Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane

Germany is growing at 1.5% while France is at 1%. By comparison, the UK grew at just 0.5% in the same period and much was due to the snow bounce.

New figures out today show that the UK is slipping behind its major competitors in the growth stakes. Germany reported growth of 1.5 per cent for Q1 2011 while France reported 1%. By comparison, the UK grew at just 0.5 per cent in the same period and much (if not all) of that was due to the snow bounce meaning that British growth has been flat over the last six months.


In another sign of the faltering recovery, industrial production barely grew in March, reports (£) this morning’s Financial Times:

Production rose by 0.3 per cent in the final month of the first quarter – much less than the 0.8 per cent growth forecast by economists, largely because of weaker North Sea oil extraction, according to Office for National Statistics data on Thursday.

Underlying the slow growth was the weak performance of the manufacturing sector, which makes up almost 75 per cent of heavy industry. Manufacturing output grew by 0.2 per cent in the month, after remaining flat in February.

A prolonged slowdown in manufacturing would be a big threat to the recovery because it has been one of the main drivers of growth so far – producing about a third of the increase in gross domestic product since the end of the recession despite making up just 13 per cent of the economy.

And to further add to the chancellor’s woes, one of the founding members of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), Geoffrey Dicks, voiced doubts over whether the government was on track to eliminate the deficit by the election.

He told (£) the FT:

“I signed my name to a forecast of underlying productivity growth of 2 per cent but if I were still at the OBR, that is something I would now be questioning…

“My own guess here is that the weakness of productivity growth in the recovery so far is telling us not just that productivity has been lost but that its rate of growth from here on could also be below the 2 per cent that we take as ‘constant’.”

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18 Responses to “Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane”

  1. michael burke

    RT @leftfootfwd: Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane http://bit.ly/lVydC7

  2. Graham Galloway

    ConDem austerity measures work as many predicted: Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane http://bit.ly/iAijsy

  3. m shawcross

    RT @leftfootfwd: Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane http://bit.ly/iAijsy

  4. jaqi

    RT @leftfootfwd: Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane http://bit.ly/iAijsy

  5. jaqi

    RT @leftfootfwd: Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane http://bit.ly/lVydC7

  6. Petrelli Pierre

    RT @jaqi: RT @leftfootfwd: Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane http://bit.ly/lVydC7

  7. Knut Cayce

    RT @leftfootfwd: Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane http://bit.ly/iAijsy

  8. Stewart Lochhead

    RT @leftfootfwd: Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane http://bit.ly/iAijsy

  9. Chris Simpkins

    RT @leftfootfwd: Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane http://bit.ly/iAijsy

  10. Beate Clever

    RT @jaqi: RT @leftfootfwd: Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane http://bit.ly/lVydC7

  11. Michael

    Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane – http://j.mp/mmgA3b

  12. Haroon

    Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane – http://j.mp/mmgA3b

  13. 13eastie

    Can there really be no GDP data prior to 2011?

    Perhaps, just for completeness, and in the hope of persuading maybe a couple of readers that you are not in COMPLETE denial, you might like to see if you can find a chart showing the timing and duration of these three economies’ recessions? (The one that shows the UK was first in, furthest to sink, and last out)?

    And perhaps another one that shows the cumulative contraction in each economy between, say, May 2008 and May 2010?

  14. salardeen

    RT @TheRightArticle: Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane – http://j.mp/mmgA3b

  15. Anon E Mouse

    All because Germany didn’t go mad as this country did in the last few years and didn’t have the Labour’s housing bubble or Labour’s debt fuelled consumer boom. France never had the debts in any event.

    Also Germany went into their austerity measures years ago raising VAT, cutting public spending, reducing benefits and chasing tax avoiders to recover more money. (Companies like the Guardian Newspaper Group who deliberately Avoid paying £millions each year into the UK economy).

    Will Straw has illustrated just how like the worse countries in Europe we actually are so the next time George Osbourne claims we could be like Greece we’ll all know he’s right.

    Good article…

    Between 12 and 18 months from now we will recover at this rate which will sort out the popularity for the Lib Dem’s

  16. BA/Unite resolution shows civilised negotiation has worked | Left Foot Forward

    […] France, with public spending levels which make the markets (another blinkered community) wince, has double our growth this quarter. One year into its economic programme it is time serious questions were asked about […]

  17. Marisol Duff

    Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane | Left Foot … http://bit.ly/k5AhXT

  18. Kathleen Santos

    Germany and France leave UK in the growth slow lane | Left Foot … http://bit.ly/j37SCc

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