UK returns to growth, but what about investment?

Michael Roberts Blog

This week, the UK’s Office for National Statistics announced that the British economy had expanded by 0.6% in the three months May to June. All the main sectors of the economy contributed to growth – manufacturing, services and construction.  The media greeted the news with some open euphoria, but secretly tinged with caution.  And caution would be right.  These preliminary figures could easily be revised down.  And even though it appears that the UK economy has not slipped back into a technical recession (defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction), the recovery, just as in many other advanced capitalist economies since the trough of the Great Recession in mid-2009, has been pitifully poor. 

Even if we take out the fall in North Sea oil and gas production, the average annual growth rate in the UK over the past four years has been just 1.3%. That compares with the credit and property fuelled annual…

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