The U.K. office of national statistics has released its latest numbers on the declining GDP in Britain. As I expected they continue to be starkly negative. The UK economy continues to shrink so that Britain has now experienced a clear double dip recession. Growth has been negative over the past three quarters. The latest numbers suggest that the economy shrank by 0.7 % in the second quarter of this year. Since there was an extra bank holiday in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee the decline in real terms is slightly smaller. But nonetheless the data is not good, a sharper decline than most economists anticipated and delivers a very negative grade to the misguided austerity policies of the Chancellor George Osborne.
A full scale turnabout on policy is needed to prevent the situation from worsening further. It cannot be just further quantitative easing but state sponsored job creation and infrastructure and environmental enhancement investment of a substantial size. Plus there must be pressure on cash rich corporations to start hiring rather than hoard their cash.
I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.