The UK has one of the slowest economic growth rates of all the G20 countries, new figures revealed yesterday, as George Osborne met finance ministers in Moscow.
House of Commons Library analysis of growth since the November 2010 Spending Review shows that the UK is third from bottom of the G20 league table, with 0.4 per cent growth. Only Japan and Italy have worse figures.
Yet, despite the sluggish economy, employment in Britain is expected to reach its highest level this week. Experts believe employment rose to 29.7 million in the three months to December.
The Chancellor is under pressure to demonstrate in his Budget next month that he is taking positive action to avert a triple-dip recession.
The Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, described the G20 league-table figures as "embarrassing" for Mr Osborne, adding: "Britain has now flatlined for over two and a half years under this Conservative-led government. In the global growth league table we're in the relegation zone, with 17 out of 20 countries, including America, France and Germany doing better than we are.
"The longer our economy stagnates, the more long-term damage will be done. We need urgent action now to kick-start our flatlining economy and help people who are struggling."