It's hard to celebrate March's 'good news' after April's bad


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The Independent Online

Outlook Some apparently good news for the new team at the Treasury from the industrial sector, which turned in a much better performance than expected in March, according to official data.

The markets were certainly impressed, with sterling recording its highest level against the dollar since the beginning of the year, thus ensuring that exporters will have precious little to celebrate.

The more forward looking survey data suggests that precious few of them are. Markit has pointed to a slowdown in April. As ever in economics, you pick the bits and pieces you like from these snapshots to make your case.

However, a longer-term analysis suggests the former Coalition’s much vaunted promise to “rebalance” the British economy was largely broken. Just like its pledge to eliminate the deficit in a single Parliament.

Perhaps the new Government will do better. It’s just hard to feel terribly optimistic. It’s very fond of talk, and that is cheap in austerity Britain.