Friday, 26 July 2013

British growth party

The ONS [Office of National Statistics] has announced that the British economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the last quarter, sparking suggestions that the economy may be coming out of its slump. It compares favourably to the mini-slump the country was in this time last year, and is the third best quarter Britain has seen since the recession.

Should we running down the street with our pants on our head revelling in the good news? I think not.

The failure to bring the economy back to where it was pre-recession lies almost entirely on the back of the Government. A recent study estimating the effects of austerity on growth found that GDP [Gross Domestic Product] was 3 per cent lower than it would have been if the Chancellor hadn't attempted to slash the state. That difference works out to £3,500 for every household in the country.

However, is that right. It appears to be a very small view on what has been happening over the past five years since the global economic crisis, and remember this is global, but the figures refer to the British position. Are we yet again confusing one situation with another by blurring the details of local and global?

I believe GDP is too small a sample of financial data to predict an uncertain future and there should be more tracking of median household economic data to build a fuller picture.

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