Sunday 21 January 2018

The truth about economic growth? It is actually slowing down

A trader takes a break outside the New York Stock Exchange Photo: Brendan McDermid / Reuters
A trader takes a break outside the New York Stock Exchange Photo: Brendan McDermid / Reuters
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Whoopee! 26.3pc growth. We've really done it this time; the fastest-growing economy in the world; possibly the fastest-growing economy of all time. We must all be millionaires with the best health and education and social and everything else system there is. I don't know what all the worry about Brexit is; Britain, if it has any sense, will do its damnedest to join us.

With a performance like last year, even the mighty US could give up the 'Stars and Stripes' and row in under the 'Green, White and Gold'. That really would be inversion taken to the ultimate. But then reality takes hold and we discover the whole thing is a farce. Gurus who keep crowing about our astonishing "growth" tell us the statistics don't really mean anything at all and cannot be taken seriously.

They actually admit to a bit of a sham; people and multinationals routing enormous revenue deposits through our little country so they pay little or no tax to anyone. Meanwhile, the real story is that the world is closing down on growth. Continually increasing the amount of goods and services being produced each year is no longer needed or possible in a world which over the last decade or so is producing grossly too much. Security of business and employment is in a spin; nobody can be sure of the economics of the future any more. There is talk of Italian banks latching onto deposits to keep themselves afloat; pensions are entering Neverland; savings are returning minus earnings and the Bank of England warns of 15 million UK jobs in peril from automation.

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