UK ECONOMY IS GROWING, BUT THE SAME OLD WEAKNESSES ARE STILL THERE
The release of the growth figures by the Official for National Statistics is a bit like peeling an onion
UK number crunchers have three goes at estimating the quarterly performance of the economy and a little more is revealed each time
In October, the ONS released its flash estimate of GDP for the third quarter based on the output of sectors such as manufacturing, construction and services
This showed the economy had expanded by 0
7% between the second and third quarters
More data has rolled in over the past month
So we find out how much of the growth was due to consumer spending, how much was due to government spending, the contribution of investment, whether firms are building up or running down their stocks, and what is happening to trade
The message from the expenditure components of growth is that the rebalancing of the economy is still some way off
The domestic economy expanded by 0:9%, with trade knocking 0:2 points off the quarterly growth rate
Consumer spending rose by 0
8% in the third quarter, while government expenditure was up by 1:1%
Business investment fell by 0
Ministers can point to the weakness of the Eurozone to explain away the poor export performance
So, yes, the economy is growing
And, yes, it is growing faster than that of Germany or France
But it is the same old economy, with the same old weaknesses
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The debtor not honouring a Time to Pay agreement was said to have led to the dual action of a fee-incurring visit and auction, which HMRC was last year granted the powers to carry out
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