Over the last quarter UK output fell by a small 0.2%. These preliminary figures are often revised upwards later. For the year as a whole the economy grew at just 0.8%.
All this was well known and forecast. We have been talking here about the need for a stronger growth strategy for eighteen months, and clearly as the government recognises more needs to be done. What is far less well known is the fact that the government sector is still adding to the expansion, whilst industry and some private sector services are dragging the figures down.
In the last quarter the government sector was up 0.4%. Business and financial services were unchanged. Production and construction fell. For the year, government and other services were up 2.5%, business services and finance were up 2.1%, whilst production industries were down 2.6%.
Perhaps all those who have been talking of the massive state cuts might like to explain how this results in a continued expansion of the state sector relative to manufacturing industry.