Brexit: The great optimism killer?

EDITOR'S BLOG: Call me a remoaner if you will, but I'm not the only one who sees dark clouds ahead, says Matthew Gwyther.

by Matthew Gwyther
Image credit: cjohnson7/Wikipedia
Image credit: cjohnson7/Wikipedia

There is currently no greater sin within the heart of government or on the pages of The Daily Mail than talking our economy down. It is seen as treachery. The trouble is that the doubtful voices about our economic prospects in the coming years are now growing in volume.

There is also no doubt that our decision to go it alone outside the EU is the main reason why objective observers think we are in for more difficult times in the short to medium term. For the first six months since the referendum vote in June the numbers have looked pretty good across the board with the obvious exception of the pound’s exchange rate against both the dollar and the euro. Both growth and employment so far have held up well.

Anyone who expected an immediate economic downturn was proved wrong. But this is hardly surprising - we don’t actually leave the EU for some time. The time frame is TBA. It takes time for the die to be cast. However, in the FT’s most recent Boardroom Bellwether, , the governance body ICSA found that three-quarters of FTSE 350 company secretaries surveyed expected UK economic conditions to deteriorate during the next twelve months. Only 8% expected a ‘slight’ improvement, and none expected a marked revving up.

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