UK testing target of 100,000 daily coronavirus tests by end of April is simply not realistic

UK government has committed to do 100,000 daily coronavirus by end of april. This means an average daily growth in testing of more than 8%. It is not without reason that government hasn’t detailed a plan. There is no plan. The lack of preparedness leaves the country exposed as there is simply not enough tests available to test NHS staff on the frontline, and commit to a aggressive tracking and tracing strategy over the next month, as seen in other countries.

UK v Italy – Daily coronavirus deaths

UK continues to track Italy when it comes to deaths from Coronavirus. A 13-day lag to UK numbers – as seen on right side figure – illustrate the point well. Italy has had two weeks with daily deaths above 700. This is the UK over the next two week, and most likely it will be worse. The country is still not in full lockdown.

Falling labour productivity in the UK

Struggling UK labour market with productivity falling. Shows that the UK is unable to address the long running problem with productivity. Hence, GDP growth projections will need to be revisited by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Labour productivity for Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2019, as measured by output per hour, fell by 0.5% compared with the same quarter in the previous year; and followed two previous quarters of zero growth.

The chart from an earlier OBN report shows how the productivity problem has not been addressed in the last couple of years. This will remain a major problem and one that Brexit will only make worse as more inefficiency is built into the economic model.

Interesting research that challenges the agglomeration argument in the UK

Research shows that the differences in productivity across the UK is modest when adjusted for factors including employment rates, commuting, industrial mix and occupational structure.

The result is that promoting growth and jobs in less prosperous parts of the UK does ‘damage’ the productivity of the country’s economy as a whole.

Berlin is considering a euro-a-day public transport model

New initiative, replicating the Vienna Model, aimed at getting people to stop using cars, reducing air pollution.

A comprehensive analysis of the impact of Brexit has been conducted by academic think tank The UK in a Changing Europe

The report confirms that Brexit will worsen the Government’s fiscal position, significantly reducing ability to promote new policy initiatives.

It concludes that the opportunity to “reset” the UK as promised has been missed. There is little evidence that Brexit has resulted in any fresh thinking on how to create the country envisaged by the Leave Campaign.

Instead Brexit has nothing but negative connotations. It’s no longer about if Brexit will damage the economy, but only about the extent of the damage.

ADS: Brexit uncertainty hampers UK aerospace growth

More evidence of slowdown in investments due to Brexit uncertainty…Brexit is proving to be a luxury that Britain can ill afford.

Brexit or not – there is crisis in the UK car industry with falling year on year investments, signalling a weakening of the UK’s manufacturing sector…

Investments in the UK’s car manufacturing are falling, with the country missing out on the switch to electric cars. This should send an alarm to politicians, but they are otherwise focused – and with Brexit one has to fear for the wider manufacturing base.

Graphic from the FT and article from the Observer highlights this.