Bad economic news for Britain

Stephen Beard Dec 23, 2009
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Bad economic news for Britain

Stephen Beard Dec 23, 2009
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STACEY VANEK SMITH: Some bad news from the British economy. The number of long-term unemployed in the U.K. has doubled since last year — 2.5 million people are out of work.

From London Stephen Beard has more.


STEPHEN BEARD: The British economy has been shrinking since the spring of last year — the longest and deepest slump of modern times.

While the U.S. and many other economies grew in the last quarter, the U.K. continued to decline. Britain now has an unenviable distinction — the only country in the G20 group of nations still in recession.

One reason, says Andrew Hilton of the CSFI think tank, is the supposed jewel in Britain’s crown, London’s pre-eminence as a financial center.

ANDREW HILTON: We were more dependent on financial services than most other G20 countries. Financial services was the sector that took the biggest hit. And I think in that sense we are lagging the others coming out of recession.

Other economists say Britain has also been held back by its long binge on credit. The Brits are more heavily indebted than even the Americans. As households struggle to repay that debt, British consumer spending wanes.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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