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U.K. lags OECD average with pandemic GDP recovery


LONDON — U.K. growth has lagged the world’s biggest economies for the reason that Covid-19 pandemic and is substantially below the OECD average, in keeping with a recent report from the influential Paris-based group.

U.K. gross domestic product has contracted by 0.4% between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2022, versus cumulative 3.7% growth within the 38-member Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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Within the G-7 nations — which incorporates Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.S. and U.K. — GDP has grown by a cumulative 2.5%, with only the U.K. recording a decline.

“We predict this is going on mostly due to investment and since of consumption,” Alvaro Pereira, the OECD’s chief economist, told CNBC’s Joumanna Bercetche on Tuesday.

“Knowing the U.K. faces a difficult fiscal situation, that is why we welcome what the federal government has done in the newest statement,” he said.

Last week, Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt announced around £30 billion in spending cuts and £25 billion in tax hikes for employees and businesses in what he said was a bid to rebuild public funds, limit 41-year-high inflation and restore economic credibility after the market-rocking September budget.

“We predict that it is rather vital to take care of fiscal prudence at the identical time that you just’re in a position to boost or attempt to introduce some sorts of reforms to deal with among the issues which were plaguing the UK for some time, which may be very low productivity,” Pereira continued.

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“I believe it is time to concentrate on that in addition to monetary and financial policy.”

Pereira added that the OECD’s forecast for the U.K. economy’s magnitude of growth between 2022 and 2024 was just like the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, nevertheless it expected a shallower 0.4% recession next yr followed but 0.2% growth the yr after, while the U.K.’s OBR forecasts a deeper recession and a stronger rebound.

Former Bank of England policymaker Michael Saunders this week told CNBC Hunt’s plan had a “massive” hole where an economic growth strategy must be.

‘Light at the top of the tunnel’

Tuesday also saw the discharge of the OECD’s global Economic Outlook report.

This cautioned that the worldwide economy is about to slow within the yr ahead as a result of the energy market shock attributable to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and amid sky-high inflation, low consumer confidence and global risks.

Nonetheless, it believes the world will avoid a recession, with 3.1% growth in 2022, 2.2% growth in 2023 and a couple of.7% growth in 2024.

OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann said in broadcast remarks the “world is facing substantial headwinds and substantial risks over the horizon” and “countries also have to take daring steps to deal with among the longer-term challenges to put the inspiration for a stronger and more resilient economy.”

This included structural reforms equivalent to increasing childcare support and versatile working options to encourage more women into the workplace, creating incentives to spice up investment in low-emissions technology, and keeping international borders open to trade to alleviate supply-side inflationary pressures.

Pereira told CNBC: “We face a really difficult environment. I believe one of the vital dramatic pictures we have now in our outlook is strictly how much countries are spending when it comes to energy as a percentage of GDP, and you possibly can see that immediately for OECD countries it’s near 18% … which is as high as we have seen within the oil crisis within the 70s and 80s.”

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“We face a really large energy shock immediately which is lowering growth, at the identical time that it’s fueling inflation.”

The first downside risks were inside energy markets, particularly next yr in Europe and Asia if there are two cold winters and retail prices follow wholesale prices higher, he said. The OECD can also be concerned about financial market volatility for low-income countries and emerging markets which have high debt burdens amid rising rates.

Nonetheless, he reiterated the OECD didn’t forecast an annual recession, even in major economies equivalent to the U.S. and the euro zone.

He also said central bank motion on monetary policy would begin to take effect to tame inflation, and that the newest U.S. inflation print was “fairly positive.”

“We expect that not only the U.S. but other parts of the world, the decisiveness of monetary policy will begin to have an increasing number of of an impact. Our central forecast sees inflation peaking in lots of countries within the mid half of next yr or late this yr, but mostly next yr,” Pereira said.

“Particularly in 2024 we start having inflation rates much closer to focus on, so there may be some light at the top of the tunnel, but we want to not let go of monetary and financial tightening working hand in hand.”

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