Another day, another piece of embarrassing data for those who predicted that the Brexit vote would trigger an immediate recession. Their foundation was based on the belief that confidence would plunge. As things turn out the Deloitte Consumer tracker has hit an all-time high. It has only been running for five years, so the real story could be even more impressive. And while George Osborne was talking about half a million jobs going as a result of the Brexit vote, the Deloitte survey found a strong increase in confidence of job security, up from -10 per cent to -4 per cent.
And how does this compare with what was being said about consumer confidence before the vote?
An HM Treasury report claimed that a vote to leave the EU would ‘lead to a sharp further increase in uncertainty and instability, and have negative effects on investment as well as business and consumer confidence.’
Angel Gurría, the secretary-general of the OECD, said: ‘From the moment of a Brexit vote until the arrangements for “divorce” are definitively settled — years later — there would be heightened economic uncertainty… Consumer confidence would fall, as would business confidence and investment, thus holding back growth.’
Hugo Dixon, chief of InFacts, claimed a Brexit vote would mean that ‘investment would grind to a halt as firms wait for the fog to clear. Consumer confidence could also be hit’. We only have Q2 figures for investment, which rose by 1.6 per cent, but it shows no sign of being hit. And maybe even Hugo Dixon will admit that consumer confidence has so far been pretty buoyant – don’t expect to see the Deloitte Survey on the InFacts dashboard anytime soon.
This isn’t to say there won’t be more turbulence. The above people were wrong – but most economic predictions are.