With the U.K. election just weeks away, the government is boasting about the recovery. But listen to the opposition and you would think people are barely coping.
What do the facts say? GDP is growing, employment is at a record high, and consumers are the most confident they’ve been for 12 years. Interest rates are at record lows, and tumbling oil prices have wiped out inflation.
But the economic sweet spot is still not being felt by many people. This could be why:
Conservative Chancellor George Osborne says Britain is “walking tall again,” having left the recession behind. At first glance, the numbers support his statement. The U.K. economy grew by 2.8% in 2014.
That’s faster than any other major developed country, and double the European Union average of 1.4%.
This looks good on paper, but researchers from the Institute of Fiscal Studies say the economy is still convalescing. Its data show the recovery has been the slowest since the 1920s. And economic output per head is still 1.2% lower than it was before the global financial crisis.
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