Friday, January 3, 2020

UK Biz Environment Stagnates

The British Chambers of Commerce have issued a damning report about the country. 

They say unequivocally that the UK has entered 2020 with its economy in “stagnation”, amid long-term uncertainty and rising business costs. 

Their survey of more than 6,400 businesses, covering the final quarter of 2019, highlighted a deteriorating picture in the services sector, which accounts for almost 80 percent of economic output. In fact, all of the sector’s key indicators worsened compared to the previous quarter. 

Not only that  but investment plans remain weak by historic standards, with the balance of manufacturers planning to increase investment in plant and machinery dropping to its lowest level since 2011. 

Sure, cash flow may have improved from its bottom level in eight years but it remains “very weak” across both manufacturing and service sectors. 

They warned that Boris Johnson’s government must move quickly to ensure that their Brexit plan deliver “a clear future trading relationship” with the EU in order to strengthen the prospects of restored business investment and growth. 

But as you know, the Prime Minister (left) has revived business fears of a no-deal Brexit by ruling out any extension of talks on a future trade deal with the EU beyond the end of this year. The deadline is regarded as extremely tight by experts, and failure to meet it would mean the UK crashing out on unfavorable WTO terms. 

In any case, the ball is in Johnson’s court – so how the country fares next rests in his hands! God Save the UK!

Yesterday, I attended my first Toastmasters meeting of 2020! 

I was at the Prudential Toastmasters meeting and which was held at the Prudential Malaysia Head Office at Persiaran TRX Barat in TRX, Kuala Lumpur. And I took up the job of speech evaluator.

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