Goods and staff shortages not a ‘70s-style crisis, just ‘an extremely interesting moment’, Boris Johnson says

Boris Johnson has dismissed warnings of a 1970s-style economic crisis, describing the current goods and staff shortages as “an extremely interesting moment”.

Despite growing fears of empty shelves at Christmas, the prime minister insisted the lack of labour – blamed for the scarcity of fuel and some foods – as “a sign of economic robustness”.

He again ruled out a loosening of immigration rules to ease the problems, accusing businesses of being able to “mainline low wage, low cost, immigration” through EU membership.

On Monday, Next chief and Brexit supporter Lord Wolfson, warned of goods and staff shortages triggering a wage and prices spiral and 1970s-style high inflation.

But, asked if there is a crisis, Mr Johnson replied: “No”, while admitting there are “clearly stresses and strains” affecting the economy.

He said: “I think that it’s an extremely interesting moment”, adding it was “a sign of economic robustness that the market is demanding labour in the way that it is”.

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