Sir, Emily Cadman is bemused by the “disconnect” between consumer and business confidence two months after the Brexit vote (“Shopping boom at odds with business gloom”, August 20). She reports Matthew Whittaker, chief economist at the Resolution Foundation think-tank, as saying that “businesses and consumers did not react to economic shocks in the same way or at the same time”. But the vote to leave the EU was not an economic event, let alone a shock. Nothing in the UK’s trading status changed.
There is a degree of uncertainty associated with the future of the UK’s trading relationship with the EU, but this is years away and its nature will only become clear over the next few months and years. Businesses are bound to express caution in the face of this uncertainty, particularly after all the dire warnings from the great and good in the run-up to the referendum. But their investment decisions will significantly be determined by their own trading experiences and the economy’s performance generally.
In view of the recent spate of positive news, the performance of the stock market and the growth forecasts being made by economists, there is much about which businesses can now be optimistic.
First Property Group,
London SW1, UK
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