“Sick Man of Europe” UK Outperforming Eurozone Rivals

The IMF’s downgrade of its growth forecast for the UK economy this year is being seized upon to pursue the narrative that Brexit is hurting Britain while Eurozone economies grow. One Guardian headline says the UK has become “the sick man of Europe”. If you look past the headlines it’s a different story…

The UK is predicted to grow 1.7% in 2017, more than France (1.5%) and Italy (1.3%). Not sure how that makes Britain the sick man of Europe. Germany is forecast to grow 1.8%, just 0.1% more than Britain – which is forecast to be in the middle of the G7 performance table. The supposedly burgeoning Euro area has a 1.9% growth forecast, described as “solid” by the IMF. That is only 0.2% higher than the apparently disastrous UK. And the Eurozone is growing at its slowest pace in six months. Britain’s forecast for 2018 remains unchanged at 1.5% growth. Breathless pundits can calm down…

Today’s “downgrade” to 1.7% this year should be viewed in the context of the IMF’s referendum forecast of negative growth for 2017 in the event of a Brexit vote. The new numbers are of course a massive upgrade on their original prediction. It wasn’t just Brexit that exposed the IMF sham – in 2014 Christine Lagarde asked “Do I have to go on my knees” as she grovelled to the British government for her incorrect forecasts about austerity. No one should be taking IMF forecasts seriously any more…


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