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It’s too early to say how Boris Johnson’s premiership will impact Britain’s economy – but it’ll certainly be a bumpy ride

Ordinarily, a new prime minister offers a chance to reinvigorate growth, but this time it really is different

Hamish McRae
Tuesday 23 July 2019 18:11 BST
Boris Johnson has been elected leader of the Conservative party and people can't get over his strange clapping

New PM; same problems. The reaction on the foreign exchanges to Boris Johnson becoming prime minister was less than enthusiastic, as indeed will be the reaction of quite a few people in the country. But at a time like this I think it is more helpful to focus on what is likely to happen, rather than what, depending on one’s view of the world, should happen.

The next few days will see a string of appointments as the new team is put together, so it is far too early to predict the detail of future policies. But we can sketch, from what Johnson and people around him have indicated, some of the economic themes of the coming weeks.

The first thing to say is that the maths are the same. Growth has been decent enough, over the past 12 months as good as or better than Germany, France and Italy, though worse than the US and Spain. But it is slowing. Tax revenues, which had been solid until a couple of months ago, are rising more slowly, and employment growth, also solid until the latest numbers came out, also feels slightly weaker.

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