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Friday, 27 August 2010

Economic hurricane blowing in the wrong direction for Ed Balls

Ed Balls, the desperate also-ran in the Labour leadership race says that we are facing an economic hurricane and that George Osborne's plan has as much economic credibility as a ''pyramid scheme''. Well Balls knows all there is to know about running a Ponzi scheme having presided over the last government's attempt to boost the economy by borrowing against aour grandchildren's future.

Unfortunately for Mr Balls' narrative, the UK economy grew slightly faster than initially thought in the second quarter, expanding by 1.2% rather than the 1.1% cent first estimated. That is the fastest quarterly growth the UK has seen since 1999, but not quite at the 2% plus level seen in Germany.

Growth was driven by a pick-up in household consumption, which made up about half of the expansion in the economy, but also because of a large swing in inventories, as companies restocked their shelves, having depleted them heavily during the downturn. Government spending growth only made up a small part in the overall increase in activity.

Household consumption expenditure rose by 0.7 per cent after falling in seven of the previous eight quarters. Inventories rose by £1bn, having fallen by £2.1bn in the first quarter.

All of which tells us that the private sector was just waiting for the Labour government to go, and to tell them that their Keynesian stimulus was never needed.

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