The interview I was offered on Monday to give on Tuesday after the publication of the GDP figures was cancelled. Clearly the figures were too good to make it interesting. Growth came in at 0.5%, instead of the 0.3% forecast. The story of a double dip or a falling economy was ruled out, or postponed as the government’s critics might say, on these numbers.
The year’s performance is still slow. Over the last twelve months manufacturing is down. Construction took a tumble in the third quarter of 2011. Business services and transport were strong.
The most interesting thing that might surprise all those commentators and media specialists who have been talking about the public spending cuts is the continued buoyancy of public spending. Government services boosted growth in the third quarter. They are up by 1.4% for the last year in real terms.
Meanwhile over at the Treasury I welcome the arrival of Sajid Javid MP as the Chancellor’s Parliamentary Private Secretary. Just before getting the job he published his thoughts on the Euro. He wrote ” the euro is an idea built on economic and political dishonesty…. there is no hope that fiscal union would save the eruo…..It would be massively undemocratic… Why should the Greeks willingly become a German vassal state?….If European leaders would only accept that their grand economic experiment has failed, the impact would be more predictable and more manageable….”
That sounds like good straight honest advice.