BRITAIN’S ROSY FUTURE: The World Bank issues figures to make us all gulp

When you have a minute, take a look at this World Bank table. It’s very interesting. The new ONS data allegedly showing how Britain’s recovery has “balanced out” shows nothing of the kind: British manufacturing as a percentage of gdp continues to fall: from 10.4% to 10.1% year on year.

But what’s interesting is to put this share of real production – ie, genuine added-value manufacturing – into a global context. This is how we compare:

Austria     18%

Bulgaria    17%

China        32%

Czechs     25%

Germany   22%

Hungary    23%

Poland      18%

Slovakia    21%

Swiss       19%

Would you have thought that the Swiss, Austrians, and Bulgarians had a larger manufacturing gdp percentage than us?

For the record, of the smaller players above, all of them are growing strongly in economic terms.

Now let’s put us in a League of the Troubled:

Belgium   12%

Cuba       11%

France     10%

Greece     10%

Lebanon     9%

Malawi      11%

Nigeria        9%

S. Africa    12%

Tajikistan   11%

Tanzania    10%

Uganda       9%

UK            10%

I wonder how many of us thought, when we were teenagers at school, that in our lifetimes countries like Cuba, Malawi and Tazikhistan would have organised their economy to produce a higher percentage of genuinely useful, added-value manufactured goods for export than the United Kingdom?

Anyway, the next time you see some Barclay Bros/Cabinet Office/Treasury spin-bollocks saying how we are powering ahead in a totally balanced and sustainable manner, just remember that the City is the only thing between us and the same fate as Greece, Belgium and France. And the City does not produce added-value services that cannot be copied: it sells the financial equivalent of virtual tartan paint.

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