Each year Lincolnshire Today Magazine invites a select panel of the region’s business leaders to offer up their predictions for the year ahead. It has become something of a tradition, given that we’ve been doing this now for over 30 years. And, while none of us possess a crystal ball, it is uncanny how accurate some of these forecasts have been.
Here we catch up with Pat Doody, Director, Commercial and Private Banking at NatWest Bank, Lincolnshire.
2019 was a difficult year in terms of growth. Uncertainty over the date of the UK’s EU exit led to stocking, then destocking, then restocking, which caused a seesaw in economic activity.
With the new parliament, and a sizeable Conservative majority, certainty over the exit date has returned, but concerns over what sort of trade deal will be secured, remain. That could maintain the pressure on activity into 2020, but there are reasons to be positive as well.
The government is expected to loosen the fiscal purse strings in support of growth and investment, and the Bank of England seem to be heading towards at least one rate cut over the course of 2020. These could support growth in the latter half of 2020, compensating for the potential ongoing uncertainty regarding UK/EU trade.
2020 will be interesting for a number of reasons, as the UK will be looking to deepen trade ties with the US as well as the EU. Finally, will the government alter their spending priorities in light of the much changed electoral map?