Tuesday, 23 August 2016

"Despite Brexit" weekly round up

As prompted by Graeme, here are the highlights from the last seven days.

Eurozone economic recovery picking up despite Brexit, PMIs show

Persimmon reports soaring profits and ‘robust’ demand despite Brexit

Brits Take to the Shops Despite Brexit

Hedge Funds Avoided Big Losses Despite ‘Brexit’ Shock

Car sales boom will continue despite Brexit, says one of Britain's biggest dealers

Demand for IT pros high, despite Brexit

Pound hovers at $1.30 as UK jobless claims unexpectedly fall despite Brexit shock

Mining sector outlook improves despite losses and Brexit

And my favourites, given the topic of this week's Fun Online Poll:

DFS shrugs off Brexit as it basks in Team GB glory

Team GB’s Olympic medal haul is a blissful break from Brexit blues


paulc156 said...

Unemployment is a lagging indicator so expect that to be the last metric to be affected not one of the first. Consumers spending before effects of sterling depreciation are felt? Shock! And what about UK PMI surveys? They being the main reason why interest rates were cut by the BoE.

Bayard said...

"They being the main reason why interest rates were cut by the BoE."

I've long felt that you can't go far wrong doing the precise opposite to whatever the banks are doing.

The longer that this goes on, the more like Global Warming Brexit becomes, with a large group of people and a huge chunk of the press, prophesying, hoping and waiting for doom and disaster to teach all those wrong-thinking people a lesson, but they never seem to arrive.

Physiocrat said...

And Birmingham has not been struck by a meteorite.

paulc156 said...

Yes B, I too see the similar attitude toward Brexit as global warming on this blog more than anywhere. Though it's also quite prevalent at many Wetherspoon pubs for some reason. So one mentions a 0.5 uptick in the EU pmi but ignores the pmi in the UK which is ten times bigger...but in the opposite direction and with most of the worst of that drop due to PMI in services...Then you get conspiracy theory dressed up as analyses on global warming led by such luminaries as Nigel Lawson who go quiet when we appear to be having what may turn out to be the hottest summer on record on land and sea after last years...which also happened to the hottest summer on record. Yeh, I certainly see the parallels B.

Lola said...

P156. I am not at all sure 'that Lawson goes quiet'. I think it is more that the meeja don't big him up for whatever reason.

I 'spose though that MMGW and Brexit have a lot in common. They are both the creation of mankind.

Shiney said...


So you don't think that the positives from the current data wouldn't have been seized upon by remainers had we voted to stay?

Look.... I'm a leaver and was happy to accept that there may be short term downsides while believing there will be long term upsides from my decision. I also accepted that a decision to stay had upsides (although the remain camp never seemed to accept there we are ANY downsides as far as I could tell).

If the decision had been to remain I'd have shrugged and got on with life. So I get a bit annoyed that now we've actually voted to leave, the sneering and doom mongering, from people who wanted to stay in, is continuing. Is almost as if they (you? I'm guessing you are a remainer) WANT things to turn out shit so you can say 'I told you so'.

Which is a crap attitude to take, frankly.

Lola said...

For P156.

The logic goes like this. This is a pro LVT blog. There is no way on this planet that the EU will sanction LVT. Their favourite tax - VAT - is our least favourite tax. The EU is a technocratic autocratic and deliberately anti-democratic racket. Hence the only way to increase democratic accountability is to BREXIT. Done. We (the People) now have more direct leverage (which is precisely why many MP's and the great and the good wanted to REMAIN).

LVT supporters on this blog are a very broad church. From DBCR on the left, through MW himself who describes himself as left libertarian to me who everyone seems to consider as right libertarian. We all support liberty and the common man. This is excellent. It shows just how a new political force across the left / right divide could - now we have BREXITED - become a force for genuine reform. Starting with LVT and the Banks (IMHO).

We can leave MMGW on one side pro tem, although I rather think Stern nailed it.

Lola said...

Shiney. Seconded.

paulc156 said...

L. I'm pro LVT, not especially pro EU but I am not at all persuaded by some of the codswallop offered up by brexiters regardless that Osborn et others were spouting nonsense. Brexit will work long term if investment is ramped up. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that is going to happen over the next few years. And Shiney, doom mongering is irrelevant. Business investment is the only metric that counts and it's clearly too early to tell but one diabolical pmi UK doesn't make the brexit case look plausible never mind the marginal move in the EU pmi which is barely relevant to the UK position.

Mark Wadsworth said...

PC156, why do you read a post and immediately change the topic completely? That is a typical DBC Reed tactic.

I was making fun of the meme that the media have to write "… despite Brexit" after every bit of apparently good news. That is all. Make your own mind why they do it.

And like DBC, what you like doing is saying "Oh. that Wadsworth seemed pro-Brexit - therefore I can criticise him for saying all the racist tub-thumping nonsense which some other Brexiteers came out with." We don't all think alike, you know. just as most people who voted Bremain do not think alike either. It is the media that suffers from group think and likes to pretend the issues are black and white.

S and L have carefully explained why they voted Brexit, which is pretty much why I voted Brexit as well.

Phys, what you mean is "Birmingham has not been struck by a meteorite despite Brexit".

Shiney said...


Your inference is therefore that leavers believed the codswallop (the previous 'Weatherspoons' remark betrays your prejudice vis a vis leavers very well).

Like you, I was not persuaded by either side. I just made up my own mind. And so did most of my workforce... who voted leave and stay in roughly equal measure (judging by the canteen discussions) and who like to drink in Weatherspoons... occasionally.

Yes 'business' investment counts. I run a successful manufacturing business. I am investing, continuously. I know other businesses that are (in my sector and others). I've not been surveyed and neither have they (to my knowledge)... probably because we are small and don't pay the CBI tax. Your point is?

Shiney said...


Yeah.... humourless bunch these remainers!

Shiney said...


Your logic informed my decision making process so upvoted!

+1 re the Stern comment - although lets not go there, eh? ;-D

Lola said...

@S. In re the 'PMI' and business investment. Me too. I am investing in my business continually. The only thing stopping me doing more is the government (not the 'market'). And especially regulationism and confiscatory taxation. That is BREXIT is not an 'uncertainty', it's a liberation. The uncertainty is the utter incompetence of government and its bureaucrats and what stupid move Carney will make next, basing his 'decisions', aka guesses, on always unreliable data like the PMI. They continue to suffer from - as Hayek said - the pretence of knowledge.

The threats are not markets. They are government. End of.

DBC Reed said...

Do not take kindly to these disobliging personal remarks.And neither should paulc156 .He is always on topic and mercilessly well-informed!
From what I can see , this discussion has otherwise collapsed into comparisons with global warming and vague hopes that post Brexit we will get LVT and an investment boom which was nowhere in evidence when we were part of a large free trade area.

Dinero said...

and an addition today -
" Shoppers' credit card use unaffected by Brexit, say banks "

Lola said...

DBCR. I think that's a bit unfair. I thought that there was quite a lot of logical debate about why BREXIT. And sound anecdotal evidence that investment is continuing - despite what sore losing outers and the establishment would have us think.

Bayard said...

"Yeh, I certainly see the parallels B."

I'm sure you do, just from the other side and yes, cherry-picking of evidence, that too.

Shiney @23:02, my view also, thanks for putting it in a nutshell.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC: "this discussion has otherwise collapsed into comparisons with global warming and vague hopes that post Brexit we will get LVT and an investment boom"

No it hasn't. Some people keep changing the topic. That's not my fault. PC156 launched into a comment about unemployment being a lagging indicator. Neither he nor I know what will happen to (un)employment in future and I am sure that we both hope it goes down.

And it has nothing to do with the actual topic, that the media caveats every bit of apparently good news with "despite Brexit". Brexit hasn't fucking happened yet and is years away, if you ask me it will have little overall impact good or bad, which will illustrate the EU is in fact a complete waste of time.

As to whether the UK prospers if Brexit ever happens, it will if done properly, it won't if not. The Home-Owner-Ists will fuck it up either way and we both know that. But at least the next country to leave will have a template what to do and what not to do etc, so overall this is to Europeans' collective benefit.

D, that can go on next week's list :-)

paulc156 said...

S. Your idea of a survey on business investment consisting of yourself and those you know personally is rather quaint.

MW. Complaining about 'changing of subject' albeit only slightly. B mentioned comparisons with global warming. Didn't catch your rebuke for that one, must have missed it. And that's the second time you've erroneously told me that I somehow imputed that you have racist attitudes. Last time I made it plain you had no just cause in doing so. Same applies this time.

Shiney said...


Oh please, you are being sneering twat... I was offering an anecdote and not a survey. Next you'll be accusing me of drinking in Wetherspoons.

And I'm guessing - and its only a hunch - that the PMI survey doesn't cover SMEs as they don't have purchasing managers who belong to the PMI. So its a survey of large businesses only. How quaint.

Mark Wadsworth said...

PC, stay on topic. All people can do is report what they know, S and L's anecdotal is perfectly valid.

And you launched into a change of topic straight off. Unless you have missed the point completely, I was not suggesting that for a second everything is suddenly rosy because a slim majority voted for Brexit.

As i have pointed out before - and surely you are aware of this - the MSM and TPTB were all geared up for Project Fear, and now like a cartoon character, they are still running in mid-air. Every bid of bad news is "because of Brexit fears" and every bit of apparently good news is "despite Brexit". Do you seriously not realise the referendum result has made very little overall difference either way and that scarcely any of these indicators would have been different had a slim majority voted Bremain?

And B's analogy with Warmenism was quite apposite. Thirty years ago they were predicting that The World Will Come To An End in about twenty years time, it never did, so they keep pushing the likely date at which TWWCTAE back about ten or twenty years into the future, thus making it impossible to prove them wrong.

This is what you call "staying on topic", those are the subjects I was alluding to in my usual light hearted fashion.

paulc156 said...

S. Your anecdotes surely are persuasive and may even negate the views of several hundred purchasing managers from companies spread across all sectors. Only I doubt it...ffs.

paulc156 said...

MW. Staying on topic obviously means whatever you want it to mean. For someone with supposed libertarian tendencies you clearly have an authoritarian streak.
Ironically you brought up the totally OFF TOPIC falsehood of me supposedly inferring that you had racist views associated with your position on brexit. As you seem to have ignored my pointing out the falsity of this in my Las post (and you pulled the same stroke during the pre brexit period)I can only assume your are comfortable telling outright lies. Perhaps you can pull up the post where I committed this imagined offence?

Mark Wadsworth said...

PC, OK then, I shall return to your first substantive comment and ask what you have got against Wetherspoons or people who go there?

Affordable beer, good value food, they don't play loud music and they look like proper pubs not trendy wine bars. What's not to like? And Tim Martin has often pointed out that VAT is the worst tax of all, which is a bonus but not really that relevant to the actual pubs themselves.

Perhaps you could now do us all the honour explain the link between Wetherspoons pubs and the over-used meme "despite Brexit fears"? I am genuinely baffled on how you get from one to the other.

paulc156 said...

Sorry but what has that got to do with this: "And like DBC, what you like doing is saying "Oh. that Wadsworth seemed pro-Brexit - therefore I can criticise him for saying all the racist tub-thumping nonsense which some other Brexiteers came out with.". Nothing?

Bayard said...

"may even negate the views of several hundred purchasing managers from companies spread across all sectors."

P156c, you appear to have failed to hoist on board Shiney's point, that it is only in the larger firms that you find such a thing as a purchasing manager and therefore the PMI is de facto skewed towards the views of the upper echelons, size wise, of British industry, which upper echelons gave ample demonstration during the run up to the referendum, of their preference to remain in the EU. Not only that, but these upper echelons are unrepresentative of the majority of British commerce, which is mainly firms employing, at most, a few hundred people. Thus the views of the PMI are not representative of the views of British industry or commerce as a whole, notwithstanding a large dollop of "well they would say that, wouldn't they".

Mark Wadsworth said...

PC, to answer your question - yet again - I was responding to your snide condescending comment about Wetherspoons customers = Brexiteers = by implication racists.

I give in, I am an idiot who completely misunderstood and you are right about everything.

(Out of interest, would you like me to burnish my authoritarian credentials by blocking your comments in future? I have sometimes thought maybe I ought to give you posting rights here just to balance out the political spectrum, but on today's form, you are a time waster and also insufferably rude and self-centred.)

Shiney said...


Thanks and agreed.

To @P156
There you go.... sneering again. Do you regularly drink soy based skinny lattes with a caramel shot?

Also, I was only offering the anecdote in addition, as it were. Yes, PMI survey respondents might be planing to reduce spending.... it may be for a myriad of reasons.... maybe their companies need to reduce working capital (a good thing... stock is the enemy), maybe its because of Brexit... in reality who knows. And anyway, as I understand it, its a survey of sentiment and plans rather than actual purchasing decisions made/orders placed.... which is what I was talking about..... FFS

paulc156 said...

B. S. Don't you think your criticism if the pmi is just a little contrived? Of course the pmi managers are 'biased' toward larger companies but they do include medium size firms. Larger companies do account for over half of all output and the index also accounts for orders received not just their intentions regards impending decisions. Still, if your position requires the dismissal of such data you can always find reasons to devalue it.

paulc156 said...

MW. So you think me mentioning Wetherspoons in my post is directed at you having racist views or sympathies? Which apart from being complete bollox begs the question as to why tho is the second time you've made this accusation. The last time it didn't follow any comments about pubs. You seem either hypersensitive toward any criticism of a position you may hold on Brexit or just being plain obtuse. No that really doesn't justify your baseless accusation. Wetherspoons was mentioned as a proxy for any pub and was more a light hearted comment on the level of intelligence displayed in the debate.It's in those same venues that you the vast majority similarly denying mans contribution to climate change despite overwhelming scientific support. Still stick to your racist shtick if you find it a good debating aid. It's obviously handy for you to pull that card out every so often.

Dinero said...

Another one -
"The Shard skyscraper at the top of its game despite Brexit"

paulc156 said...

MW. Only just noted your 'offer' to ban me. Using a mobile makes it easy to miss bits of posts. As you'll expect, I have no problem with your banning me. After all when I posted on this thread I hadn't posted for a couple of weeks and it didn't leave a gaping hole in my life. I'd suggested to you before that you barr me if you find me so insufferable. It's a strange little blog with a very small clique of regular posters, (no women?)and mostly just people with very similar views so it would make it a bit cosier for you to do as you suggest.It does have something of a ukip feel to it. The Young People's bit a bit of a misnomer too. Perhaps you could set up a poll? Anyway do as you wish since beyond refraining from using personal insults I'm not going to adapt my posts to suit you M.

Lola said...

P156. That's not really fair. This blog is a broad church with one unifying theme - the justice and efficiency of LVT and why we all think it should replace pretty well all other taxes. The posters on here vary between those who think government spending, big government spending, is good (BDCR) and others who think pretty well all government spending bad (me). And between Punk Keynesians (DBCR again IMHO) and determined classical liberals (me again). You add to that spectrum.
But the unwritten rules are:- keep it sweet (or be offensive humourously), be logical, stick to the point, make a contribution and develop the discussion. It's the differences between ideas that drive innovation and development. Not similarities.

Bayard said...

P156C@8:33 I am not at all dismissing such data as the PMI. Indeed, given all the fear, uncertainty and doubt spread about during the referendum campaign, I would have been very surprised if there hadn't been a dip. However, one has to remember that most of the uncertainty was caused by the mere possibility of us leaving the EU, not the actual result and that all the fear was caused by an unrelenting focus on the downside of leaving rather than the upside of remaining.
However, the referendum is over now, the country has voted and the continuing emphasis on the downside is at best an attempt to overturn a democratic process and at worst an attempt to destroy confidence in order to bring about the very disasters that were prophesied before the referendum.

Shiney said...

So @P156C


Not all doom and gloom