Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Frightening economic survey from the British Camber of Commerce

Press releases are normally a waste of time, since they are invariably self serving. However, this one from the British Chamber of Commerce sent a shiver down my spine. It covers their latest business survey:

The British Chambers of Commerce is today publishing its Fourth Quarter Economic Survey. Nearly 6,000 businesses, employing over 680,000 people, responded. Results in quarter four (Q4) highlight a frightening deterioration in the UK economic situation – they are the worst on record for both manufacturing and services since the survey was first published in 1989.

There are no positive features in the Q4 results. Domestic demand is plunging, exports are falling, and confidence is plummeting. All the critical national balances have worsened in Q4, for both manufacturing and services, and all are in negative territory.

It is clear that the UK economy is facing a very serious recession, and the downturn is deepening at an alarming pace. The collapse in all the Q4 confidence balances to record lows is particularly ominous.

Key findings include:

  • The manufacturing sector’s balances for home sales and orders, employment expectations, investment, confidence, and cash-flow have plunged to record lows in Q4
  • In the service sector, all the key balances, without exception, are at record lows in Q4
  • Q4 domestic balances are particularly disturbing. Home sales and orders, in both manufacturing and services, are in negative territory for all firm sizes and for all UK regions

    The economy is clearly facing exceptional threats. The marked fall in all Q4 export balances, and their move into negative territory, indicates that big falls in the value of sterling have not benefited UK exports, because of the adverse effects of the sharp global downturn

    Anonymous said...

    So many emotive words, ominous, distressing, frightening, plunging, plummeting.

    There is going to be a lot of very bad news in this quarter. Spine shivering indeed.

    Check out the BRC survey

    Nick von Mises said...

    Looks like we shouldn't have talked our way into recession

    Anonymous said...

    I didn't know that there was "Camber of Commerce". I guess it's probably bending the wrong way at the moment...

    Man in a Shed said...

    Based on a conversation with a friend whose company is about to lay off thousands of White colour employees by Summer we got to the spectre of hyper inflation and social unrest ( even revolution ).

    Its outlandish, but no longer unthinkable. David Cox says the same thing today over at The First Post.

    I joked on a post or comment 6 months ago that Alistair Darling was probably burying cans of baked beans on his Hebridean Holiday ( the one where he made those dire at the time, but over optimistic economic comments ). Now I know he was.