The UK economy – not as bad as you might believe

Simon French, chief economist at British investment bank Panmure Gordon and former senior civil servant, says the UK’s economic performance and outlook are both broadly in line with other G7 economies despite pessimism from some in business, politics, and the media.

In a presentation at an AEJ UK lunch meeting on 21 March 2023, French used a series of charts to detail economic data over a number of different periods to show that the UK is not in a particular or permanent negative position despite recent political turmoil, a sharp decline in trade with the EU due to Brexit, and a drop in foreign inward investment.

And he pointed to some advantages for the UK in its current situation as he examined key data and drivers for the UK economy this year – political, economic, domestic and international – and policy responses from the UK government and Bank of England.

French leads Panmure Gordon bank’s research in economics and equity strategy and before 2015 worked for the UK government, latterly at the cabinet office as chief of staff to the UK government chief operating officer.
He had a central role in implementing the coalition government’s spending reforms between 2010 and 2014 as well as working on the UK’s welfare and pension reforms between 2002 and 2008.

Report on meeting from AEJ UK Treasurer David Worsfold
Audio recording of Simon French at the AEJ UK
Simon French slide presentation
Simon French slides as PDF file
Simon French at Panmure Gordon

Simon French at the AEJ UK 21 March 2023