IoD Cambridgeshire is delighted to welcome Vasiliki "Vicky" Pryce, a Greek-born British economist, and former Joint Head of the United Kingdom's Government Economic Service, to our Directors Briefing to speak on business planning in a period of uncertainty. Vicky is Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
She has written extensively on Europe and Brexit and her books include “Greekonomics: The Euro crisis and Why Politicians Don't Get It”; “It's the Economy, Stupid - Economics for Voters”, with Ross and Urwin; ‘Prisonomics’;and “Redesigning Manufacturing”, with Nielsen and Beverland. She is also a member of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) and of WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD).
Uncertainty has if anything increased recently and the business of forecasting has become even more precarious. Trade disputes and a slowdown in some important countries and regions have affected growth prospects across the world. The UK Brexit impasse has also resulted in the rather unusual move by the IMF of refusing to provide a new 2019 forecast for the UK in its January world economic outlook update - very sensible as growth this year and next - and in the longer term - will depend so crucially on what happens politically over the next few months and the exact relationship with the EU that emerges.
Business leaders in Davos last week continue to be perplexed and view the UK with less interest than before as a place to invest in or expand. UK business confidence has fallen again and the consumer is less optimistic than before despite full employment and a rise at last in real wages. Supply chains are being disrupted and smaller firms are already feeling increased pressure in many sectors.
Agility and flexibility will be essential to navigate through this period of uncertainty and emerge stronger once the clouds clear.
How difficult will it be for businesses to put this into practice?
Vicky is on the economic advisory board of the British Chambers of Commerce, and was previously Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting,(2010-2013), Director General for Economics at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)(2002-2010) and Joint Head of the UK Government Economic Service . Before that she was Partner at London Economics and Partner and Chief Economist at KPMG after holding senior economic positions in banking and the oil sector.
At various stages in her career she has held a number of academic posts, including Visiting Professorships at Queen Mary, University of London, Imperial College Business School and Cass Business School. She has also served on the Council of the Royal Economic Society, as Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford , on the Council of the University of Kent and on the Court of the London School of Economics. She was also a trustee of the RSA and until this year on the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. She is currently a Fellow of the Society of Business Economists, a Fellow and on the Council of the Academy of Social Sciences, a Companion of the British Academy of Management , on City AM’s shadow monetary policy committee and on the Advisory Board of the central banking think-tank OMFIF. She also co-founded GoodCorporation, a company set up to promote corporate social responsibility and in 2010-11 became the first female Master for the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants in the City of London.
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