The return of growth? Some critical perspectives – including our own.

Something I wrote on the day of George Osborne’s autumn statement. Republished here.

Steady State Manchester

You can’t have missed the headlines. The UK economy has returned to growth so we can all sigh with relief. Those doomsayers like us in Steady State Manchester who suggested that the motor was broken are wrong….

Let’s take a closer look.

Luckily some other critics have started the job of unpicking the ‘recovery’, so we’ll start from there. And hold onto the thought that maybe growth isn’t what we should be after anyway as we’ll come back to that.

James Meadway, of nef, makes three points:-

1) Investment isn’t happening.

“Investment by firms is the life-blood of the economy. Without it, employment begins to dry up. Old machines must be replaced; new buildings opened; new technology developed. Spending by firms creates employment today, since it sustains demand, and paves the way for employment tomorrow.”

Well we could question some of that because investment tends to shift production towards…

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