This will be my last message of 2017. We are taking a break from economics and The Saturday Economist for a few days. I just wanted to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Have a great holiday!
We plan to be back on the 6th January with updates and forecasts for 2018. Last week the main story was about the cat! Feedback suggests the feline story should feature every week! We also said, "don't be too surprised if upward revisions follow for growth in the current year"... and they did ...
Not long to wait, yesterday the ONS updated growth for 2016 to 1.9% and estimates of growth in the current year averaged 1.9% in the first three quarters reported. Government borrowing continues to fall. The external deficit continues. The current account deficit was 4.5% of GDP in the third quarter.
In other news, we are going to get our "Blue Passports" back. Hurray! That should make it easier to spot the Brits abroad and "en route" ... Boris Johnson was in Moscow ... an embarrassing spat with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov followed. "Without facts, it is difficult to have a serious discussion" retorted Moscow's iron man. "Yahboo you are a man from Sparta with fake news ..." the Foreign Secretary's response. Such is the value of a classics education and several weeks of training in international diplomacy.
There I must leave it ... no time to talk of the Trump tax cuts, the assault on Obama Care. Tax cuts for the middle class with a giveaway to millionaires. Trump's easy peace in the Middle East, setting off a new wave of violence. Co-operation with Russia and China on extremism, with a challenge to self interested expansionism in Eastern Europe and South East Asia. The UN rebuff to Trump on Jerusalem, the UN rebuff to Kim Jong-Un on nuclear weapons ...
A yes the duality of the Schrödinger's feline fortune and the duplicity of a man in the White House. No time for that, Mary and I are off to the Lake District for a few days. It's my birthday tomorrow. A murder mystery evening in prospect tonight. I might just persuade them to switch the theme to a "Brexit debate" and the merits of a Blue Passport which cost half a billion pounds each apparently but then again ...
Have a Great Christmas and A Happy New Year,
Oh yes and my thanks to a very special pro manchester team for a great 2017 with much more planned in 2018,
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