Brexit, Brexit, Brexit. For more than a year now, it has been scarcely possible to think or read about anything else. Seemingly all other economic discourse has been eclipsed by this over-riding prospect. In the circumstances, it’s an understandable obsession. Yet the fact is that far bigger challenges lie ahead for the UK economy than leaving the European Union, a point that the Governor the Bank of England, Mark Carney, seemed to acknowledge this week in admitting that Brexit was no longer the main domestic risk to financial stability. As it happens, it never was. Since the Brexit vote, the economy has continued to motor, and so far there seems to have been zero impact on financial stability...Over the last five years, the FTSE 100 has closed lower on seven of the 10 Friday 13ths. It could be a coincidence – or is there something else at play?
On Friday 13th July 2012, China’s GDP growth dropped to a three-year low of 7.6pc, marking a new stage for the country’s economic slowdown....Superstitious beliefs run so high in the UK that some people refuse to fly on Friday 13th, stay in hotel rooms bearing the unlucky digits or buy houses that bear the number 13. In fact, the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in North Carolina estimates that businesses lose up to $900m (£585m) in sales and productivity when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday as customers refrain from activities such as flying and anxious employees stay home from work. The phenomenon even has a name: paraskavedekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday 13th, while triskaidekaphobics are scared of the number 13 more generally. More than a quarter of Britons admit that they consider Friday 13th to be unlucky, according to a survey of 500 adults conducted by the conference call provider Powwownow. One in 10 people avoid travelling by train on Friday 13th, 11pc refuse to stay in hotel room number 13 and 16pc of people won’t take flights on this inauspicious day, the survey found.