Monday

1st May 2017

UK recovery lags behind the continent

  • Sterling fell on news of continued economic recession (Photo: Duchamp)

A string of new economic data suggests the UK's recovery is being left behind the EU's large continental countries.

Data produced by the UK's Office for National Statistics showed the economy unexpectedly contracted by 0.4 percent of gross domestic product between July and September of this year.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Analysts had been predicting that GDP - a measure of all the goods and services produced by a country – would rise by 0.2 percent.

The provisional data compare poorly with that from continental powerhouses France and Germany, both of which recorded positive growth as far back as the second quarter of 2009.

"There are many millions of people who will be deeply concerned to see that Britain is still in recession six months after France and Germany came out of recession," said the UK's Conservative party shadow finance minister, George Osborne.

"It destroys the myth that Britain was better prepared [for the crisis]", he said.

Other figures produced by the EU's statistics office - also out on Friday (23 October) – seemed to confirm this trend.

The EU saw industrial new orders for the 27-member bloc rise by 1.2 percent in August compared to the previous month, but with considerable variation among member states.

The highest increases were registered in Slovakia (up 11.8 percent), the Czech Republic (up 3.2 percent) and France (up 3.0 percent).

The largest declines were seen in Ireland (down 14.6 percent), Poland (down 10.6 percent) and Italy (down 6.4 percent), with the UK also slightly in the negative (down 0.3 percent).

Further national figures released in Germany and France also pointed to recovery.

Household consumption in France was up 2.3 percent in September from August, with the country's economy minister, Christine Lagarde, describing the situation as "encouraging".

However, Spain had to contend with news that the country's unemployment rate is not coming down.

Data from the country's statistics agency said unemployment for the third quarter of 2009 remained on 17.9 percent, the highest level among EU member states.

Over four million people are currently unemployed in Spain, a country which suffered badly when activity in its booming construction sector came to an abrupt halt in the wake of the global financial crisis.

UK downgrade rounds off EU's Black Friday

Rating agency Moody's stripped the UK of its coveted AAA credit rating on Friday (22 February), rounding off a day of economic gloom in the EU.

Eurogroup makes 'progress' on Greek deal

Eurozone ministers endorsed an agreement in principle between the Greek government and its creditors over a new package of reforms. But talks on fiscal targets and debt could still block a final agreement.

New anti-trust complaint looms over Microsoft

At least three security software companies “met several times” with the European Commission to complain about Microsoft’s alleged abuse of its market position. A formal case could follow.

Commission stops German-British stock merger

The decision to block the merger of the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse was expected, as negotiations between the parties broke down a few weeks ago.

SMEs lack support in EU financial plan

The European Commission's plan for a capital markets union is said to be aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, but many could end up being left out in the cold.

New anti-trust complaint looms over Microsoft

At least three security software companies “met several times” with the European Commission to complain about Microsoft’s alleged abuse of its market position. A formal case could follow.

Investigation

MEPs oppose EU agency to prevent Dieselgate II

The European Parliament said on Tuesday that there should be more EU oversight on how cars are approved, but stopped short of calling for an independent EU agency.

News in Brief

  1. Vote of no confidence prepared against Spanish PM
  2. Syria to buy Russian anti-missile system
  3. Germany seeks partial burka ban
  4. Libya has no plan to stop migration flows
  5. EU has no evidence of NGO-smuggler collusion in Libya
  6. Poland gets 'final warning' on logging in ancient forest
  7. Commission gives Italy final warning on air pollution
  8. Romania and Slovenia taken to court over environment policies

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCharlotte Hornets' Nicolas Batum Tells Kids to "Eat Well, Drink Well, Move!"
  2. ECR GroupSyed Kamall: We Need a New, More Honest Relationship With Turkey
  3. Counter BalanceParliament Sends Strong Signal to the EIB: Time to Act on Climate Change
  4. ACCARisks and Opportunities of Blockchain and Shared Ledgers Technologies in Financial Services
  5. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  7. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  8. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  9. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  10. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  11. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  12. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process

Latest News

  1. EU boasts unity on Brexit talks
  2. May’s election juggernaut
  3. EPP scolds Orban over university and NGO laws
  4. Oxford-Studie besorgt über 'Schrott' News in Frankreich
  5. Alte Freundschaft zwischen Le Pen und Putin
  6. EP chief faces questions after homophobic 'summit'
  7. EU signals Northern Ireland could join if united with Ireland
  8. One year later: EU right to open internet still virtual