George Osborne welcomed a “double dose of economic good news” after the Office for National Statistics’ upgraded its estimates on how fast the UK has grown since the crash, which now indicate that the economy fully recovered last summer.
The revisions for Britain’s economic growth from 1997 to 2012 come as the latest report from the World Economic Forum lifted the UK one place to ninth in its international competitive ratings.
The Chancellor celebrated the statistics body’s new estimates, showing that the UK has now grown 8.1%, up from 7%, under the first two years of the coalition, which he said was “faster than France & Germany”. The Tories went on to boast that the economy is now 2.7% above its pre-recession peak, rather than 0.2%, as previously estimated.
Some expressed scepticism about the even more positive economic outlook, with BBC’s economics editor Robert Petson quipping: “We are supposed to take this stuff seriously?”
Despite Osborne trumpeting the improved estimates for how the UK has done, the ONS’ chief economist Joe Grice stressed: “The broad picture of the economy has not changed much.”
Here are ten awkward economic facts that Osborne would be less keen to talk about.