IMF shows Britain lags the world on growth

Behind today's headlines on the IMF downgrading Britain's expected growth levels, lie reams of data and analysis about the state of the world economy.

Behind today’s headlines on the IMF downgrading Britain’s expected growth levels, lie reams of data and analysis about the state of the world economy. Perhaps most depressing of all is the map below putting Britain’s predicament in a global context.


With one or two exceptions, growth below 2 per cent is isolated to Europe, Britain’s major trading partner. This does not bode well given that Britain’s recovery is predicated on export-led growth. Alongside Britain, slow or negative growth is expected in Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain (the so-called PIGS) plus the Netherlands, France, Italy, Belgium, Cyprus and the Czech Republic.

The detailed projections for Europe (Table 2.2) show that Britain is expected to have the highest inflation of any EU country aside from Estonia. And while unemployment is below the EU average, it is expected to fall by just 0.1 percentage point over two years. Of countries with unemployment above 5 per cent (the ‘full employment’ rate), only Greece, Portugal, Slovenia and Malta have a worse trend.

And all this assumes that the IMF have their numbers right this time. Like the Office of Budget Responsibility, they have had to downgrade their projections several times already. The British Chambers of Commerce recently downgraded their growth projections from 1.7% to 1.4%. With today’s dire economics statistcs, how long before the IMF have to reconsider their support of what they call the government’s “necessary front-loaded fiscal consolidation”.

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15 Responses to “IMF shows Britain lags the world on growth”

  1. Ashley Wells

    RT @leftfootfwd: IMF shows Britain lags the world on growth: http://bit.ly/e1GmP2 writes @wdjstraw

  2. Sam Boyd

    RT @leftfootfwd: IMF shows Britain lags the world on growth: http://bit.ly/e1GmP2 writes @wdjstraw

  3. Rukiyah Khatun

    RT @leftfootfwd: IMF shows Britain lags the world on growth http://bit.ly/fPSgwm

  4. jbw

    RT @leftfootfwd: IMF shows Britain lags the world on growth: http://bit.ly/e1GmP2 writes @wdjstraw

  5. Oxford Kevin

    Iceland with biggest bank bust compared to size of economy then gives the finger to bankers beats UK http://bit.ly/e1GmP2 ht @leftfootfwd

  6. DrKMJ

    RT @leftfootfwd: IMF shows Britain lags the world on growth: http://bit.ly/e1GmP2 writes @wdjstraw

  7. Mark Stevo

    I can’t get too worked up about this, although I appreciate the need for blogs to use sensationalist terms to get traffic. By 2012 the UK is forecast to be growing at 2.3%, higher than Germany, France, Netherlands etc. Given how much volatility there is I don’t put much store in differences in projections of ~1%.

  8. Tom Miller

    RT @abelardinelli: check out the map… RT @leftfootfwd: IMF shows Britain lags the world on growth: http://bit.ly/e1GmP2 writes @wdjstraw

  9. Samuel Tarry

    RT @leftfootfwd: IMF shows Britain lags the world on growth: http://bit.ly/e1GmP2 writes @wdjstraw

  10. Chris Simpkins

    RT @leftfootfwd: IMF shows Britain lags the world on growth: http://bit.ly/e1GmP2 writes @wdjstraw

  11. Anon E Mouse

    Will Straw – Come on man. A Fulbright Scholar can do better than this.

    Does nobody on this fine blog have anything positive to say about the Labour Party?

    (It’s like life before the election with the advantage of not seeing Evette Coopers frown on the TV every night as she predicts the end of the world…)

  12. AugustineAnderson

    IMF shows Britain lags the world on growth | Left Foot Forward http://bit.ly/jpickG #news

  13. jose

    RT @leftfootfwd: IMF shows Britain lags the world on growth http://t.co/vr03TJ1a

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