Meet Brexit Britain : Exports - UP, Wages - UP, GDP - UP

UK still looks set to outperform EU’s No.1 economy in 2023

© Facts4EU.Org 2023

The latest economic news is better than you’ll see on the BBC

Many readers will have seen fairly negative news reports about the latest economic figures. In fact in the UK there is a lot to celebrate compared to the EU’s No.1 ‘economic powerhouse’, Germany.

Furthermore, if you compare the latest news to what was predicted by Project Fear and the continuing doom ‘n’ gloom from the Rejoiners, Brexit Britain has outdone all expectations.

Some media coverage has focused on the month of July alone. Below we show July’s results briefly but then focus on the figures for the last three months, as these tend to provide a more reliable indication.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

1. UK economy and trade in July 2023

  • UK exports up by 2.1% in real terms
  • UK imports from EU down by 0.8%
  • UK bought 2.1% more from non-EU countries
  • GDP down by 0.5%

[Source: Latest ONS official data, released Tues 11 Sept 2023.]

In the month of July on its own, GDP fell – the NHS strikes were a big factor

Yes, GDP fell in July, but here is what the ONS said.

“The main contributor to the fall in monthly services output was the human health and social work activities sub-sector, which fell by 2.1% in July 2023. This was attributed entirely to a 3.4% fall in the human health activities industry. Industrial action was held in July by NHS senior doctors (two days) and radiographers (two days) for the first time while industrial action by junior doctors increased (five days in July, compared with three in June). NHS England reported that 65,557 appointments and procedures were cancelled because of the senior doctors strike and 101,977 acute inpatient and outpatient appointments were cancelled because of the industrial action by junior doctors.”

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2023 - click to enlarge

The UK’s exports rose again in real terms in July

  • Total UK goods exports rose by £0.5 billion (2.1%) in July 2023, after inflation is removed
  • Exports to EU countries increased by £0.6 billion (4.4%)
  • Exports to non-EU countries remained stable

2. Now we look at the latest three-month period, May - July 2023

  • GDP increased by 0.2%, with growth in all three main sectors
  • Production grew by 0.6%, and of this manufacturing output grew by 1.7%
  • Services grew by 0.1%
  • Construction output also increased by 0.1%

Average wage growth was the highest this century

The ONS reported the highest regular annual growth rate since comparable records began in 2001.

  • Annual growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses) : +7.8%
  • Annual growth in employees’ average pay including bonuses : +8.5%

After adjusting for inflation :-

  • Annual growth in regular pay : +0.6%
  • Annual growth in total pay : +1.2%

Germany’s news is worse than the UK’s

On Monday the EU Commission produced its summer economic forecasts. Germany – the EU’s largest economy by far – did not come out of this well. Here is what the EU said :-

Germany's summer report card from the EU Commission

“The German economy stagnated in the second quarter of 2023, following a decrease in real GDP of 0.1% in the first quarter. For both quarters, growth was significantly weaker than previously expected. Real wage losses continued to weigh on private consumption during the first half of 2023.

“Additionally, weak dynamics in external demand led to subdued exports. Public consumption declined in the first quarter, reflecting the progressive phasing out of COVID-19- related spending.”

“Since January 2023, confidence indicators for manufacturing have been on a downward trend. This was particularly pronounced in the energy-intensive industries. There, the energy price shock following Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine hit particularly hard. Even after this shock subsided, energy price levels remained elevated in comparison to production locations elsewhere, especially outside of Europe, which negatively impacts competitiveness. More recently, in May, indicators for the services sector also started to decline, reflecting a weakness in manufacturing-related services as well as in transport and logistics.”

“On an annual basis, the economy is now projected to shrink by 0.4% in 2023. This is a downward revision compared to the 0.2% growth projected in the Spring Forecast. A weak overall outturn for consumption and a decline in construction investment are forecast to negatively impact growth, despite support from an uptick in equipment investment.”

- EU Commission Summer Forecast for the German economy, 11 Sept 2023


Brexit Britain continues to do well by comparison with EU’s top economies

With nationwide strikes hitting healthcare, education and other sectors in July it is not surprising that UK GDP growth did not continue to improve. Nevertheless the United Kingdom economy is still predicted by the IMF to outgrow the EU’s ‘economic powerhouse’ this year. And unemployment may have risen slightly but it is still significantly below Germany’s and the EU’s rates.

The IMF has said it expects the UK economy to grow by 0.4% this year, putting it ahead of Germany. In polar contrast, on Monday (11 Sept 2023) the EU Commission stated that it expects the German economy to contract by 0.4% this year.

The Commission conceded that the UK had performed better than expected. The UK economy grew in the second quarter of the year, expanding 0.2% in the three months to June, having grown 0.1% in the first three months of 2023.

Putting all of this in context

None of the latest figures are going to set the world alight but they must be seen in context. Firstly, the UK economy has not “fallen off a cliff”, as predicted by the Remain government of Messrs Cameron and Osborne immediately prior to the EU Referendum.

Secondly, the UK is doing better than its No.1 competitor in Europe : Germany.

And thirdly, the Government has yet to implement the vast majority of competitive measures it could have taken on leaving the EU. Most of this is down to a lack of will and some is down to blocking.

In the latest example of blocking by the Remainer House of Lords yesterday, the Government’s Bill to allow the building of 100,000 new houses was defeated by a combination of Labour and LibDem peers.

Unfortunately it is clear that we must all continue the fight to see a true Brexit - with all its benefits - delivered.

We must get reports like this out there

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[ Sources:Office for National Statistics | EU Commission | IMF ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Thus 14 Sept 2023

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