Two reasons why UK’s slow growth isn’t the EU’s fault


4:03 pm - November 14th 2011

by Richard Exell    


      Share on Tumblr

Is the crisis in the Eurozone responsible for the UK’s dismal economic growth?

The latest government apologist to repeat this line was Mark Hogan, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, arguing on the Today programme that the situation on the other side of the Channel “does cast a long shadow over our economy”.

This argument doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

One problem for the Government is that our stagnation began before the Eurozone crisis.

Take two sets of data published today. First of all, look at the industrial production data, published by Eurostat:

The chart shows the onset of the Eurozone’s troubles, with production dropping badly in September, but UK production has been stagnant since two months before that.

Production in the Eurozone in September was still higher than at the end of 2010, despite the current difficulties; the UK still lags behind that level.

My second piece of new evidence is the OECD’s Composite Leading Indicators, a monthly round-up of data that suggests which way major economies are headed.

Everywhere is slowing down, but if you look at the OECD’s charts for the Eurozone and the UK, you’ll see that our peak can claim to have been earlier, and by several months:

We need to get an important point right in this debate. I deny that the Eurozone’s problems are cause of the UK’s current troubles; but that is not the same as saying that they aren’t going to have an effect.


cross-posted from Touchstone blog

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Richard is an regular contributor. He is the TUC’s Senior Policy Officer covering social security, tax credits and labour market issues.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Economy

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


1. Churm Rincewind

You’ve lost me here. You appear to dispute Mark Hogan’s claim that “the eurozone does cast a long shadow over our economy”. Yet simultaneously you don’t deny that the Eurozone’s problems may “have an effect.”

What’s your point?

2. Squirrel Nutkin

Anyone fancy calling him Hoban? Because that’s his name?

In all other respects the red-bearded dwarf’s comment seems entirely appropriate.

3. Glen Shakespeare

And this is why it is so disappointing to see the likes of Greece and Italy going down the route of austerity. While nobody denies that reasonable austerity is vital, growth is much more important and we are being sold down the river on that point. Yet another generation is being laid to waste by the very people who austerity does not affect. I still find it hard to believe that the British electorate opted (nearly) for a bunch of multi millionaires who have no interest in their well being. I have seen evidence such as this posted for some time now and still they on’t change course simply because it is not in the immediate interest of their wealthy party backers. (and themselves) I remember the election campaign and was astonished at the bias shown by the BBC. Add to that the self interest of other multi millionaires such as Simon Cowell who has such influence over the younger generation and there you have it. The younger generation had no experience of a Tory government and now they are learning the hard way and for some the damage will be irreparable.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Janet Edwards

    RT @libcon Two reasons why UK's slow growth isn't the EU's fault http://t.co/UXU9EmHm >> Nosedive can be traced to arrival of Cam + Osborne

  2. Janet Graham

    Two reasons why UK's slow growth isn't the EU's fault http://t.co/JSFLYqv5

  3. Janet Edwards

    @libcon Two reasons why UK's slow growth isn't the EU's fault http://t.co/UXU9EmHm >> Further evidence; too far too fast.

  4. Janet Edwards

    @libcon Two reasons why UK's slow growth isn't the EU's fault http://t.co/UXU9EmHm >Result of Osborne's lies about UK econ; brink bankruptcy

  5. Osman Khan

    Two reasons why UK’s slow growth isn’t the EU’s fault http://t.co/Thdpujul

  6. Richard Exell

    My post: Two reasons why the UK’s slow growth isn’t the EU’s fault – http://t.co/E6xKTVts

  7. Huw Davies

    Two reasons why UK's slow growth isn't the EU's fault http://t.co/JSFLYqv5

  8. Sandwell Green Party

    Two reasons why UK's slow growth isn't the EU's fault http://t.co/JSFLYqv5

  9. Alex Braithwaite

    Two reasons why UK’s slow growth isn’t the EU’s fault | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/kcwoFeAB via @libcon

  10. SERTUC Young Members

    RT @RichardExell: My post: Two reasons why the UK’s slow growth isn’t the EU’s fault – http://t.co/Qf73dNnf

  11. Tory attempts to blame Europe fact-checked and found wrong | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] times, and no doubt the Tories will continue trying to push it. Yesterday, Richard Exell showed two sets of data that contradicted the […]

  12. Richard Murphy

    Two reasons why UK’s slow growth isn’t the EU’s fault | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/HrcMg3Wo

  13. Mario Cavalli

    Two reasons why UK’s slow growth isn’t the EU’s fault | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/6Ujzvr0r via @libcon

  14. Harem Karem

    Two reasons why UK’s slow growth isn’t the EU’s fault | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/HrcMg3Wo

  15. Alex Braithwaite

    Two reasons why UK’s slow growth isn’t the EU’s fault | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/HrcMg3Wo

  16. Mike Wilson

    http://t.co/hrMGxzD1 convincing evidence that UK economic slowdown is self-inflicted and not due to #eurocrisis

  17. Crocodile tears over youth unemployment, a call to end all-male panels and game, set, match to capitalism: round up of political blogs for 14 – 19 November | British Politics and Policy at LSE

    […] won’t be enough to stop disaster, while Liberal Conspiracy argues that the UK’s slow growth is not the fault of the EU and asks how much longer Labour can be blamed for the cuts. The Staggers’ George Eaton thinks […]

  18. Tessa Gordziejko

    From earlier: Two reasons why UK’s slow growth isn't the EU’s fault http://t.co/kZImkTZI // C4's Factcheck agrees http://t.co/7nYH40t3

  19. John COYB Syme

    Thatcher's deregulation of banks (1986) has finally begun to hit UK big time | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/SoVbUa8R via @libcon

  20. golightmyway

    Two reasons why UK’s slow growth isn’t the EU’s fault | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/F82abLYq via @libcon

  21. Threadbare Panda

    From earlier: Two reasons why UK’s slow growth isn't the EU’s fault http://t.co/kZImkTZI // C4's Factcheck agrees http://t.co/7nYH40t3

  22. Andrew Hodge

    Thatcher's deregulation of banks (1986) has finally begun to hit UK big time | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/SoVbUa8R via @libcon

  23. Brian Tomkinson

    Thatcher's deregulation of banks (1986) has finally begun to hit UK big time | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/SoVbUa8R via @libcon

  24. Brian Tomkinson

    Two reasons why UK’s slow growth isn’t the EU’s fault | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/F82abLYq via @libcon

  25. Graham Walker

    Thatcher's deregulation of banks (1986) has finally begun to hit UK big time | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/SoVbUa8R via @libcon

  26. Neil Bradley

    From earlier: Two reasons why UK’s slow growth isn't the EU’s fault http://t.co/kZImkTZI // C4's Factcheck agrees http://t.co/7nYH40t3

  27. DianeLaw

    From earlier: Two reasons why UK’s slow growth isn't the EU’s fault http://t.co/kZImkTZI // C4's Factcheck agrees http://t.co/7nYH40t3

  28. Rachael Chrisp

    From earlier: Two reasons why UK’s slow growth isn't the EU’s fault http://t.co/kZImkTZI // C4's Factcheck agrees http://t.co/7nYH40t3





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.