What excellent news!

More globalisation!

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) forecasts that the value of seaborne UK imports, adjusted for inflation, will grow by 287pc over the next two decades, with exports delivered by sea up 119pc.

Britain\’s £345bn imports by sea in 2010 will rocket to £1.95tn by 2030, the Cebr estimates, with exports up from £233bn to £1.63tn – growth that will demand significant investment in port facilities.

Ever more division and specialisation of labour.

How wondrous! It means we get richer.

Back to Adam Smith\’s pin factory: by dividing labour and then specialising, we can get more production from the same input. Us more moderns would extend this to other inputs than labour: the more you specialise in slicing silicon ingots to make solar cells for example, the thinner you can slice them and the more solar cells you can get out of one silicon ingot (and yes, this has actually been one of the major determinants in the reduction in cost of solar cells. We\’re, umm, Chinese factories are,  making three times as many cells out of the same kg of ingot as they were a decade ago).

So, more trade among specialists means we\’ve more output for our inputs, we\’re simply richer.

No, this doesn\’t say anything at all about the distribution of those greater riches: but in and of itself greater wealth through greater efficiency is to be applauded.

3 thoughts on “What excellent news!”

  1. I love to see the calculation. UK trade will increase in next 20 years more than world trade has in the last 20 years? It seems unlikely, unless the energy import bill is going to be huge.

    I note also a large deficit there, I wonder how that all balances.

  2. There is a typo in the figures. Import price inflation of 46% over 20 years differs from export price inflation of 219% over the same period. In nominal terms exports rise up by 600% while imports rise by 465%.

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