Friday, 23 October 2009

No recovery in sight

The BBC News site, under the headline 'Record recession for UK economy', reports that the economy has contracted by 0.4% in the last quarter (July-September). Commentators were speculating - prior to the announcement - about the figures revealing that we are offically no longer in recession, but this has turned out to be seriously misjudged.

It seems to be the UK economy's huge reliance on the service sector, which continues to stagnate, that is crucial here. Our economy is therefore lagging behind countries like France, Japan and Germany. This is now the sixth successive quarter in which GDP has fallen - that means 18 months of falling output. It's the first time this has happened since the quarterly figures were first recorded in the 1950s.

When it comes to unemployment, it's worth noting that more 'traditional' areas, e.g. construction, have been hardest hit. Manufacturing has lost 8.5% of its jobs in this recession. And it's generally the regions hit badly in previous recessions that are worst affected, for example the West Midlands and the North East. Youth unemployment is also a particularly prominent feature of the crisis - youngsters who are looking for their first job are finding it extremely tough.

The latest news reinforces the analysis and predictions offered previously by a number of left-wing economists, for example in a blog post HERE from August, explaining that the 'massive sizure' of neoliberalism lies behind the crisis - and the ruling elites of US and Britain alike have no solutions.

1 comment:

  1. Strangely, selling Socialist Worker this evening, we were competing against the Evening Standard and London Lite, both of which had headlines implying that capitalism was collapsing. So some sort of consensus appears to be emerging. But I don't think either of these august journals had a proper analysis of the situation. Socialist Worker, on the other hand, called for support for the postal workers.