UK maintains its ranking in Legatum Prosperity Index 2017

In the 11th edition of the Legatum Prosperity Index, the world’s leading global measure of economic and social wellbeing, Britain remains in 10th place in the the rankings of 149 countries [See image of top 20. Click on image to link to the Rankings Table]. Much to delve into.

Britain’s position is driven by a Business Environment which is the best in Europe and fifth best in the world. Our Economic Quality has also begun to recover since the financial crash, and now sits ahead of both Canada and the US.

Overall, the Index finds a number of surprising global, regional and national trends in economic and social wellbeing, including an alarming deterioration in global security and a widening gap between the most and least prosperous nations.

Commenting on the publication of this year’s edition of the Prosperity Index, the Legatum Institute’s CEO, Philippa Stroud, said:

“It is encouraging to see the UK’s ranking unchanged since the momentous referendum last year. This year’s Index demonstrates that Britain has built the best Business Environment in Europe, and the fifth best in the world. Combined with world-class Governance, it suggests that the UK’s prosperity has been built on solid foundations, as it prepares for a future outside of the EU.”

2017 Prosperity Index – Key Findings

  • Norway has regained the number one spot from New Zealand
  • The UK has maintained its tenth place in the rankings
  • The world has become less safe and secure
  • The greatest gains in prosperity have come from the Asia-Pacific region
  • Governance improved in every region in 2017, with Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa rising fastest
  • Western European prosperity overtook North America for the first time in the Index
  • India is catching up with China
  • Latin America is showing the most concentrated declines in prosperity
  • The Nordic and Anglosphere nations have enjoyed the highest overall prosperity in the world.

Gas provides 60% of UK electricity generation needs

It being a foggy day today, with no wind where I am in Surrey, thought I might check the Gridwatch website to check on our sources of electricity. There’s another Gridwatch website you can look at – confusingly with the same name.

Here’s the status of the National Grid from Gridwatch at 10.15 on 3rd November 2017, which shows that CCGT comprises almost 60% of our electricity generation needs – Combined Cycle Gas Turbines [Natural gas used to power turbines and the exhaust gases used to create steam to generate more electricity, hence combined cycle]. Click on image to enlarge.

Views on UK car manufacturing: 3 of 3

The concluding article of three on UK car manufacturing looks the the health of the industry, which currently looks buoyant.

On Thursday April 27th 2017, figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders [SMMT], showed exports continued to drive British car manufacturing in March, as demand rose 10.6% in the month. 170,691 cars were built in the UK in March, up 7.3%, with overseas buyers ordering more than 76% of output.

Overseas demand also helped push overall production to a 17-year high in Q1, to 471,695 units – an increase of 7.6%. This helped offset a decline at home, with demand down -4.3% in the quarter. Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

UK car manufacturing is accelerating thanks to billions of pounds of investment committed over the past few years. A large proportion are the latest low emission diesels and it’s essential for future growth and employment that we encourage these newer, cleaner diesels onto UK roads and avoid penalising consumers who choose diesel for its fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. Much of our output goes to Europe and it’s vital we maintain free trade between the UK and EU or we risk destroying this success story.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, also announced that March delivered an all-round high for engine manufacturing  in the UK, as Q1 output surpasses 700,000 for first time.

Some highlights for the UK car manufacturing industry are,

Views on UK car manufacturing: 2 of 3

Following up on the previous article about UK made cars. Here’s the list of such cars. The AA’s list of January this year contains only the volume car manufacturers, while British Built Cars gives a more comprehensive list of 80 manufactures. Here’s the AA’s list, where the first three are British owned manufacturers, while the remainder are all made in Britain. [Photo of 2017 Honda Civic from Wikipedia]

  • Morgan Motor Company Ltd (Aero 8, Plus 8, Roadster, Plus 4, 4/4, 3 wheeler)
  • Caterham Cars Ltd  (Seven)
  • Mclaren Automotive  (570S, 540C, 570GT, 650S, 675LT and P1)
  • MINI – MINI, MINI Clubman and MINI Countryman, in Cowley, Oxford
  • Honda – Civic and CR-V in Swindon
  • Toyota – Auris, Auris hybrid and Avensis in Burnaston, Derbyshire
  • Nissan – Juke, Qashqai, Note and Leaf and Infiniti Q30 in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
  • Lotus – Elise, Evora and Exige in Norfolk
  • Aston Martin – DB9, Vantage, Rapide, Vanquish, and DB11 in Gaydon, Warwickshire
  • Bentley Motors – Continental, Flying Spur and Mulsanne in Crewe, Cheshire
  • Rolls Royce – Ghost and Wraith in Goodwood, West Sussex
  • Jaguar – F-Pace and XE in Solihull, and F-type, XJ, XF and XE in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham
  • Land Rover – Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque in Halewood, Merseyside, and Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Land Rover Defender in Solihull, West Midlands
  • Vauxhall – Astra at Ellesmere Port and Vivaro van in Luton

Views on UK car manufacturing: 1 of 3

Our household is considering getting a new car. Not a new new one. A pre-owned and pre-loved one – nicer terms than second hand, don’t you think.

Our current cars are both UK-made Honda’s. The least used one is 18 years old [see photo], and the other is now eight years old, on which we’ve been piling on the miles.

We both have had a variety of UK, French and German company and private cars over the years. Our current cars were bought because they were made in the UK, and it’s our money that paid for them. We’re not saying you shouldn’t buy a non-UK made car – your choice, your money. I noted that John Redwood MP attracted criticism for this recent tweet on buying a UK made car,

He replied to the criticism in The Guardian in THIS article on his blog, in which he says, “The Guardian seemed to muddle up cars made in UK factories with cars made by UK owned car makers.”

Government launches its plans for a modern industrial strategy

s300_industrial-strategy-cover2Today the government released a Green Paper – Building Our Industrial Strategy. This is important stuff. Strategic planning is what government’s should do, and, mostly, leave the businesses and entrepreneurs to deliver on the strategy.

I’ve learned, over the years, that readers here have rich and wide experience in many sectors of our economy. I thought, therefore, that it might be worthwhile to provide that Green Paper here – all 132 pages of it.

There’s a one page summary of the Industrial Strategy to be seen HERE.

A little odd thought just crossed my mind about 132 pages. Haven’t other documents I’ve posted here also been 132 pages in length. I wonder, is it something to do with printing – multiples of eight plus 4 pages for the cover. Just a thought.

Whitechapel Bell Foundry to close after 500 years of operation

I’m a bit late with this news, as it was on the 1st December last year that the Whitechapel Bell Foundry announced it was for sale, saying,

Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd announces, with regret, that by May 2017 it will cease its activities at the Whitechapel Road site that it has occupied since its move there in 1738.

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry is the oldest manufacturing company in the country, having been founded in 1570. The current owners are retiring and are selling up. Spitalfields Life has an interview with owner Alan Hughes, who talks about unusually long lead times between an order for a church bell and its delivery. It also has an extensive series of images on the bell foundry.

BBC News also has a brief article on the sale, as does the Daily Telegraph, with a longer piece on the closing of the bell foundry. Click on images to expand.

© Front door image copyright Julian Osley and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence