The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008, and succeeding sovereign debt crisis, is still making its impact felt in Europe in the form of sluggish growth and high unemployment, particularly at the periphery. Despite apparently buoyant and benign growth in 2017 and the glittering figure of 0.6% in the 3rd quarter of 2017, output is still well below the long-term trend.
The UK has been grappling with a “productivity puzzle”. For the government and Office for National Statistics (ONS) this is something specific. It is the slowdown (described as a downward deviation) of output per hour from its previous upward trend.
It is over a year since the referendum vote signalled the start of Brexit, and in that time UK businesses have experienced mixed fortunes.
What has business got to do with politics? Go to a business school and you might be hard-pressed to find any answer. Yet business has everything to do with politics: regulation, taxes, opportunities for enterprise; government investment in business and infrastructure; lobbying; corruption; the nature and purpose of business, and so on. The arrival of President Trump on the scene makes it even more interesting.
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