Monday, 14 April 2008

Mystic McWilliams

Doug McWilliams of the Centre for Economics and Business Research is that rare creature - an economist who makes the subject not only intelligible, but also entertaining. Taking his traditional lunchtime speaking spot at Simons Group annual client get-together the other day, he unabashedly acknowledged that in 2007 he failed to predict the credit squeeze. "I always thought bankers were the least credit-worthy individuals," he confessed, "but I was surprised that they wouldn't even want to lend to each other."

Doug predicted that post the Beijing Games, China would experience a slow-down, albeit with growth dropping to a still enviable 6%. The UK economy would suffer prolonged sluggish growth, rather than a recession As for UK construction, his view was a flat 2008, a flattish 2009 and a lift in 2010. Invest in high rise commercial property, came the advice - it gives plenty of scope to jump!

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