David Blackburn

On the road to recovery? Don’t be daft

On the road to recovery? Don’t be daft
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I’d forgotten what it felt like to read positive news about the British economy. To be honest life is full of much more thrilling experiences, but my lack of enthusiasm is partially explained by the fact that a 6,000 employment rise is not proof of recovery.

That half the population of Cranleigh have found employment over three months is seen as salvation puts Britain’s economic reality firmly into perspective. If you delve into the Labour Market Statistics the picture becomes clear. Unemployment was expected to rise and will continue doing so, but the employment figure is an anomaly. Britain is still visibly contracting, albeit at a decelerating rate. Vacancies fell by 1,000 and have never been at a lower level since records began in 2001. Economic inactivity, another indicator of unemployment and opportunity, rose again, but only by 0.1 per cent.

When every other major economy is recovering, Britain is stagnating. Theresa May is correct to demand that the government address the dangers of long-term joblessness; but the chief aim must be to ensure that banks start lending to businesses and consumers. For without credit there can be no jobs, no investment and no growth.