. The closeness of the polls has been matched by a shift in the tone of some economic commentary […]

The UK’s Immigration Quandary

Immigration is an issue it would be easy to file away in the “too difficult” drawer. Is it one of those where good economics – most economists would say it brings net benefits for the country – can never be good politics? Or is it a bit more complicated than that? A few days ago […]

An Independent Scotland Risks a Greek Tragedy

This will not be my last look at Scottish independence between now and the September 18 referendum but it will keep us going for now. I urge readers in other parts of the UK not to switch off now. It matters, and it matters rather a lot. Independence is not all about economics but if […]

Don’t Blame ‘Superpound’ for Britain’s Export Woes

Official figures a few days ago for industrial production in Britain produced a surprise. And, for once, it was not a pleasant one. Overall industrial output fell by 0.7% between April and May and within that manufacturing recorded a hefty 1.3% drop. It was not the only disappointment. Britain’s trade deficit widened from £2.1bn in […]

Global Winds Can Blow UK to a Long-Haul Recovery

Britain’s economy is expanding at a healthy rate. This month, for the first time, the average growth prediction for 2014 has hit 3% among the independent forecasters surveyed each month by the Treasury. With half the year gone, you may say that this is not a particularly bold forecast. The numbers and the surveys are […]

Enough Fence-Sitting: Time for BoE to Act

The Bank of England has got itself into a terrible tangle over interest rates, which is threatening to make it look rather foolish. The big question for monetary policy was how, after more than five years with Bank rate at a record low of 0.5%, the Bank would approach the tricky task of managing the […]

BoE Governor Gets a Bit Hawkish

It may be that Mark Carney simply likes drawing attention to himself, in which case last night’s Mansion House speech was a success. His was not the first hint that rates could rise sooner rather than later – the May monetary policy committee minutes said that the debate on rates was becoming more balanced – […]

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