Pessimist Martin warns months ahead will be ‘grim’

IT is perhaps no surprise that Martin Wolf is feeling gloomy about the state of the UK’s economy.

Earlier this month, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt declared that the country was in a recession thanks to an economy battered by soaring inflation and energy prices.

And Martin, the Financial Times’ chief economics commentator, is despondent about the months ahead.

“They are going to be grim and there is no doubt about that,” he told me from his home in London.

A self-described natural pessimist, the reasoning for that particular part of his character comes from his parents’ family backgrounds.

His mother, Rebecca, escaped Holland after the Nazis invaded in May, 1940, while his father, Edmund, left Austria in the late-1930s, acutely aware of the growing toxic atmosphere for its Jews.

“Given my personal family history and knowledge of history, it is hardly surprising that I am pessimistic,” Martin said.

“I am also worried about the years ahead, but I have belief in the people of this country who have shown tremendous resilience in the past.

“Also, the government is doing its best to try and support people who have found themselves in difficulties.

“These are immense strengths, at least compared with America, for example. There is far less hatred in politics here, and more of a commitment to working together.”

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