A question of risk

One of the striking things about this crisis is that, in many ways, we have known it has been coming.

Pandemics have been a constant feature of global risk registers for a generation. Indeed, infectious diseases have featured regularly in the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Risks Report. The UK Government has also recognised the threat in each in every one of their own civil contingency risks.Continue reading

April 6, 2020

This isn’t a v-shaped recession….

Just three weeks ago, the OBR published forecasts of 1.1% growth in 2020.

How times have changed.

On the very same day, the Chancellor warned us to ignore these forecasts and to prepare for a ‘significant impact’ on our economy.  

Since then the situation has deteriorated further. Hopes that the recession that we are now in would be ‘v-shaped’ – i.e. a sharp downturn followed by a bounce-back in the months to follow – have sadly largely disappeared.

The latest data, and emerging insights from on the ground, suggests that the effects of this crisis are going to be long-lasting.

In this blog we assess why.

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March 31, 2020

Brexit uncertainty and the Scottish economy: Is winter coming?

Last week the Governor of the Bank of England warned that Brexit has created a “high level of uncertainty” and “companies are holding back on making big decisions”.

Earlier this month, the Bank cut its growth forecast to just 1.2% for 2019. If this turns out to be correct, this will be the slowest year of growth since the financial crisis.

Not all of this is down to Brexit.

Some of the revision reflects a weaker global economic outlook – with data out last week showing that Germany has just avoided entering recession by the narrowest of margins.

With the data pointing to a lowing UK economy, what is the latest data telling us about how well the Scottish economy is holding up?Continue reading

February 18, 2019

The impact of economic downturns upon the energy transition

This blog discusses research in progress by David Comerford & Alessandro Spiganti, entitled “The Energy Trap”, which was presented at the Royal Economic Society conference at the University of Sussex on 27th March 2018. The presentation slides can be found here. The purpose of this blog is to describe this early stage research, which is at the stage of being presented to an academic conference, to a non-technical audience.

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April 23, 2018