The savings ratio in UK drops again, and promptly HM Government does ~nowt~. There is an ideal window of opportunity being allowed to pass by. Currently £ pound sterling, is down due to the Brexit upheaval, so raising interest rates would not cause too much distress to exports.
However interest rates are only part of a savings strategy, the main thrust needs to come from the Treasury, via the Budget, and there are no signs of any commitment to increasing the savings ratio and thus changing the direction of the UK Economy to a higher savings mentality. The figures compared to Japan are startling. Here’s some figures from http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/personal-savings It shows the highest UK quarterly savings since 1955 was 15.5%, now a word of warning the Japanese figures are Monthly, nevertheless 49.7% is blooming high. That meant in one particular month, the Japanese saved 49.7% of their disposable income. The lowest Japanese savings was -9.9%, so even if we add the 49.7% to -9.9% and let’s say the lowest figure was duplicated so add another -9.9% it still leaves a figure of 29.9% savings in one quarter. Compared to UK’s best at 15.5% which is pasty looking at best?
The reason I bang on about savings, is because it is one of the primers towards increasing productivity. There are other factors of course, infrastructure and lack of corruption are two main components. Infrastructure is high on Donald Trump’s to do list, he realises that having good transport links, and excellent communications connectivity boost the output per person, of an Economy. Corruption in the G20 Countries is not a serious debilitating problem, whilst it can always be improved, a separate Police and Judiciary are capable of keeping corruption in check.
Transport improvements are sorely needed in the UK, I suspect 95% of people in UK reading this will have their own stories of hold-ups or bottlenecks in getting oneself or goods, from one place to another. I have been working in Sheffield, this last week, and from Wakefield the shortest route into Sheffield City Centre is to come off the M1 at junction 36 and take the A61. This is the northern access into Sheffield, and so any trucks wagons coming down from Leeds, Newcastle etc it is potentially the most efficient route, except it is a single carriageway, and includes its own local bottlenecks, like traffic lights, sharp corners buses stopping and starting?
In other words, it’s a pain, and the alternative approach is to go a further 20Kms (about 12 miles) south and trundle down a dual carriageway called the Parkway, an appropriate name three weeks ago when I was effectively parked on it for over 40 minutes, making me 20 minutes late for work?
Meanwhile, on a visit to Manchester in March I was stuck for three hours getting from Wilmslow to Hyde, a distance of about 25 Kms (16 Miles). M25 anyone, but even the M25 pales compared to M6 between Junction 3 and 11. A Nightmare. Plus all the Villages without a by-pass, and all the major Town and Cities can become car parks in their own right, just by an inconvenient breakdown?
But the biggest increase to productivity comes from high investment, and high investment can only happen with high savings, the Government needs to act. Will it, no because it isn’t on the Political agenda.