The recession is over. Following an ONS release on manufacturing growth, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research report that GDP is expanding for the first time since spring last year. A NIESR graph reproduced in the Mail shows that although deeper than every recession since the Great Depression, the unprecedented policy response has contributed to a quicker recovery than in either the 1979-83 or 1990-93 recessions.
The Times report that Alistair Darling’s speech in Wales confirmed a marked change in Labour’s political strategy and prepared the ground for drastic cost-cutting measures. The Independent’s leader says, “We should welcome this change of approach, which is, by all accounts, the result of pressure from the increasingly assured Mr Darling.”
Cameron’s renewed call for an “age of austerity” and “spending cuts” coincided with news that Shadow Chief Secretary Philip Hammond will chair a Policy Board to justify the costs of existing Conservative policies. But Martin Wolf in the FT warns against such moves: “Now suppose that, instead of keeping calm, the authorities are frightened into premature monetary and fiscal tightening. Given the extreme fragility of the private sector, that could cause another economic downturn. The inevitable result would be another round of emergency fiscal and monetary measures.” Ireland provides a case in point for the results of a Cameron-style policy response.
With Copenhagen just 89 days away, the Government-created Committee on Climate Change outline that ticket prices should rise steadily over time to keep emissions from aviation at 2005 levels. In a letter to Cabinet Ministers Committee Chief Executive, David Kennedy, said, “It is vital that an agreement capping global aviation emissions is part of a Copenhagen deal”
And on the morning of Barack Obama’s much-anticipated health care address to Congress, a new New York Times leader notes that despite the summer of discord and divide, the administration sustains “a reasonable chance of corralling the 60 votes it would need to pass legislation more or less on its terms.” The LA Times reports the conservative backtrack on Obama’s back-to-school speech with one Republican leader claiming that he’d “let [his] kids watch it.“Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.