It’s not hard to spot when the last recession became inevitable. The collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 triggered global panic that had been brewing since the start of the financial crisis. But most recessions aren’t marked by a single event. That’s why it was foolish of the Treasury and other forecasters to predict an immedi- ate economic seizure if there were a vote for Brexit.
Yet, you don’t have to be a remoaner to feel nervous as economic news trickles in. Last week, we learned that September sales of new cars fell for the first time in since 2011. The SMMT trade body blamed business and political uncertainty, along with doubts about the future of diesel cars.
The construction industry also contracted in September for the first time since the Brexit vote. The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply blamed “the Brexit blight of uncertainty, freezing clients into indecision over new projects”. Surveys showed manufacturing and services also slowing down. Taken together, these are worrying signs. With consumers stretched by debt and rising prices, Standard & Poor’s, the rating agency, questioned the economy’s ability to deal with an interest rate increase. There may be trouble ahead.
Sales of new cars fell in September.