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Uncertainty grips advisers about economy

Uncertainty grips advisers about economy

Advisers are sharply divided on the prospects for the UK economy in the coming years, according to the latest FTAdviser poll.

The poll, which was conducted via FTAdviser on Twitter earlier this month, showed that about 40 per cent of advisers were uncertain about the outlook for the domestic economy, while just over 30 per cent were optimistic, and 20 per cent are pessimistic. 

The survey was conducted prior to prime minister Boris Johnson announcing his intended “roadmap” for the social and economic restrictions to end in the UK. Such a roadmap, if the various time slots were achieved, might be expected to boost the prospects for the UK economy.

The poll was also conducted prior to the announcement that UK unemployment has risen to just above 5 per cent.

The context behind that figure is that, while it is higher than has been in the recent past, 5.1 per cent is low by historical standards in the UK, and would have been regarded as “full employment” by the Bank of England until midway through the last decade, when the bank’s definition changed to 4.5 per cent.

The data needs also to be seen in the context of many employees being on furlough, and so not showing up in the data at this time.

Sterling has also risen sharply in value of late, indicating international buyers are relatively more optimistic on the UK outlook.

david.thorpe@ft.com