The figures were seized upon by John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor. “Today’s figures are worrying as they show that the recovery is fragile and unbalanced with many underlying structural problems that the chancellor still has failed to resolve,” McDonell said.
“George Osborne has to realise that he has no room for complacency with the manufacturing sector now in recession, and manufacturing output still lower than before the crash. It further shows that the so-called ‘march of the makers’ never left the Tory press release let alone the factory floor. With the trade balance worsening Osborne’s failure to boost manufacturing and rebalance the economy represents a risk to our future economic stability.”
Martin Beck, senior economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club, said: “The revisions to the GDP data mean that 2015 looks set to be a relatively disappointing year for the UK economy. GDP is likely to grow by just 0.6% in Q4, which would leave growth in 2015 as a whole at 2.2%. Given the extent to which the economy has benefited from very low inflation and the degree of spare capacity, this should really have been a year where the economy grew in excess of 3%.”
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