There’s been some controversy about the impact of ‘austerity’ measures on the UK growth rate. Britain’s economy has been described as ‘flatlining’, but that doesn’t take into account the erosion of the value of its currency. I’ve been looking at the World Bank’s World Development stats. It may be difficult to pick the trend out from money values alone, so I converted the figures for GNI per capita to index numbers, taking 2008 as 100. It makes for a neat interactive graph on Excel, but I couldn’t work out how to display it in the blog, so here’s a table instead.
The UK performed worse in the period 2008-2011 than every other country in this list – it’s not quite the worst performance in the world, but it comes close. Some countries which have been castigated for poor performance – Greece, Spain and Italy – also had declines in outcomes in the later two years, but none of them has done as badly as Britain over the four-year period. That may be because the other three are in the Euro and the value of individual incomes in the Euro zone has not been eroded in the way that they have in the sterling area.