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New growth figures leave Boris Johnson’s boast of a ‘strong economy’ in tatters

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After a decade of Tory cuts, economic growth has ground to a halt.

GDP grew by zero per cent between the latest three months (August to October) and the previous three months (May to July).

The news that the economy has ground to a halt comes on top of earlier information showing annual GDP growth at a ten-year low and the UK languishing at the very bottom of the rich country league table.

That’s the legacy of a decade of Conservative cuts and mismanagement.

1. Today’s figures show the economy is in trouble

The three-monthly comparisons published today are the standard way of looking at the ONS’s new monthly GDP figures.

The actual monthly figures are zero or less for each of the latest three months: with zero growth into October, following falls of 0.2 per cent in August and 0.1 per cent in September.

Monthly GDP % growth

Underlying headline weakness are falls in manufacturing output (-0.7% over the three months) and construction (-0.3% over the three months), offset by still very weak growth in services (+0.2% over the three months).

With manufacturing showing negative growth in the three months to October and likewise in the three months to July, this amounts to technical recession.

2. We have the weakest growth for a decade

We already knew that the latest quarterly figure for 2019 Q3 showed the weakest four quarter growth (1.0 per cent) since the austerity decade began.

Four quarter GDP 2019

3. The worst UK recovery for a century

Not only is this the weakest growth in a decade, looking at annual figures (up to 2018), the recovery since the global financial crisis has been the slowest for more than a century.

UK growth this century

4. UK among the weakest of all advanced economies.

UK four quarter growth of 1.0 per cent comes 31st of 36 OECD countries.

The OECD average is only 1.6 per cent, with the bigger economies suffering the largest slowdowns.

GDP growth in year to 2019