Magazine article Public Finance

Numbers Game

Magazine article Public Finance

Numbers Game

Article excerpt

The recovery in the UK economy appears to be growing stronger, with Chancellor George Osborne claiming that the country is 'turning a corner'.

GDP growth in the second quarter of 2013 was revised up to 0.7%, unemployment fell by 24,000 in the three months to July and the Consumer Prices Index continued its slow downward trend to reach 2.7% in August.

Meanwhile, there have been positive indicators on purchasing, consumer confidence, retail sales, production and exports.

Osborne said there were 'tentative signs of a balanced and sustainable recovery'. However, he stressed that 'many risks remain', and that there was a 'hard, difficult road' ahead.

Some commentators warned that the recovery was based on house price rises, and that there were dangers of another housing bubble. There were further concerns that prices have risen much faster than wages for an extended period.

Frances O'Grady, Trades Union Congress general secretary, said the cost of properties was rising three times faster than wages. …

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