Summer reading list for policy makers

Subscribe to Campaigning blog feeds

Published

Over the next month we'll be blogging on the economic issues that some policy makers may have filed away before settling down to watch the summer festival of sport. They should also keep in mind that some of the thorny questions around the state of our economy will still be there when they get back to the office. Our summer reading list will help keep them in the picture.

First off we'll keep the updates on the UK's economic vital signs coming - starting with the first manufacturing indicator of the month on 1st Aug. And we'll also be posting some thoughts on what type of economy we should be trying to build over the next couple of years. To do this we'll be focusing on the things we do really well in the UK - some of which is being showcased to the world during this olympics period. And the areas where government and the private sector must do better.

The growth challenge as we move into the second half of this year is still a big one. While no one was expecting the UK economy to put in a particularly spectacular performance this year, even that doesn't seem to be going to plan. We entered the year with a host of risks ahead of us - the eurozone crisis could come to a head with multiple exits, credit constraints for firms and households could intensify and one of the engines of global growth - the US or China - could sneeze.

But although we haven't seen one of these major shocks materialise, the UK economy hasn't grown since the third quarter of last year.

There are explanations; the eurozone crisis has been crushing confidence and the rest of the world isn't growing as fast as it was - not good for the investment or exports needed for better balanced growth; and the official GDP number crunchers have been plagued by one-off events in every quarter. In all likelihood we'll see growth come back in this current quarter as activity during the jubilee celebrations was displaced, rather than lost and all the olympics activity will provide a much needed boost.

Beyond that, however, the question of what needs to be done to get the recovery back on track still remains. The Office for Budget Responsibility will inevitably be getting its red ink out as it updates its forecasts for the economy and the public finances for the Autumn Statement. We'll be setting out some thoughts on what businesses and households will be expecting to hear in response on why we aren't where we need to be and what the economic plan is.

Author

Chief Economist

Other articles from this author >
Online payments are not supported by your browser. Please choose an alternative browser or make payments through the 'Other payment options' on step 3.