- Capitalism and Alternatives -

British Economy.

Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on July 05, 1999 at 13:22:37:

OK, this is some data on the British economy in April, as published by Labour research Magazine:

Production/GDP-
In April the output of the manufacturing industry was the same as in March. In the three moneths to April it was unchanged was unchanged from the previous three months and was 1.3% lower than a year earlier. Thus, it seems possible that the decline in output has been halted and that recovery may be on the way.

Comparing the last three months with the previous three months, engineering output rose by 0.5%, helped by rising demand for mobile phones and increased output of consumer durables, including cars. In contrast, food, drink and tobacco was down by 0.9%.

Industrial Producion covering Energy and water as well as manufacturing was 0.8% lower in the latest three months than a year earlier.

Industrial production accounts for just over a quarter of the whole economy. In the first quarter national output (GDP) was unchanged from the previous trhee months. The service sector grew only by 0.2%. The output of the whole economy was 0.7% than a year earlier.

Retail Prices:
In may the retail price index rose by 0.2% over the month to 165.6, and the annual rate of inflation went to 1.3%- the lowest annual rise since June 1993 [A recession year IIRC]. The main reason for this was a fall in mortgage interest payments because of interest rate cuts.

Excluding mortgage interest paynments the inflation rate in may was 2.1% well below the governments target of 1.5%.

The tax and price index fell to 0.7%.

Average Earnings:
Average weekly earnings (seasonally adjusted) increased by 3.8% in the year to April, down from 4.9% in the year to March.
Average weekly earnings were:


manual (male) 335.40
manual (female) 216.40
non-manual (male) 518.30
non-manual (female)336.80

Unemployment:
(Seasonally adjusted)
April-
1,814,000: The three monthly average of the ILO unemployed- the number of unemployed people who want a job and are ready to start in two weeks and have looked in the past four weeks). 6.2% of working population.

or:

4,242,000- The average of the previous three months who have told the Labour Force Survey that they want a job, plus the number of government trainees plus the number of ILO unemployed. Comes to 14.6% of working population.

Or:
1,285,000- People claiming unemployment benefit. 4.5% of workforce.

[I know fuck all about stats, so i can't comment on the reliability of these figures.]

Noticeably, wages are rising faster than inflation, and yet, pace Nostradamus, the world has not come to an end. Could it be- wage rises don't cause inflation? Shock fucking horror!


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