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Project Fear to Project Cheer

Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio, in which Harambe resided.
Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio, in which Harambe resided.

With Harambe McHarambeface and Trump vs. Hillary taking the internet by storm it is very easy to forget that, on this side of the Atlantic, we are living in a post-Brexit economy. The economy that was destined for catastrophe seems to have recovered its poise better than many analysts had anticipated.

This week’s retail spending figures show that floods of shoppers have hit the shops with enthusiasm during the summer, shrugging off Brexit concerns.

Similarly manufacturing data has hit a 10-month high and the stock market has been a far stretch better than that of our EU counterparts. So what was all the fuss about? Were the pundits wrong?

Well, we must remind ourselves that Britain is still coming to terms with the Brexit vote and that caution is needed before judging the state of the UK economy. Leading  political and economic commentators are keeping this is mind, avoiding overenthusiasm as they wait for October’s GDP figures to be announced.

But why have we performed better than expected in the months since the referendum? Was it widespread positivity? A balmy summer? The seemingly endless sales? Or the appointment of Britain’s favourite mophead as Foreign Secretary, back in the ring after stepping as Mayor of London?

boris_johnson_july_2016
Boris Johnson, 2016

There are three main reasons…

Firstly the speedy emergence of Theresa May as our new Prime Minister defied expectations that the Tories would be plunged into a lengthy leadership battle. A fresh face for people to bestow trust upon,  as if she was Thatcher’s phantom.

The second factor might have been May’s immediate commitment to ease austerity although her real intentions still remain vague, merely narrating the vote (‘Brexit means Brexit’) as if she has jet to decide on a clear path for Britain.

Thirdly the Bank of England’s decision to cut interest rates, thankfully not yet succumbing to rumours that we may be charged to deposit our money.

For now it seems as though Britain is on the right tracks. After all, after every significant economic decline we  have bounced back harder than before, feeding off our mistakes and learning to improve.

All we can do is remain positive, as Churchill put it; ‘the positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.’