Rivals leaving Britain behind in ‘global race’ for recovery

Analysis of IMF data claims UK growth will trail most other major economies by the end of Coalition’s term

Associate Business Editor

Britain is a leaden-footed laggard in Prime Minister David Cameron’s “global race”, according to an analysis of economic figures and forecasts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Based on the growth in per capita GDP, at the end of the Coalition’s term in 2015 the UK will have grown by just 1.2 per cent.

That leaves it marooned in 25th place among the 33 major economies for which the IMF provides forecasts. China is not included.

The figures use real data for the early part of the Coalition’s term, combined with forecasts for later years.

They give some context to the recent economic data suggesting that UK plc is finally showing signs of economic revival. It would have to dramatically pick up the pace over the next two to three years to significantly outpace the IMF’s forecasts.

Analysis of the IMF’s numbers by the TUC shows that even debt-ridden France, buffeted by the eurozone crisis, will have outperformed the UK with a 1.6 per cent improvement in per capita GDP during the Coalition’s five-year term.

Estonia easily sets the pace with a predicted rise of 22.8 per cent during the period, but the small Baltic state endured a brutal recession and is now benefiting from a rapid bounce back.  Several larger Asian economies from the economically dynamic south-eastern part of the continent follow hot on its heels, headed by Taiwan with predicted growth of 15.5 per cent over the five years, South Korea (14.5 per cent) and Hong Kong (14.3 per cent).

Resource-rich Australia comes in sixth with a climb of 9.2 per cent followed by the US (8.5 per cent).

Unsurprisingly, Germany sets the pace in Europe with growth of 8 per cent expected, bettered only by the Slovak Republic (12.5 per cent).

But Sweden (7.5 per cent), Malta  (6.8 per cent), Austria (5.6 per cent) and Norway (5.2 per cent) all trounce the UK with rises above 5 per cent. Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Finland and Denmark are expanding at a much-slower rate than that, but they still outpace the UK.

Ireland, following its banking crisis, bailout, and brutal economic medicine, is expected to turn in expansion of 6 per cent.

However, the UK performs notably better than the Netherlands, while crisis-racked Spain, Italy and Portugal, are all in negative territory, propped up by Greece with a 12.8 per cent tumble.

But the TUC warns that the UK’s limited growth may not benefit ordinary people much.

Said a spokesman: “This is GDP per capita and it is a mean average rather than a median. During the 2003 to 2008 period when GDP grew 11 per cent, median wages stagnated so even if GDP is growing those in the middle and the low aren’t benefiting.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The Government has been very quick to hail fragile growth as proof that the UK is out of intensive care and ‘on the mend’. However, these figures show that while other countries are powering ahead, the British economy remains firmly stuck in the slow lane. As much as George Osborne would like people to believe that austerity has helped keep Britain competitive, it has succeeded only in squeezing living standards and putting the brakes on our economic recovery. Without a fresh approach we will continue to trail our economic rivals.”

Ms O’Grady urged the Chancellor to “follow the example of countries like the US whose ambitious programme of investment in jobs helped to turn its economy around”.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'