The ONS has issued some worrying sectoral balance statistics (first chart below – click to enlarge), which show that for the last eight quarters running, domestic household expenditure has been propped up by borrowing. In other words households spent more than their incomes.
As is suggested by the increasing numbers of visitors to food banks, not just in general but among those actually working, I doubt very much this is discretionary borrowing. I suggest it is because family income is inadequate for day to day expenditure.
Certainly the second chart shows business investment to have taken a significant hit. If business was confident that the economy was booming, or even flourishing and that their potential customers had money to spend, then they would feel happy to invest. That they are not and that they have been gradually investing less throughout 2018 is distinctly disturbing.
Brexit or not, 2019 is looking like a very bumpy ride. And all the less comfortable for being entirely self-inflicted…