Brits fret over GDP, biz investment
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Bill Radke: Our friends in Europe are slowly regaining their sangfroid about this recession. A measure of business and consumer confidence in the eurozone has risen again this month.
Meanwhile, Britain’s latest GDP figures are out this morning. They’re marginally better than expected, but there’s no sign of widespread rejoicing in the U.K., as Stephen Beard reports from London.
Stephen Beard: The U.K. economy shrank by 0.7 percent in the second quarter of this year. But that figure is only one tenth of a percent better than expected. Well within the margin for statistical error. And Britain’s performance still compares badly with that of its main European competitors. France and Germany have already pulled out of recession.
The Brits have another reason to fret. They’re still reeling from some terrible figures for business investment. Economist Andrew Hilton:
ANDREW HILTON: Investment fell off a cliff. It’s down to a 44-year low last month. And that’s scary because business investment is a good leading indicator of where the overall economy is going.
He says since Britain is groaning under the weight of government and household debt, the best forecast for the U.K. is a long, slow and anemic recovery.
In London this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.
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