Labour’s right about the recovery

UK economy set to grow faster than its G7 rivals, new OECD data shows.

Are Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling right to argue that Britain is well placed to emerge strongly from the recession? Given the UK's overdependence on the financial sector and lower-than-expected growth in the fourth quarter of last year, you might assume not.

But new data from the OECD shows that Britain is on track to have the fastest economic growth in the first half of this year of any G7 country, bar Canada.

economicdata

The UK should grow at an annualised rate of 2 per cent in the first quarter of this year and at an annualised rate of 3.1 per cent in the second quarter.

It's good news for Labour and it looks as if fears that the next GDP figures, due out on 23 April, would show Britain falling back into recession have been overplayed.

It is also worth noting that the OECD again warns that early spending cuts could strangle the fragile recovery.

It said: "Consolidation should start in 2011, or earlier where needed, and progress gradually so as not to undermine the incipient recovery."

But worryingly for Europe, Germany, historically the EU's economic powerhouse, is on the verge of suffering a double-dip recession, with negative growth of 0.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

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George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Word of the week: Michellania


Each week The Staggers will pick a new word to describe our uncharted political and socioeconomic territory. 

After brash Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump paraded his family at the national convention, the word of the week is:

Michellania (n)

A speech made of words and phrases gathered from different sources, such as Michelle Obama speeches and Rick Astley lyrics.

Usage: 

"I listened hard, but all I heard was michellania."

"Can you really tell the difference between all this michellania?"

"This michellania - you couldn't make it up."

Articles to read if you're sick of michellania:

Do you have a suggestion for next week's word? Share it in the form below.