Peter Hoskin

A new golden rule

A new golden rule
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The last few days have given us enough evidence for a new economic rule: the better the news about the economy, the less we'll see of Ed Balls. As Tim Montgomerie notes over at ConservativeHome, the shadow chancellor was plastered right across the airwaves when last week's growth figures were announced. This week – when the economic omens have been more encouraging – not so much.

On Tuesday, as Fraser blogged, we had a record rise in manufacturing activity. Yesterday, there were heartening figures for the construction sector. And, today, the services sector has followed suit, with its strongest showing for eight months. Here's the graph for all three:

Sterling has soared on today's news. So – simmering concerns about debt and inflation aside – it seems like the markets are handling last week's recessionary warnings with a degree of scepticism.